Researchers Induce Hibernation in Squirrels (But Only When the Time's Right)

By Joseph Castro | July 28, 2011 9:20 am

spacing is important

Researchers at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks have discovered a way to induce hibernation in arctic ground squirrels—by administering a substance that stimulates the brain receptors of adenosine, a molecule involved in slowing nerve cell activity. Induced hibernation could someday be used to preserve the brain functions of human stroke victims, though that’s still a ways off as the current technique only works on the arctic ground squirrels during hibernation season.

[Read more at the Australian and ScienceDaily]

Image: Flickr/Threat to Democracy

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World
  • John Lerch

    Don’t want to be picky–but aren’t all or most ground squirrels actually woodchucks?
    Ahh just looked it up, ground squirrels and woodchucks are both marmots and indeed they are in the squirrel family. But the only ground squirrel I didn’t first think was some kind of woodchuck was the chipmunk. I wonder what idiot ancestor first called them ground squirrels rather than something woodchuck or something marmot. And what idiot called them prairie DOGS?

  • Naveed

    John, They look like squirrels. They are a similar size. enough said.

  • http://www.nicky510.com Crow

    Hey, if sailors can come up with “sun dogs” there’s no problem with prairie dogs.

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