Human Hibernation for Space Flight - Utopistic Vision or Realistic Possibility

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D. Singer (2006), JBIS, 59, 139-143

Refcode: 2006.59.139

Slowing-down the ageing process and prolongation of our life-times have been dreams of mankind for a very long time. Nowadays, in the age of expeditions to space, reduction of energetic needs has become a more practical goal, as it could help in the exploration of extraterrestrial destinations which otherwise, due to their huge distance away from earth and to the insufficient velocity of space vehicles, would be out of human reach [1]. Even though this might seem somewhat utopistic, the new goal gives reason to reconsider the current knowledge on metabolic reduction in nature and to adopt a realistic view of the degree of hypometabolism which might be achievable in humans. In the following, two aspects of this problem will be reviewed: first, the theoretical (biological) position of human adults among hibernating and non- hibernating mammals, and second, the practical (clinical) attempts to make humans hypometabolic.

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