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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Suspended animation becomes a reality?

So THAT'S the reason why everyone seems to pass out after I eat eggs...

Suspended animation has long been a hallmark of science fiction. In long voyages spanning tens of light years, crews would be put into a state of suspended animation and revived as the starships come close to their destination. Now an experiement with mice has moved the concept further away from the realm of sci-fi and closer to reality.

Now, a group in Seattle, WA, has published a report in Science this week, with the remarkable discovery that hydrogen sulphide (H2S), the terrible smelling gas given off by rotting eggs and sewage, can reduce the metabolic rate and core body temperature of mice. Or, in plainer English, it induced a state similar to hibernation.

Obviously, it's a ways away from being applied to humans, although we're both mammals. However, it's definitely an interesting development.

Other science news covered this week include the effect of e-mail on your IQ, retreating Antarctic glaciers, innovations in space flight, and more.
[Ars Technica]