Hibernation: Translating Insights from Nature into Manned Deep Space Exploration

During a long‐duration manned spaceflight mission, such as flying to Mars and beyond, all crew members will spend a long period in an independent spacecraft with closed‐loop bioregenerative life‐support systems. Saving resources and reducing medical risks, particularly in mental health, are key technology gaps hampering human expedition into deep space. Professor Tifei Yuan, a Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Translational Research project lead and Principal Investigator at Shanghai Mental Health Center and his colleagues recently published a paper entitled “Human torpor: translating insights from nature into manned deep space expedition” in the Cambridge Philosophical Society’s Biological Reviews journal. The study examined the neural circuits and neuronal structures of both hibernating and non-hibernating animals, seeking to understand the neurobiological mechanisms of natural hibernation and human sleep.


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