13 Sep '11, 11pm

Small furry mammals which hibernate in winter may be extending their lifespan at the same time, says study

Small furry mammals which hibernate in winter may be extending their lifespan at the same time, says study

Small furry mammals partial to a daily dose of hibernation in winter are probably extending their lifespan at the same time, according to a study published on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: QUEK XIN LIN PARIS (AFP) - Small furry mammals partial to a daily dose of hibernation in winter are probably extending their lifespan at the same time, according to a study published on Wednesday. Experiments with Djugarian hamsters native to Siberia showed that when the tiny rodents temporarily lower their metabolism and body temperatures, a state called torpor, it stops and even reverses a natural breakdown of chromosomes linked to ageing. Previous studies had hinted at a causal link between hibernation and longevity, but this is the first one to show the biological mechanism that may account for it. In the laboratory, researchers led by Dr Christopher Turbill of the Institute for Wildlife Ecol...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/TechandScience/S...

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