Hibernation is an adaptation of many mammalian species to adverse external environmental conditions in winter. By foraging at the end of autumn, these animals are able to build a large enough fat reserve so that they can stop living activities and enter their nests, and spend the cold winter comfortably. This is a process that is of great interest to scientists-not only because it is an interesting problem, but also because of its medical potential or as a way to study astronauts sleep on most of the long interstellar missions.
Another interesting fact is that hibernating animals seem to be resistant to a variety of conditions. Before the winter comes, they eat a lot of food and make their weight gain faster. But despite this, bears and other hibernating animals are resistant to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and can remain dormant for months without losing bones or muscles. Scientists want to find out why and are looking for answers to DNA.
Hibernating animals produce similar hyper appetite, but they may have evolved ways to turn this feature on and off genetically, which could help researchers better understand and control human obesity. To date, the team has identified 364 potential genetic elements that may be related to hibernation and obesity, and is currently testing them in mice using CRISPR epigenomic editing technology.