In hibernating bears the wounds and resolve without scarring

March 20, 2012 13:02

Despite hypometabolism during hibernation, the bears in suspended animation wounds healed completely — does not leave any traces of infection or scarring, even the hair bags are restored.

American Bear baribal (photo Momatiuk — Eastcott)

American zoologist at the University of Minnesota and Wyoming are watching wild bears-baribalov for 25 years. Behavior and animal welfare scientists estimate using beacons, which in total was provided with approximately 1000 individuals.

Focus of attention, of course, uses the ability of bears hibernate: how mammals manage themselves in and out of the state of suspended animation, is still not quite clear. In a new paper published in the journal Integrative Zoology, scientists reported another feature Bears: During hibernation they miraculously healed the wound, so that even the scar remains.

Annually zoologists across animals, trapped or hunter trap or wounded, or from bites after a fight with their own kind. Wounds that received bears before going into hibernation, often inflamed due to infection, so some animals (who managed to catch) them disinfected and sutured. But when a couple of months, the researchers examined the state of his team in their dens, they found that, regardless of whether the bears were treated or not, the wounds had not disappeared. Zoologists were surprised — during hibernation bears body temperature falls, slows the heart rate, decreased metabolic rate, and all that, in theory, should not promote wound healing.

Then set up an experiment: scientists chose 14 animals and cut them a small piece of skin. During hibernation wound almost completely disappeared without even leaving a scar. Restore all the layers of the skin, and even beyond that, in place of the injured appeared hair follicles, so the damaged area again overgrown hair. And there are no signs of infection. We have to admit that during the hibernation of bears includes some powerful healing system that protects the animal from the troubles in the form of infected wounds. And the system, these are not the usual way, just enough for them to low metabolic rate, which is the bears in suspended animation.

Researchers tend to see this phenomenon in connection with other physiological and biochemical mysteries of hibernation. For example, we know that the animals during this time muscles atrophy and bone, although for a long time they spend with no movement. Doctors all over the world would have given much for the opportunity to take advantage of technology to bear healing, so scientists continue to pursue the riddles of suspended animation.

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