The Secrets of Hibernating Bears

Scientists have found that hibernating bears can provide clues to preventing serious blood clots in humans.

During hibernation, bears experience a state of reduced blood flow and oxygen supply, which would typically cause blood clots in humans. 

Scientists have found that bears release a protein called PAI-1 during hibernation that prevents blood clot formation.

  • PAI-1 inhibits clotting factors in the blood, even when blood flow and oxygen supply are reduced.
  • By understanding how bears prevent blood clots, researchers hope to develop new treatments for humans who are at risk of clots.

In the words of lead author Ole Fröbert,

“Bears manage to do something remarkable during hibernation… Understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms could help us develop new treatments for patients at risk of thrombosis.”

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