Remarkably, we are quite closely related to fruit and vegetables. About half the chemical functions that take place in a banana are fundamentally the same as the chemical functions that take place in you.
The breakthrough suggests that humans along with other mammals might harbor a mostly unused ability to hibernate on demand. Further research into the phenomenon could lead to medical advances, such as buying time for humans awaiting an organ transplant, scientists said.
‘We are, in essence, temporarily converting mice from warm-blooded to cold-blooded creatures, which is exactly the same thing that happens naturally when mammals hibernate,’ said lead researcher Mark Roth of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
During the induced hibernation, cells virtually stopped working, reducing the rodents’ need for oxygen.
‘We think this may be a latent ability that all mammals have — potentially even humans — and we’re just harnessing it and turning it on and off, inducing a state of hibernation on demand,’ Roth said.”
NEW HAVEN, Conn. Apr 8, 2005 – Yale University researchers say their study that used lasers to create remote-controlled fruit flies could lead to a better understanding of overeating and violence in humans.
Using the lasers to stimulate specific brain cells, researchers say they were able to make the flies jump, walk, flap their wings and fly.
Even headless flies took flight when researchers stimulated the correct neurons, according to the study, published in the April 7 issue of the journal Cell.
In a culture that hails mobile phones and plasma-screen televisions as the great innovations of our time, Smith is gloriously out of step. She designs medical devices and labor-saving machines for people who live at the far end of dirt roads in Africa. Her inventions cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few pennies. ”You can’t understand how important a grain mill is,” she says, ”until you’ve spent three hours pounding grain and gotten a cup and a half of flour.” It is this kind of understanding — of tedium, of tired muscles, of hunger pangs — that Smith brings to her work.