Hong Chen’s Team Induces Torpor-Like State Using Ultrasound

Some animals have an extraordinary ability to conserve energy by going into torpor, a physiological state marked by reduced body temperature and metabolic activity, which enables them to survive adverse environmental conditions such as harsh weather or lack of food. Hong Chen’s team, led by Yaoheng (Mack) Yang, demonstrated safe and noninvasive induction of torpor-like state in mice and rats by using ultrasound to stimulate the hypothalamus preoptic area in the brain, which helps to regulate body temperature and metabolism. These findings, which are published in Nature Metabolism, opens the door to potential applications of inducing torpor-like state in space travelers or clinical patients with life-threatening health conditions. Congratulations to the Hong Chen team for this amazing discovery! Media reports of this work can be found here.