January 22, 2024

BioServe Space Technologies, Fauna Bio to study hibernation for NASA

BOULDER — BioServe Space Technologies, a research center at the University of Colorado, is partnering with California-based life-sciences company Fauna Bio Inc. to study human hibernation in space. 

The study, led by researcher Ryan Sprenger, will be funded through a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) grant, according to a Fauna news release. The project is called Studying Torpor in Animals for Space-health in Humans (STASH).

“Space travel exposes astronauts to a multitude of hazards,” Sprenger said in the release. “Both microgravity and space radiation can take a toll on the human body. Hibernation, with its profound physiological changes, could offer a revolutionary solution. The remarkable phenotype of mammalian hibernation confers unique physiologic and metabolic benefits that are being actively investigated for potential human health applications on Earth.”

Tobias Niederwieser, assistant research professor at BioServe Space Technologies, said that the “project will address critical gaps in our understanding of hibernation in space and its impact on bone and muscle loss. We look forward to developing STASH, a pioneering microgravity hibernation laboratory intended for use aboard the space station in the future.”

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