During hibernation bears the wounds heal without scarring

The researchers hope eventually to find out exactly how the body heals bears, while their body temperature, heart rate and metabolism are reduced.
This can help in the study of human wound healing.

A team of researchers watched the black bears in Minnesota for 25 years.
The findings, published in the journal "Integrative Zoology," are particularly important for medical scientists investigating slow healing of wounds in the elderly, malnourished or sick people with diabetes.

This study was part of the project scientists from the University of Minnesota, Wyoming, and Minnesota's Department, who for 25 years have seen the health and behavior of 1,000 black bears.

Tracking bears using radio collars, researchers have found the first signs of their amazing abilities to heal.
They wrote in his article:
"Every year, we found a few animals with injuries from gun hunters, traces of bites of other bears or predators. These wounds were inflicted to the period of hibernation, and are often infected or inflamed. A few months later, when we again visited the bears den, as a rule, most wounds heal completely, regardless of whether we treated them or not, sewn or injected antibiotics »

To test the ability of the bears to the healing experiment, a team of researchers, using radio collars, to closely monitor the healing of small cuts on the skin of 14 bears in northern Minnesota.

In the period from November (when the bears are asleep in their dens) and March (about a month before their awakening) wounds healed with "minimal scars».
In addition to this, there were no signs of infection, the layers of damaged skin regenerated, and many bears even grow hair follicles of the newly formed at the site of injury.

One of the researchers, Professor David Gershelis from the University of Minnesota, told the BBC: "It's so amazing that wounds heal so well and completely, because during sleep their metabolism slows down"

He also added that there are many other animals "incredible properties." While in the den for six months, they do not lose muscle and bone mass.

During hibernation, the main black bear's body temperature is reduced by as much as 7C (45F) and greatly reduced heart rate. People drop in body temperature, or the creation of conditions preventing the circulation of the blood, can seriously complicate the healing process.

Therefore, the researchers seek to unravel the mechanism of the incredible abilities of bears.

"We believe that this will be of great importance for medical research, as it will be possible to apply the results to the people", - he told the BBC.

This is especially important for the development of methods for the healing of skin wounds in malnourished, suffering from hypothermia, diabetes and elderly patients.


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