|On the cover: In recent years, driven by the new round of scientific and technological revolution coupled with carbon neutrality, the energy structure is undergoing unprecedented changes. Biomass energy can be obtained from abundant resources by a number of application ways, which is zero-carbon and has unique effect of carbon negative emission. Meanwhile, advanced conversion technologies, such as BECCS, pyrolysis, and biohydrogen, are also joining the way to make a better bioenergy. Clean products of biomass have been promoted to a prospective future. Combination of biomass energy development and advanced technology will realize a more flexible and imaginative use of biomass, contributing to a green, low-carbon and sustainable development. For a bright and recyclable future, we should improve the use of biomass energy and unlock its huge potential for energy conservation and carbon reduction.|
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|Position: Home > issue > May 15, 2023 Volume 4, Issue 3|
|Back to Earth|
|Category: Correspondence Download: PDF Figure Endnote|
|Author: Matteo Cerri, Jurgen Bereiter-Hahn, Gerhard Heldmaier, Alexander Chouker, Leopold Summerer|
On behalf of the Topical Team Hibernation of the European Space Agency, we would like to provide some comments on the recently published article "Primate preoptic neurons drive hypothermia and cold defense" by Zhang and colleagues.
We read the manuscript with high interest and acknowledge that the authors were able to conduct their experiment on non-human primates, a challenging model for both practical and ethical reasons, hereby striving to expand the validity of many experiments in rodents. Interestingly, the authors report that chemogenetic activation of excitatory neurons within the preoptic area induces a form of hypothermia, while simultaneously, the body is trying to defend its body temperature by increasing locomotor activity, shivering, heart rate, and activating cellular metabolism. Commonly, this is not observed in rodents and poses the question of whether primates may have a more complex brain network controlling metabolic rate. This is most definitely an area of investigation worth pursuing since the metabolic rate was not measured but, certainly, was affected and probably increased as well: an effect that goes in the opposite direction than torpor and that will have to be addressed. The authors expressly referred to torpor as a space-oriented technology in the graphical abstract, and on that, we recommend using caution: a very modest drop in body temperature accompanied by the activation of cold defense mechanism seems not to mimic torpor in an adequate way. In fact, natural torpor proves to be an endogenous metabolic reduction followed by a regulated lowering of body temperature, as it has also been reported for multiple non-human primates.
We are excited to see hibernation research addressed now across the globe, which relates well to the expectation that enabling hibernation can become a game changer for many medical conditions, as well as space missions. We may point out and encourage this scientific community to work on this topic to foster the exchange and share knowledge. It might be an added value to the readers of this journal and this article explicitly that a European Space Agency Topical Team has been addressing hibernation since 2014, providing a scientific forum to discuss and exchange scientific and engineering advances related to hibernation research, including papers describing possible engineering approaches for a spaceship with torpor technology.
Indeed, developing a functioning technology for torpor induction in humans would be a tremendous achievement for humanity.