Who moved my cheese? How about, Who cut my heart rate in half, put me in a state of "suspended animation," then brought me back to life?Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital
in 2008 restricted oxygen intake and administered small amounts of hydrogen sulfide--a toxic gas that smells like rotten eggs and has been linked to mass extinctions
(not unlike the one in this file photo).
Though the mice's metabolic functions nearly ceased, the animals' organs did not suffer from the lack of oxygen, as they would likely have had the hydrogen sulfide not been administered. The technique, which may or may not work with humans, "could allow organ function to be preserved when oxygen supply is limited, such as after a traumatic injury," researchers said in a statement.
Photograph by Brooke Whatnall, National Geographic Stock