Predictions Market writes: "Low doses of hydrogen sulfide, the toxic gas responsible for the unpleasant odor of rotten eggs, can safely and reversibly depress both metabolism and aspects of cardiovascular function in mice, producing a suspended-animation-like state that does not depend on a reduction in body temperature and include a substantial decrease in heart rate without a drop in blood pressure. The researchers measured factors such as heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, respiration and physical activity in normal mice exposed to low-dose (80 ppm) hydrogen sulfide for several hours. In all the mice, metabolic measurements such as consumption of oxygen and production of carbon dioxide dropped in as little as 10 minutes after they began inhaling hydrogen sulfide, remained low as long as the gas was administered, and returned to normal within 30 minutes of the resumption of a normal air supply."Producing a reversible hypometabolic state could allow organ function to be preserved when oxygen supply is limited, such as after a traumatic injury," says Gian Paolo Volpato, MD, MGH Anesthesiology research fellow and lead author of the study. "We don't know yet if these results will be transferable to humans, so our next step will be to study the use of hydrogen sulfide in larger mammals." The full report is available online."
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