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On cold, dark days it is tempting to imagine shutting yourself away until the warmer weather returns.

Many animals do just that by entering a state known as torpor, which reduces their bodily functions to a minimum and uses fat stores in their body for energy. Could humans ever hibernate in the same way?

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by Vladyslav Vyazovskiy, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

Oxford is a subscribing member of The Conversation. Find out how you can write for The Conversation.

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