Black bears could help us get to Mars


Believe it or not, the black bear may hold the key to important medical breakthroughs, from protecting vulnerable transplant tissues, to improving ICU care, and even getting humans to Mars.

Dr. Paul Iaizzo is a physiologist in the Department of Surgery and Director of the Visible Heart Lab at the University of Minnesota. For over two decades, Dr. Iaizzo has been collaborating with a team of biologists studying what hibernating black bears can teach us about the human body.

While Dr. Iaizzo’s main focus is cardiovascular physiology, this research has also generated a lot of biological knowledge about the bears themselves and their changing relationship with the human world.