Fat Burning in Hibernating Ground Squirrels

posted February 14, 2014

A recent story by Minnesota Public Radio highlighted research being performed at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Dr. Matt Andrews studies the hibernation of 13-lined ground squirrels (also known as gophers). The metabolic changes the ground squirrels undergo when they are hibernating are providing insights into how the mammals store and use fat. The clues to this process are found in the squirrels’ genes. More knowledge about these genes may someday lead to drugs that could help humans with weight problems.

MSI PI Professor Marshall Hampton (UMD Mathematics and Statistics) is collaborating with Dr. Andrews and uses MSI resources to help their study of the transcriptomes (the set of RNA molecules) of the animals, using Illumina sequencing.

The entire MPR News story can be found on their website.