Insects like the fruit fly have an uncanny ability to put themselves into a coma-like state when they sense low oxygen levels in the body. According to researchers at Florid Atlantic University, they can stay that way for up to 72 hours!
You may have even seen this happen at your local pool. Seemingly lifeless fruit flies, by all reason, have drowned, then get up and fly away! It is this physiologic phenomenon that is posing new questions about how the body reacts to stressors like low oxygen.
Low oxygen can affect how the organs function, as well as the brain. It so happens that these little creatures put themselves in a state of suspended animation as a survival mechanism and in the process protect the neurons in their brains. Younger flies seems to fare better than older ones and this has prompted questions about the molecular pathways involved with Alzheimer’s Disease, neuronal death and the possibility of new therapies for cellular damage.
Read the story at www.alnmag.com/news/2015/06/fruit-fly-comas-help-researchers-understand-age-related-diseases