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How do hibernation/aestivation happen?

I read on wikipedia that a squirrel injected with the body fluids of a hibernating fellow is more prone to hibernation. If hibernation/aestivation are driven by biochemicals and not merely the weather, can the process be induced in higher beings such as humans to replace surgical (etc) anesthesia? How is the one different from the other?

p.s. Or perhaps to induce hibernation for the trip across the Solar System (+:

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What makes you think that changes related to the seasons are not "biochemically induced"? –  nico Jul 29 '12 at 13:12
Because there appears to be a temperature component involved leading to either deep or shallow 'slumber'. –  Everyone Jul 29 '12 at 14:46
surely, but all of these things are mediated by hormones (or in general blood-borne molecules) at the end of the day... –  nico Jul 29 '12 at 14:55
I'm assuming you're referring to general anesthesia, which still encompasses many types of mechanisms. Here's an interesting article about whether humans can hibernate. It's not a true scientific paper, but it brings up some interesting points. –  jello Jul 29 '12 at 16:46
@nico: don't have an argument to present against that ... perhaps this is a ppoor example, but if a person has a sneezing fit whenever it's going to rain - that wouldn't necessarily mean the fit was caused by hormones –  Everyone Jul 29 '12 at 17:29
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