Yellow-bellied marmots never eat during hibernation, even when food is placed in front of them. But when scientists infused a molecule called 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1 B-D-ribofuranoside (AICAR) into the hypothalamus of hibernating marmots, it stimulated them to feed (Florant GL et al. J Exp Biol. 2010;213:2031-2037). The findings, by researchers from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, the University of Arizona–Phoenix, and other institutions, might help scientists better understand human obesity and eating habits.
Hampton T. Obesity Clues From Marmots?. JAMA. 2010;304(7):733. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1082