What We Can Learn From Being Dog-Tired

Sled dogs' metabolism may yield clues on fighting human fatigue
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted May 6, 2008 2:33 PM CDT
Four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Jeff King drives his team out of the starting chute of the $100,000 winner-take-all All Alaska Sweepstakes sled dog race in Alaska, March 26, 2008.   (AP Photo/Tyler Rhodes)
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(Newser) – Alaskan sled dogs racing for days on end don’t get tired out the way a human runner would, the New York Times reports, and researchers eager to imitate this fatigue resistance in people—particularly soldiers—say it’s because they’re somehow able to change their metabolism. “Suddenly they throw a switch—we don’t know what it is yet,” one researcher said.

“They have a hidden strategy that they can turn on,” he said. “We are confident that humans have the capacity for that strategy.” A team from Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M is tackling the problem thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which hopes to make soldiers fatigue-resistant.