ELY -- Hibernating bears are the focus of some researchers from the University of Minnesota and experts at the Minnesota Department of Natural

Researchers are studying the immobility of the bears during hibernation and the
fact they lose body fat, but not physical strength.

University physiologist Paul Iaizzo says if a patient was hospitalized in intensive care for two or three weeks he or she could lose 50 percent of muscle mass.

Researchers used a tiny device implanted in the bear's chest to monitor its
heart rate, temperature and gauge its overall well-being during hibernation.
They hope that can be applied to human heart transplant patients.