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The key to space travel and complicated surgical procedures could be found in lemurs at Duke University.

With about 250 lemurs from 23 different species roaming 80 acres of natural habitat at Duke Forest, Duke University has the largest number of lemurs outside Madagascar.

Those lemurs could hold the key to faster recovery times from injuries and even deep space travel because of hundreds of species of primates, the fat-tailed dwarf lemur is the closest genetic cousin to humans that can hibernate.

"That suspended animation doesn't occur in primates very often," explained Duke Lemur Center veterinarian Bobby Schopler. "These are relatives of ours that do this, and it's a fascinating aspect."

Deep space travel has to be rapid space travel. Humans don't do well confined in small spaces for long periods of time, in hostile environments. To read more, click here.