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Caitlin writes...

Ok, this is not so much question as it is theory, but follow me for a bit if you like.

I've been reading through the biology archives and I had some thoughts regarding the stone sleep. Being a Zoology major, I tried to analyze some things, such as one particular factor- bodily functions like metabolism. A fan once asked if the metabolic functions still took place while they were in the stone slumber, and you were unable to answer, not being a biologist. I mean that in no harmful or derogatory way. I am just giving some insight from a biologist's perspective (I hope). I think that we can look at some analogues from real life- bats. I know it's not a perfect analogy, but some bats do go into a state of torpor (semi-hibernation) and some others actually go into a true state of hibernation. During hibernation, body temperature drops and metabolism slows to a near stop. The heart rate may also drop significantly.
Now, given that all of a gargate's tissues become the organic stone-like material, this means that even the blood is stilled, seeing as the muscles of the heart no longer pump. This seems like a hibernation to me. The fact that the tissues are "stone" probably means that the tissues do not need to constantly be fed oxygen or other nutrients via blood, and therefore do not need blood to flow or metabolism to run.
The "stone" state of the cells is also reminiscent of the dormant states of some bacteria. Essentially, the bacteria will create a "shell" when conditions are not right for survival and will become active again once conditions improve (if). The dormant state has no biological functions going on (that is if I remember correctly).

In short, the gargates are completely dormant until they awaken, and therefore are, for all intensive purposes, "stone".
I hope this was insightful/useful. I love thinking about these kinds of things. Feel free to ask me to elaborate or de-mystify anything biological (in this post or otherwise, if you'd like). My email is dbznut@carolina.rr.com

Greg responds...

Thanks, Caitlin. It sounds good to me.

Response recorded on December 05, 2011