Cryonics- The path to immortality!

in #steemstem5 years ago (edited)

This is another very interesting phenomenon. I've actually seen this happen in the movies so I thought it's fiction. But guess what, It's actually real. I watched a movie a few years ago in which a young woman who came from a wealthy family, became terminally ill and her father froze her body immediately after she was pronounced dead. He did this because he hoped in a couple of years, the technology needed to cure his daughter will be developed and then she can be defrozen and cured.Surreal right? I tell you it's actually possible to do this. I came across this phenomenon while writing about Cryotherapy yesterday.

Cryonics is the low temperature preservation(usually at -196°c) of people who cannot be sustained by contemporary medicine, with hope that resuscitation and restoration to full health may be possible in the far future.

Cryopreservation of humans is not reversible with the present technology; cryonicists hope that medical advances will someday allow cryopreserved people to be revived.

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The first person to give cryonics a try was James Bedford, a psychology professor who died of cancer in 1967 at the age of 73 and is still in a vat of liquid nitrogen in Arizona as you read this. Others slowly began to follow, and today, there are over 300 people hanging out in vats of liquid nitrogen and a couple hundreds more signed up for cryonics when they die.

How is Cryonics Even Possible?

Cryonists believe long term memory is stored in cell structures and molecules within the brain. So the goal is just to be able to preserve as much cell structure and molecules in order to preserve the memories and identity of the patient.Cryonists argue that true death should be defined as irreversible loss of brain information, rather than inability to resuscitate using current technology. The objective of cryonics is to prevent death by preserving sufficient cell structure and chemistry so that recovery(including recovery of memory and personality) remains possible in the future.

Anyone who decides they want to be placed in a cryonic suspension after legal death, has to first choose a cryonics facility and register in it.There's currently about 5 cryonics facility in the world.There's an annual fee to be paid pending the time death calls.Once pronounced dead, An emergency response team from the facility starts action.They stabilize the body and supply oxygen and blood to the brain to minimize brain damage pending when they reach the cryonics facility. Heparin(an anticoagulant) is injected to the body to prevent blood from clotting.

Once the body reaches the facility, the actual freezing begins. The team must first remove all water in the body(this is done because when water freezes, it expands and the cells will shatter if the water in them freezes and expand.) The water is removed and replaced with a glycerol based chemical mixture called cryoprotectant.

Cryoprotectant is a substance used to protect biological tissue from freezing damage (that is due to ice formation).

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The aim is to protect the organs and tissues from forming ice crystals when in low temperature. This is done by a process called vitrification (deep cooling without freezing). Once the water is replaced with the cryoprotectant, the body is cooled on a bed of ice until it reaches -130°c. The next step is to insert the body in an individual container which is placed in a large metal tank filled with liquid nitrogen of around -196°c. Sometimes to save cost, a large metal tank can be used to hold 3-5 bodies at a time.

What are the chances of A Successful Resuscitation after cryonic Suspension?

The level of damage(if any) cryonic suspension causes hasn't really been ascertained because no patient has been brought out of the liquid nitrogen and examined. A biochemist, Ken Storey argues(based on experience with organ transplants) that even if you only wanted to preserve the brain, it has dozens of different areas, which would need to be cryopreserved using different protocols.

Revival is believed to someday be possible by advancement in bioengineering, modern nanotechnology or nanomedicine. Revival would entail repairing damage from lack of oxygen, cryoprotectant toxicity, thermal stress, freezing tissues and reversing cause of death. Extensive tissue generation must be done to achieve a successful revival.

Cryonists believe that as technology advances, the level of damage done to a body when cryosuspended will reduce due to development of better effective methods of cryopreservation. The chances of Successful revival of a newly cryonised body is higher than a body cryonised in the previous centuries. It'll take much more advanced technology to revive a body cryonised in the previous centuries.

Concluding Thoughts

There are good reasons to believe that this window will extend further in the future. That is why cryonics is sometimes implemented even long after the heart stops. Cryonics is not a belief that the dead can be revived. Cryonics is a belief that no one is really dead until the information content of the brain is lost, and that low temperatures can prevent this loss.

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I believe that with the rate of advancement in nanomedicine and bioengineering, revival of a cryo suspended patient will be possible in the future. We definitely still have a very long way to go till then.I strongly believe nothing is impossible.

Thank you for reading!

All image sources are stated in text.

Until my next post,

Stay Healthy!



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The Wood Frog can do something like this, that glycerol mixture is key.

Definitely! It's a very important key!
Thanks for reading!

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I cited this website as a reference

Coincidentally. I wrote about this days ago. The idea sounds weird and reanimation more like a mirage. Well, my eyes are open

Yes dear, very strange. But i believe it's also very possible in the far future. We'll keep watching.
Thanks for reading

I should be thanking you for the in-depth cryogenics analysis

Wow, I didn't know they were already doing stuff like this. It definitely sounds like science fiction!

Hello @playfulfoodie

Yes dear, it does sound like science fiction. I only stumbled upon it by chance. It still sounds hard to believe. It'll be so surreal when they are eventually able to bring someone back to life from cryo suspension. Well, we'll all be watching.
Thanks for reading!


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