Cryobiosis: no guarantees available – Cryonics

Cryobiosis: no guarantees available - Cryonics

One loving husband from China did not want to part from her wife, who passed away in the age of 49 from cancer, and froze her body using the opportunities offered by modern cryonics technology.

This is the first similar procedure performed with the whole human body in China (before that, in 2015, the Chinese froze only the head of the local writer separately from his body).

Cryonics – is the experimental technology that suggests that one day the progress of medical technology will let us resuscitate the frozen corpses. Procedure assumes that the bodies are stored in the liquid nitrogen at sub-zero temperatures and that the key body functions are supported by special equipment.

Freezing was performed by the scientists in Jinan city with the assistance of Shandong University’s Qilu Hospital. This procedure costed about two million Chinese yuan (approximately 7,5 mln UAH). Doctors spent 55 hours to perform it. Medical workers placed the woman’s body inside the tank of two cubic meters, filled with liquid nitrogen that maintains the temperature of minus 196 degrees Celsius. To maintain the environmental conditions and nitrogen level 55,000 yuan (more than 200 thous. UAH) are needed a year. Construction of such a laboratory is estimated at five million yuan (about 19 mln UAH).

As of today, at least 300 people have already been frozen using cryobionics (about 40 of them – in Russia). The small list of existing cryonic companies, having own storage facilities: Alcor (USA), TransTime (USA), CryoRus (Russia), as it is already clear, has enlarged by China and Switzerland is on its way.

When it comes to cryonics, it should be noted that, not only ethical and moral aspects of this process are doubtful, but its implementation prospects in the future as well. For instance, there is no guarantee that scientist will ever be able not only to resuscitate those, who are frozen, but also to find remedy against illnesses that led to their deaths. Yet another good question – whether the memories in the brain of the deceased, for instance, are preserved.

One thing we may say for sure – is such a way DNA of frozen person will be preserved.

However, there is a number of scientists, who have positive frame of mind as to the cryonics. In 2016 open letter in support of this technology was signed by 68 scientists, inclusive of experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard and Cambridge Universities, NASA and other credible organizations.

“Cryonics is a legitimate science-based endeavor that seeks to preserve human beings, especially the human brain, by the best technology available. Future technologies for resuscitation can be envisioned that involve molecular repair by nanomedicine, highly advanced computation, detailed control of cell growth, and tissue regeneration. The rights of people who choose cryonics are important, and should be respected.” – the letter said.

Work on improvement of this technology is currently in progress, provided however that each innovation in the field of cryopreservation is based on two aspects: tissues preservation improvement during freezing and their accelerated recovery upon defrosting.