The idea of being able to pause time and restart it in the future, is a neat thought. Human Cryogenics is the technical term for freezing a body to preserve it for a number of years, to then be able to unfreeze it later and bring it ‘back to life’. Would this work?
When water freezes it expands and forms ice crystals. This is because ice is less dense than water, and since the human body is up to 60% water; human cryogenics is not as simple as we think.
We can easily put a body in a bath of liquid nitrogen which would freeze it inside out; but we face a considerable problem. When all this water inside us freezes, the ice crystals formed pierce and destroy the majority of our cell membranes and DNA; effectively ruining the chances this person has of coming “back to life”.
How does human cryogenics work?
Mostly, the above is done but with an extra step called vitrification. Vitrification is a process which replaces some of the body’s water with cryoprotectants, effectively reducing the amount of ice crystals formed from the freezing process.
Nobody knows if this allows for cryogenics to work without damaging organs – but scientists have been able to do this on small insects and small tissue such as blood vessels. They were able to control cooling, and verify that the cryoprotectants were fully diffused. Great, surely that means we can successfully freeze time, right?
Not quite, since the human body is so large; in the cooling process it is prone to fracture due to immense thermal stress.
Even if it did work on organs, it is still not as simple as that. We have many different organs in our bodies carrying out different processes and they are composed of different types of cells. This means different organs must be cooled at different rates for the highest probability they still work.
The brain for example, is extremely sensitive to cooling due to all its billions of connections.
This can only legally be done on people who have just died. When people die, their cells stay alive and perform metabolic processes for some time before the body fully stops working. In this time window, the company carrying out the cryogenic comes in and acts on the body to freeze it, and preserve it.
In conclusion, this process is ambitious. No one knows if it works and it’s all down to belief. What do I think? I think it is highly unlikely to be successful since I believe there is more to consciousness than we think.
If you have any questions, leave them below and until next time, take care.
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