Radio Shows | Second Chance with Cryogenics | mp3 … wma … wav
By now you’ve probably heard about the movie, Avatar, or you’ve seen its amazing visual effects.
The technology in this sci-fi flick was captivating! One intriguing idea is "cryosleep," where people are put under extremely cold temperatures during long space travel in order to delay aging.
So is cryosleep science fiction or based on real science? If you ask people at Alcor Life Extension Foundation or the Cryonics Institution —– they’ll tell you, it’s real. These companies cryogenically preserve the bodies of their customers so that one day they may be revived.
Cryonics is using very cold temperatures, under negative 238-degrees Fahrenheit, to preserve the human body. The hope is that future advances in technologies can revive them and cure them of current untreatable diseases.
Interested? Well, first you must be pronounced legally dead.
Then, you must be processed quickly to avoid decomposition. That’s done by internally cooling the body using cryoprotectants.
Like the anti-freeze in your car, cryoprotectants prevent ice formation so that your tissues and cell structures aren’t damaged. Then the body goes into a thermos like container where liquid nitrogen maintains temperatures. Using nitrogen bypasses the dependence on electricity to cool the body.
So far, reviving people is still a problem. But, some scientists predict progress in areas like nanotechnology will make it possible to rebuild preserved tissues with the main focus on restoring the brain.
Already studies with animal brains that were frozen to cryogenic temperatures and then revived showed normal brain wave activity.
It may take centuries for cryonics to become reality, if it happens at all.
What’s certain is: as the boundaries between Sci-Fi and current medical technologies continue to blur, we’ll have to keep changing our ideas about what’s possible.
Click here to email this page to a friend.