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« 2004 Space Transportation Forecasts | Main | Off to Sunny Wisconsin »

Incremental progress in cryonics

Via SciTech Daily, a company called BioTime is making progress in freezing tissues and restoring them to life. They've taken tissue to below freezing and restored it to vitality for implantation, and revived whole animals after two hours of clinical death at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. I think that if cryosuspension ever becomes really practical it will emerge out of research like that conducted by BioTime. They are working on extending time under the knife for surgery, but the limiting case of that is days, and perhaps eventually weeks under the knife as the surgical team hunts down and fixes problems, perhaps maintaining different parts of the body at different temperatures so that some organs can heal after surgery while other areas are kept cryosuspended while being operated on. For pursuing really aggressive cancers this might be the way to ferret out the last little metastases.

I'm a little bit of a cryonics skeptic, but open minded to the possibility that revival of people from a natural death might be possible. Much more probable is that people near death can be cryosuspended while alive, and kept on ice until either a cure is found or some contractual criterion requires their revival. The obstacles to freezing a person while alive are currently regulatory (since the cryonicist would be charged with murder, even if it's a whole-body thing as opposed to just the head). If it becomes clear that people can be frozen and then revived the legal obstacles to preemptive cryopreservation will be much lower. Sadly, there will always be busybodies who will try to interfere, but chances are good that they will be a minority once enough of the population are only a couple degrees of separation from someone who has had surgery while chilled to the point of (what we now call) clinical death. I just hope it happens before I catch anything really nasty :-)

Posted by Andrew Case at May 22, 2004 08:26 PM
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Too bad Congress doesn authorize a Fusion Prise payable to the first group to demonstrate a comercially viable fusion based power source.

Offer them say...$40 to $60 Billion. A bargain if it worked out.

Posted by Mike Puckett at May 23, 2004 11:21 AM

Oops, posted in wrong thread!

Posted by Mike Puckett at May 23, 2004 11:40 AM

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