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Stuart
2003-May-30, 03:35 PM
I've been wondering about the discussions of using cryogenics to preserve humans doing long space flights. I understand that the primary problem is that the freezing process causes ice crystals to form in the cells, resulting in irreperable damage. Assuming this could be beaten (by, for example, finding a way of preventing such crystal formation at very low temperatures so that blood and tissue fluids remain fluid), some other questions arise.

1) Does brain activity stop at low temperatures? If so, would it spontaneously restart when the temperature rises?

2) How about heart activity? Would the heart have to be artificially restimulated into starting

3) What would the process for reviving a frozen person be?

Chuck
2003-May-30, 04:19 PM
During the thawing process microscopic robots will be injected into the body to repair damaged cells, make neurons resume firing, and jump start the heart. We're currently freezing people but don't yet have the nanotechnology to revive them.

I suppose there might be more conventional means but cell damage would be hard to repair without individual attention to each. Maybe genetic engineering could provide a virus that does the job.

g99
2003-May-30, 07:44 PM
If i remeber reight there is a frog in the arctic that will literally freeze during the winter and then revive himself when he thaws. I think more study of that need to be done. Maybe there is some natural way of doing this.

How about instead of freezing, just slow the metabolism (i mean everything, even cell division) to a rate that will barely keep the person alive. I mean a few heart beats a hour kind of thing.

Avatar28
2003-May-30, 08:02 PM
I would suggest checking out of of the Cryogenics companies for more info on the theories behind it. They had a panel on it at a con I attended recently. I wish i'd paid more attention to it now.

CthulhuBob
2003-May-30, 10:27 PM
If i remeber reight there is a frog in the arctic that will literally freeze during the winter and then revive himself when he thaws. I think more study of that need to be done. Maybe there is some natural way of doing this.

There is also a fish that lives in the waters of the Antarctic that has a natural anti-freeze that keeps its cells from crystalizing. Can't remember the name of the chemical though.


How about instead of freezing, just slow the metabolism (i mean everything, even cell division) to a rate that will barely keep the person alive. I mean a few heart beats a hour kind of thing.

I seem to remember hearing that unlike a bear hibernating there would be the issue of blod clots and brain damage since the flow of oxy is reduced too much. That doctor that discovered the zombie drug in Haiti (or Jamaica?) noted that is how it worked but they only stayed under for 3-4 days at a time.