Why things aren’t looking good for cryogenically frozen people

cryogenic freezing cryonics baby alcor
Toddler Matheryn Naovaratpong was cryogenically preserved shortly after dying from brain cancer. Image credit: Alcor Life Extension Foundation

Corpse-freezing hasn’t exactly gone mainstream, but most people are now familiar with the concept: you lay out a ton of cash, sign some papers, and spend a couple post-death decades in a cutting-edge meat locker, calmly awaiting the conditions for your eventual revival.

For this week’s Giz Asks, we reached out to a number of neuroscientists, bioethicists, cryo advocates and skeptics to get some sense of what will happen to those frozen former consciousness-havers. Honestly it’s not looking good for them just yet.

ADVERTISEMENT

Nick Bostrom, Professor at the University of Oxford and Director at the Future of Humanity Institute and the Governance of AI program

Technically it seems like it should probably work. The freezing (rather: vitrification or plastination) and storing we can do now. The bringing back part may however require the assistance of machine superintelligence in order to repair the extensive cellular damage that occurs during the suspension process.

Related article:  Brain organoids becoming 'more human', forcing researchers to grapple with ethical concerns

Cathal O’Connell, Researcher in 3D bioprinting and biofabrication at BioFab3D, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

All signs point to no. The freezing-down process is critical. Doing this in a way that preserves cell function—especially regarding connectivity in the human brain—is way beyond our current capabilities. Unfortunately, everyone who has ever been frozen so far is essentially turned to mush. These people will never be revived.

Read full, original post: Will Cryogenically Frozen People Ever Be Revived?

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
seralinistud

Gilles-Éric Séralini: Activist professor and face of anti-GMO industry

The French biologist and his research team--funded by the Rodale ...
vandana shiva

Vandana Shiva: ‘Rock Star’ of GMO protest movement has anti-science history

In a 2012 interview, Bill Moyers referred to Vandana Shiva as ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend