Cryogenics is the science that deals with the production and effects of very low temperatures. The word has a Greek origin, with kryos meaning “frost” and genic means “to produce.”
When it comes to the study of frozen things, the most interesting is frozen life. Yes, freezing life is what cryogenics, also known as cryonics, mostly deals with. It is the process of freezing a body with liquid nitrogen.
Enthusiasts have been working with the concept of freezing human bodies since the 60s. The idea became a reality in 1967, when a professor of psychology, James Bedford, died of cancer. A few hours later, his body was frozen by a small team of doctors. The body was placed in a container with dry ice and later immersed in liquid nitrogen in a large Dewar container. The body now lies in the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona, after moving from one facility to another.
Back in 2016, a mammalian brain was frozen and recovered for the very first time. The Brain Preservation Foundation awarded it a winning prize. The brain of rabbit was frozen and preserved using a technique called Aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation (ASC). The brain was brought back to a nearly perfect condition.
The cryopreservation methods available today are not ideal and lead to dehydration and destruction of neural connections. The rabbit’s brain cannot be revived yet, but researchers suggest that all of the components can be preserved using improved techniques. By the current methods and techniques, it is considered that even if the body wakes up, it would have lost the memory already.
A 14-year girl became the first person from the UK to be cryogenically frozen. This was done after winning a legal battle against her parents who wanted to bury her body.
There are only three cryogenic facilities around the world to keep frozen bodies. These bodies are kept there so as they may wake-up later and be cured of their diseases. These people range from 7-year old Matheryn Noavaratpong, 27-year old Cormac Seachoywas to the 92-year old Ivy Eyre.
For all we know, dreams of these lunatic people to wake up the frozen bodies may just come true.
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