Familiar with Mr. character Freeze, Batman's arch enemy who froze his wife and his body to be reunited in the future? Apparently, this is not just fiction!
In 2015, a two-year-old Thai girl became the youngest person in the world to have her body frozen as a way to "preserve" her brain as soon as rare brain cancer deaths. This method is taken by his parents in the hope that his baby will one day be revived. The idea of cooling the body is done through a technology known as cryonics.
What is cryonics?
Cryonics is the latest technology in the world of medical science that aims to save lives by involving the bodies of people who "die" using liquid nitrogen where physical decay will stop, hoping that future scientific procedures will one day later it will be able to revive these people and return them to good health.
Cryonic preservation conditions are sometimes described as deferring the time of death, or "delaying death," because the condition of the condition of the cryonics patient does not change at all until the time for revival - like a time machine.
In countries where the practice of cryonics is legally legal, those responsible for this process should only do it to people who die - to date, doing cryonics in people who are living and healthy is classified as violating law.
What's even more interesting, cryonics technology not only provides cooling services for the human body. A neurocryopreservation is a feature of the cryonics service that refers to lifting the head - yes, just the head! - from someone who has been declared legally dead. In theory, the brain stores important information that is infinite, no matter how small it is, and that a new body can be made cloned or the original body can be regenerated in the future. In some cases, this cooling process is also used to ensure the preservation of the species's future by freezing sperm and eggs from endangered species.
The cooling process of the body through cryonics means frozen, like ice?
The cooling of the body through cryonics is very different from what most people think of as freezing, like putting meat in your freezer at home. The main difference is a process called vitrification, where more than 60% of the water in the body's cells is replaced with protective chemicals that prevent freezing and formation of ice crystals even at cryonic temperatures (about -124 ° C). The purpose of cooling the body is to slow down molecular movements so that they are in a static state, effectively preserving cells and tissues indefinitely in their original state.
The main problem with the general assumption of "freezing the body" is the occurrence of damage associated with freezing, where the formation of ice crystals can damage body tissues, especially the brain tissue and nervous system which are very sensitive. Vitrification attempts to prevent freezing during deep cooling. Vitrification combined with a tightly controlled body cooling system has been shown to dramatically reduce and even eliminate structural damage that will occur with the usual freezing process. Scientists have succeeded in returning blood vessels that were once preserved with vitrification, and intact kidneys have also been rescued and grafted again using vitrification.
Cryonics uses medical life support equipment to keep blood circulation and oxygen flowing into the lungs to maintain the survival of tissues and organs during the initial cooling process. The process of cryonics is very similar to standard emergency procedures for heart attacks, including breathing apparatus and cardiac compression equipment, such as AED.
Has anyone undergone this sophisticated body cooling process?
Yes. In addition to the latest case examples of Thai girls above and animal lab experiments, there are 300 people in the world who until this moment are still in a state of "frozen" since the first time they underwent body cooling. Who are these?
Dr. James Bredford, a University of California psychology professor was the first person in history to have been frozen cryonically. Died in 19867, until now his body is still frozen and the latest report states that the condition is still the same as before.
Dick Clair Jones, an old producer, actor and writer. He died from AIDS complications. Jones is also a member of the Cryonics Society of California.
Thomas K. Donaldson, mathematician. He believes that even after death, the brain is still actively functioning and humans today do not have the technology that is capable of accessing it.
FM-2030, "new" name for Fereidoun M. Esfandiary when his request to be revived in 2030 was successfully granted. Esfandiary died in 2000 from pancreatic cancer and hopes that future science will be able to replace the original organs with synthetic ones.
- Dora Kent , is the mother of Saul, a member of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation directors (59 people have been frozen by Alcor and kept in their facilities). His "death" in 1987 was said to be controversial, because Saul believed that his mother was still alive when frozen - which made it an attempted murder.
- Jerry Leaf , is the vice president of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation who died of a heart attack in 1991.
- Ted Williams and John-Henry Williams, are fathers and children who undergo cryonics on the basis of personal and voluntary decisions. Ted wanted himself to be frozen through cryonics and asked his family to follow his will in order to be able to regroup as a whole family in the future. John-Henry later followed his father underwent cooling the body in 2004.
Has anyone been revived after being frozen?
In the comic, Mr. Freeze manages to come back to life for revenge terrorizing Gotham city. Unfortunately, in the real world no one really succeeded in being revived. The technology for canceling the cooling effect of the body has still not been found.
Scientists who carry out cryonics say they haven't managed to revive anyone - and don't expect to be able to do it in the near future. One problem is that if the heating process is not carried out at the right speed, the cells in the body can turn into ice and break down.
Although the proof of the success of revival in humans is still nil, living organisms can - and have succeeded - been revived from dead or near death. Defibrillators and CPR return accident victims and heart attacks back from death almost every day. Neurosurgeons often cool patients' bodies so that they can dissect aneurysms - enlarged blood vessels in the brain - without damaging or breaking vessels. The human embryo which is frozen in fertility clinics, is thawed and planted in the womb of a mother growing into a normal human being.
Cryobiologists hope that a new technology called nanotechnology will make "rise from the dead" a reality someday. Nanotechnology uses microscopic machines to manipulate single atoms - the smallest unit of an organism - to build or repair almost everything, including human cells and body tissues. The hope is that, someday, nanotechnology will not only repair cell damage caused by the freezing process, but also damage caused by aging and disease.
What might happen if someone was successfully raised from the dead?
If re-generation can be done, this reincarnation is more than just opening your eyes and expressing a happy ending for those who succeed. They will soon face the challenge of rebuilding their lives as strangers in a world that is alien to them. How their success in adapting will depend on a number of factors, including how long they "freeze", what the condition of society is like when they return, do they know someone from the past when they were revived, and in what form they returned. Answering these questions is a matter of mere divination.
Some optimists predict that in the next 30 to 40 years humans can develop medical technologies that can improve biological systems, prevent disease, and even cancel the aging process. If it really works, then it is possible that those who are frozen now will really be welcomed back by people they know in their first lives - their grandchildren who are now adults, for example.
But it is possible that currencies and payment methods will no longer be effective in the future, and people will no longer have to work to live. A society that has achieved the medical breakthrough needed to cure disease and end aging may also be able to eradicate worldly poverty and greed. In a scenario like this, clothing, food and home - maybe just made with 3D printers or other super-sophisticated ways - will be abundant and freely available.
On the other hand, inequality between life in the past and in the period after it has risen again will affect that person's mentality with non-playful losses. Confused with time, alienated from society, and realizing that everyone and everything they have ever known is now gone, chances are they will suffer intense symptoms of trauma. And, not to mention some people may have to face the reality of adapting to a new body because only their heads are defended - giving rise to another speculation of a new problem: the crisis of identity. Trauma, such as depression, can come in many forms, so trauma of cryonics can trigger a person in forms and symptoms that we may never have seen before.
Although much needs to be at stake, some people will still be willing to refuse death bullets in any way, if given the opportunity. Are you one of them?
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