Cryogenics may be possible by the year 2050

74-year-old Woman Survives After Being Found Frozen to Ground Following Ice Storm in Tennessee.

What’s with all these frozen people found alive?

I think this was ask here before but never got a answer what is holding back cryogenics.Why it is scfi now.
What technology and science is holding back cryogenics? What are main problems with today’s with cryogenics?

Do you think by the year 2050 the technology and science will improve and it may be possible for cryogenics?

I hear they are making lots of progress in this area now. Just in past years.

I think one of the main problems with cryogenics is how do you stop ice of cells.With today’s technology of cryogenics it like taking billions of small knives and sticks and stabbing all the cells.

And problem is people have a lot of brain damage before the cryogenic.

Doctors are killing people doing complex surgery than bringing them back to life using freezing the brain.

At about 2.27 to 6:34

So cryogenics may be possible in the future with better technology and science.


Can some one that know more about the human body and cryogenics explain this better.
Other uses of cryogenics is use of long deep space flight. Like to go to other star systems.

So you not really going faster than light speed or need big spaceship.

It’s been the rule now for several decades that you’re not dead until you’re warm and dead. And while there may be stiffening and superficial freezing, these people aren’t really frozen in the sense of a chicken wings parked in a freezer for a week. They are severely hypothermic, but not actually frozen solid.

What, exactly, do you mean by “cryogenics”?

If you’re talking about chilling people severely and reviving them the problems are that if you don’t rewarm them carefully you can wind up with a dead person on your hands, and damage of various sorts, including brain damage, can occur. It’s not unusual for these folks to require rehabilitation after being warmed up again.

If you mean “reviving frozen dead people” it’s because, first of all, if you’re frozen after you die you’re already dead and we don’t have a way to reverse that. Not to mention the problems inherent with all those folks who had just their head frozen and not their whole body, because we’re even less able to revive a decapitated head than a whole body.

This is nonsense.

Yes, doctors will chill down a patient during some types of complex surgery, but they do NOT “freeze the brain”. Doing so would kill the person. They do not kill people during hypothermic surgery. They may stop the heart and restart it, but that’s not considered death.

Comparing cryogenics to any of the examples in the original post is like concluding that drowning isn’t fatal because you survived your morning shower.

For example, the Dakota teen… when the article is done with hyperbole about no detectable pulse, meat from the deep freeze, and no measurable temperature, it concedes the following facts in the last paragraph:

If you think 88 degrees with a pulse counts as “out of a deep freeze” then remind me to never eat anything at your house. :slight_smile:

Being severely chilled isn’t always fatal. As Broomstick said, there’s a common saying that you’re not dead until you are warm and dead (a phrase very often repeated by ER doctors). However, while some folks survive, others don’t. Being severely chilled isn’t always survivable.

Actually being frozen is always fatal. Once your body reaches freezing temperatures (inside your body, not outside) then the water in your body turns to ice, and the ice crystals shred your cells and destroy them. It doesn’t matter what you do at that point. There’s no hope of revival. The patient is dead. Period.

For a moderator on this forums with your username, that’s not a particularly informed opinion. Are you aware of the principle called “information theoretic death”?

I wasn’t familiar with the term “information theoretic death” though reading up on wikipedia I’m certainly familiar with the concept. That’s basically what I’m describing, so I don’t really understand what your objection is.

Many plants can survive freezing because they have chemicals in them and/or they have gaps in their cell structure that allow the ice crystals to expand without destroying the cell. Many frogs will flood their bodies with glucose and will temporarily dry out their cells so that all of the ice crystals form in non-harmful areas of their bodies. Many fish have anti-freeze type chemicals that prevent ice crystals from forming.

Humans lack these adaptations. If frozen, ice crystals form in our cells, and the cells are destroyed.

It’s the same reason you can’t freeze lettuce. Ice crystals form and destroy the cells, and when you thaw it out your lettuce has turned to mush and isn’t very pleasant to eat.

What’s your objection here?

Sure, but that’s like saying that a book hasn’t been destroyed because despite being reduced into literally a million tiny fragments, it could theoretically be put back together and be readable.

In practical terms, once you disassemble the book past some reasonable expectation of reassembly, it’s been destroyed.

Same goes for the brain- once it, or the body it’s attached to is damaged past the point where the person could be revived, they’re dead, even if the brain theoretically still contains all the information.

So by 2015 standards, dead as a stone if you got frozen solid. Maybe in some future age, that’ll be repairable (the whole cryonics claim in a nutshell), but for the time being, they’re dead.

The term is cryonics.

There is some valid medical literature on this as the medical pursuit is to extend the time from when someone is “dead” from the typical 6 minutes to an hour or so. This would allow the transport of patients from an accident to a hospital for surgery.

For further reading…

As for the surgery thing, in the interest of injecting some facts into the discussion, it’s been known for a long time that the brain’s high metabolism requires a constant supply of blood (and oxygen and glucose). This held back cardiac surgery for many years, because you couldn’t stop the heart for more than three or four minutes before the brain started to die. People eventually figured out that if you cool the brain down, its metabolism slows, and you can lengthen the window in which you can operate on a stopped heart. This was a hugely important discovery.

Nowadays, there are artificial heart-lung machines that will take over for the heart and keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain for a very long time, but surgeons will also commonly cool the body down to slow down the brain’s metabolism.

This is a very different thing from the whole “freezing a person and bringing them back to life” sci-fi concept.

A human is completely 100% dead if all of the information storing their unique personality and memory is gone. If their brain is “just” a little sliced up by ice crystals, but all the physical mechanisms storing their memory and personality were still readable (like a hard disk where the platter is intact even though the motors for reading it are dead), it would be ignorant to declare them unrecoverable. *

The key data here is stored in synapses between cells, probably. So, if you could determine the position of every last atom in their frozen skull using high end scanning tools, even for a person with heavy ice crystal damage, it might be possible to determine the structure of their original brain and restore them.

Frankly, a frozen person with heavy ice damage probably is dead - I’m saying that your declaration of them being dead is not based on anything. We’ve never gotten a perfect atomic level scan of such a person, and so don’t know. Your statement is little more accurate than 18th century doctors declaring anyone with a stopped heart dead, immediately.

Now, if you burn the person’s body to ash - yeah, they are dead for sure now. That’s because the gas and ash produced retains essentially no information unique to that specific person. Letting them rot in a coffin is a slow method of burning them.

  • This would be more like a hard drive where the platter has been smashed into a million pieces but the nanoscale surfaces on each piece still retain the magnetic domains, and you still have all the pieces, and they are trapped in the same bag in the same positions they were relative to each other when smashed. Also, the data is stored in such a way that you only need to restore 50-75% or so to get a working system.

While we don’t fully understand how memories are stored, I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one. I’m not a neurobiologist (though I did spend about a year and a half working for one many years ago), but I think at this point we’re all just taking guesses. Our understanding of the human brain is a lot like your 18th century medicine comparison. There’s just a staggering amount that we don’t understand yet.

That said, I think being shredded by ice crystals would pretty well sever a lot of the connections that form the memory information to the point where, even if you were able to scan everything accurately, I don’t think you would be able to put it all back together again.

Regardless, in the realm of current technology (which is the context in which I posted originally) and even in the foreseeable future, the patient is dead with no possible hope of recovery. For all practical purposes they have crossed the threshold of information theoretic death. Saying that it might be possible some day to rearrange the atoms into their correct position is science-fiction type wishful thinking with no practical current application.

Kind of eliminates the point of cryonics, too, actually.

If you had the technology to do a perfect atomic level scan and the ability to rearrange atoms into a desired configuration based on that scan, you’re basically at the stage of being able to 3D print a perfect duplicate of a stored brain. Just print out a backup brain (and maybe body) and Bob’s your uncle. No messy hospital stays to rebuild your messed up body or anything. Just need to keep your backups current or risk losing some memories.

I doubt we’ll get anywhere close to that by 2050.

Of course, that’s assuming that just the atomic positions are enough. Movement of atoms (well, molecules and such anyway) is generally an important part of how an organ functions.

I don’t want to guess how much it would mess up a functioning brain if only the positions of the atoms were recorded and not their momentums. And recording both position and momentum for atomic scale particles at the same time? Heisenberg’s Ghost!

And you’d need to record more than position and momentum. You’d need a way to identify which element, and it’s ionic state.

For the physics experts in the crowd, what about this point?

Is it even theoretically possible under the laws of physics to do an atomic-level scan of an object that would allow you to recreate it? This could well be one of those things that simply can’t be done, regardless of technology.

Atomic level scan is shorthand for “scan able to ascertain the identity, location, and state of any biological modules, even if such molecules are damaged”.

It’s actually far from a perfect scan. By “state” I mean *functional *state changes : certain proteins have, say, one conformation if they are phosphorylated and another if they are not.

“Location” just means “to a sufficient resolution to determine relative positioning”. (such as "is this particular biological molecule in front of, or behind, this other molecule) We’re not talking levels of accuracy affected by Heisenberg, here.

Anyways, the cryonics people have invented advanced cryoprotectants that mostly solve these problems.

Why do they have to do perfect atomic level scan for this to work?

Why do they have to do that? So for cryogenics to work they have to have the ability to rearrange atoms into a desired configuration?

Why not cool the person close to sub zero or at sub zero? It will be too cold for ice crystals.

There are limitations other than just Heisenberg, though.

For example, you can’t “see” an atom with visible light because the wavelength is too long to resolve an atom. That’s not just technology, but physics. If you want to see an atom, you have to use something like x-rays… but anything with a wavelength short enough to see an atom is a form of ionizing radiation that will change the state of the brain while it is being analyzed.

As another example, there are ways to determine the type of element that an atom represents, but at least one of them (spectral analysis) requires exciting the atom until it emits photons and then analyzing the released photons. Another method (something like a mass spectrometer) would require pulling the atom out of its molecule and seeing how heavy it is. You can measure whole molecules in a variety of ways, but in living tissue, many molecules are also complexed together. Either way, you have changed the state of the material you are analyzing.

No, freezing a person doesn’t necessarily have to involve any of that.

But the particular suggestion was that sometime in the future, somebody could “scan” a person and at the molecular level fix physical damage caused by the freezing process.

Guessing at far future tech is largely a mug’s game, but it’s possible an entirely different method of resuscitation could be developed that doesn’t require any of that.

Can you explain this?

If you mean keeping the body above freezing, that’s a non-starter. Try keeping meat in your refrigerator without freezing it. It gets nasty pretty fast.

If you mean some process to avoid damage during the freezing process, they kind of have that now. Sort of. But it doesn’t work very well.

The argument is that some kind of future development may work around it somehow or that we’ll get better at it. That’s what the stuff about “information theoretic death” above is about - if the structure of the brain is intact, some of the information it contained is theoretically still there.

There are so-called cryoprotectants to avoid major physical damage during freezing, but brain death has usually already occurred, i.e. some damage has already been done. The hope the cryonics folks have is that as long as the structure is maintained, we’ll be able to repair the damage and reverse brain death later, i.e. our future notion of brain death might be adjusted with improved technology.

How much of those claims are true or not isn’t really known right now, mainly because we still have a long way to go to knowing how the brain works. It could be they’re right about the physical preservation. Or it could be that these chemicals (most very toxic to humans) may have inadvertently destroyed some necessary feature to preserving memory/personality. Or anything in between.

Again, perhaps the words “atomic level scan” were misleading to a pendant. Instead of taking a hostile view, think through the problem. Is it unsolvable?

What if you built a machine that scraped a reading head over each surface, then bonded heads to the surface to rip a layer loose? Everything is extremely cold, by the way, which eliminates most heisenberg issues in that everything has negligible velocity in the first place.

We already have such a machine, an AFM. Their outputs are atomically perfect scans of surfaces. (that is, you can look at the image and determine all of the bonding between atoms. )

There is a way to rip atoms loose from a surface with the AFM and scan what is underneath. It is of course stupendously slow - but you are getting an atomic level scan.

Fundamentally, what I am talking about is both theoretically possible and has been demonstrated at a level sufficient to show that physics do allow it.

Could this ever be made into a practical technology? Almost certainly. You would need a way to build trillions of reading and ripping heads in a vast array, at the molecular level - at a detail level slightly better than the structures that biology itself uses. Such a way exists, and I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out what that way is.

Work around what? Finding ways to freeze them with out ice crystals? Or some how repair the damage done by ice crystals to the body.