News 6 September 2023

Frozen humans could be brought back to life in 50 years for “alternative to death”

6 September 2023

In a remarkable scientific feat, microscopic creatures known as nematodes or roundworms have been successfully revived after being frozen for an astounding 46,000 years within the Siberian permafrost.

This finding has led experts to believe that the resurrection of frozen humans will be possible in the not-so-far future.

These ancient organisms possess a unique survival strategy called anabiosis, which enables them to enter a dormant state when environmental conditions become unfavourable.

The groundbreaking discovery was made in 2018 when scientists stumbled upon these ancient roundworms in a frozen squirrel burrow. To revive them, the researchers simply submerged the frozen nematodes in water, effectively awakening them from their prolonged state of dormancy.

While this remarkable achievement raises questions about the potential for reviving humans from a state of cryopreservation, experts caution against overly optimistic expectations.

Valeriya Udalova, CEO of the Russian cryogenics company KrioRus, emphasised key differences between the cryopreservation of humans and the natural anabiosis of animals.

According to Udalova, humans lack the biological mechanisms for entering anabiosis, unlike certain animals like roundworms, frogs and Siberian anglerfish. Cryonics procedures for humans typically involve draining the body of blood and replacing it with cryoprotectant solutions to safeguard cells and tissues. This process must ideally begin shortly after legal death is declared, and bodies are frozen to extremely low temperatures.

While achieving human resurrection from cryopreservation remains a distant goal, Udalova and others believe that significant advancements in medicine and tissue engineering may make it a reality within the next 50 to 70 years.

Although the road to human resurrection from cryopreservation remains challenging, some see it as a potential alternative to traditional death, offering hope for patients with terminal illnesses who might opt for cryostasis until cures become available, a development that carries profound philosophical, ethical and medical implications.

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