Cryogenics and Happy Mistakes

There are, believe it not, some very interesting spin-offs from the morbid subject of Cryonics: It’s not all just a dead end.

There have already been some very successful test cases of deep-freezing bodily components, like blood vessel valves, for instance and then bringing them back to operational use. This research has been extended to look at the very real prospect of preserving organs for much longer periods, providing solutions to crises later down the road, by providing a very real source of much needed organ replacements. An organ bank, if you like, where the sell by dates are not so prohibitive.

Not only this, NASA has gone into the think tank over cryosleep… a way of putting space travellers into a biological sleep using a drop in temperature to preserve them for long enough to get them really significant distances into space: The sort of timespan which would normally lead to someone being decrepit or dead by the end of it.

Interesting stuff.

This cryosleep is also being examined as a way to remove someone from trauma, say a soldier severely injured in war, put into some sort of sleep to allow injuries time to heal, the body stabilise and so the trauma easier to deal with for the person concerned.

And all of this work is actually serving to bring the science of cryonics out of the ‘Crackpot’ bucket and into the mainstream.

The central gamble here is not that it works.. no one is standing up to announce that it does. No, it’s more an optimistic pronouncement. A faith in humanity and in science, that even though it may not work right now, the progress has been such that at some point in the future, the vitrification process will indeed become reversible. Not only that, but so will the possibility of growing a whole new body back, under a cryonically preserved head, as a Salamander regrows a missing limb. If one is able to get one’s own head around the immediate ‘eww’ factor, then one can see how this might be appealing to some not content to have their life only to let it pass without a fight.

I think, whatever my or anyone else’s opinion might be of Cryonic preservation, as with any deep research and development, like the Space Race, or Formula One, the side benefits of that exploration could actually prove really bountiful in improving the quality of life and even in saving lives.

After all, how many useful by-products, how many extraordinary scientific discoveries were made by happy mistake, whilst engaged in the pursuit of something else?

What is Cryonics? #Lazarus10


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