Ouch! Brain Freeze
Collaborators: Cryonic Physicians and Laboratorians
Census records reveal that currently humans are capable of living upwards of 106 years. There is a possibility that human beings will be able to live even longer into immortality once the kinks have been ironed out of the cryonic process.
For those of you that are not that familiar with the science of cryonics, it is the practice of freezing the head or body of a deceased patient for resuscitation in the future, once a cure for the disease that caused the person's death has been discovered. Persons undergoing cryonics are usually those desiring an extension of a disease free existence spanning over hundreds or perhaps thousands of years.
- In the future, when we unthaw the frozen sleepers to inject healing vaccines, what will be the impact of these immortals on current global population explosion and the availability of food and water resources?
- In addition, once unfrozen, who is going to train all those reanimated folks on how to operate the IPad and Smartphone or to tweet memories methods of their freezing "out-of-body" moments on Twitter?
I'm just saying, the cryonics field is riddled with numerous "aha" and "ouch" moments.
Not As Popular As One Might Imagine
The cryonic scientific process of preserving humans at low temperatures with the hope of resurrecting them was first founded in 1962. What I find it amazing that with all of the innovations and experimentations occurring in modern society today that the cryonics process has not caught on as a popular health intervention. I read somewhere that worldwide approximately 250 participants have undergone the procedure, which is a relatively small group. Ouch!
You Got Money, Then You Got Faith
There is no current technology available to reverse the cryopreservation process. And since much of the cryonic notions are based on theories and hypotheses, perhaps the low participant numbers are due to two factors; the participant needs a huge bank account and he or she must take a leap of faith.
The key points here are: the initial money outlay for freezing procedures with ongoing rates for the head and body storage can cost a fortune. There has to be some strong faith at work with the participants that future reanimation technology will be invented. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that the future innovators will create the required technology. So embarking on this "cold quest" is truly a faith leap. Ouch!
From Morticians to Microbiologists
Did you know that the early cryonic pioneers were largely physicians who collaborated with morticians? Funeral home operators were sought for this venture due to their skills in replacing the blood of deceased persons with preserving solutions. Over the years, these solutions evolved into cryoprotectant liquids which lead to reduced freezing damage of body tissues, but do not eliminate the problem all together. Ouch!
The 1980s ushered in laboratory trained professionals, such as microbiologist, cytologists and histologists into the cryonics. Their presence adds to the body of knowledge on how to reduce body damage. Trained laboratorians were sought because of their extensive knowledge of cell preservation. As we know from our studies, the deterioration of the biological basis of life (i.e. cells, tissues, organs and limbs) occurs over a period of many hours after the heartbeat stops. Because of the low-temperature effects on biological systems the vast knowledge of lab techs, was needed to research how to prevent damage or conduct molecular repair. Aha!
During the late 1990s new discoveries regarding brain function brought about a new concern regarding the correlations of cryonic freezing with neurological damage. Even today, there is still so much we do not know about the brain and its function. For example, when the frozen patient is reanimated, will the brain dictate the bodily functions as originally intended? Also, will the patient remember who he is with his consciousness, memories, and thought processes in tact as they were in the pre-cryonic state?
To address these and other neurological functions, I suppose much is being theorized about the possibility of creating a hard-drive of sorts to upload memory functions to a computer. I see uploads as a definite prospect. After all, we are in the information technology era. Aha!
Law and Order
Cryonics is an exciting field consisting of laboratory professionals jointly working with a team cryonic scientists (i.e. physicians, neurosurgeons, dietary specialists, etc.). The newest issues confronting the collaborative efforts of discovery is the overwhelmingly desire to experiment on living candidates. In some foreign countries, legal and regulatory agencies have and are currently addressing the cryonics process on living patients. However, within the United States, the law dictates that cryonics can only be legally performed on humans after they have been pronounced legally dead. Attempting to perform these techniques on a person while they are alive would be considered as an assisted suicide or even murder. Ouch!