For The First Time Ever, A Woman in China Was Cryogenically Frozen – Futurism

Preserving Life Through Cryonics

Cryonics is the practice of deep-freezing recently deceased bodies(or even just the brains of those who have recently died)in the hopes of one day reviving them. It has been the subject of serious scientific exploration and study as well as a fair share of pseudoscience, lore, and myth. Fictional accounts like Batmans Iceman, and the (untrue) rumors of Walt Disney being cryogenically frozen have, unfortunately, cast a speculative shadow over the field of cryonics.

But recently, for the first time ever in China, a woman has been cryogenically frozen. Zhan Wenlian died at the age of 49 from lung cancer and her husband, Gui Junmin, volunteered her for the cryonic procedure. Bothhe and his late wife wanted to donate her body to science to give back to society. He told Mirror UKthat hewas initially pitched the idea of cryonics with it being described as a life preservation project.

This procedure which has Wenlians body restingfacedownin 2,000 liters of liquid nitrogen was completed at theYinfeng Biological Group in Jinan. This project is the collaborative effortof the Yinfeng Biological Group, Qilu Hospital Shandong University and consultants from Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a nonprofit cryonics company based in the United States.

Even with all the faith many have in the procedure, the question remains: how scientifically possible is a project like this? Is this just an experiment to allow us to better understand human biology, orcould cryonics one day become a feasible option?

Cryonics is all about timing.The bodies of the deceased arecryogenically frozenimmediately after the heartstops beating. Freezing is a bit of a misleading term, because cryonic freezing is actually very specifically trying toavoidice crystal formation which damages the cells of the bodys tissues. Rapid cooling, rather than freezing, is a more accuratedescription of the process. A chemical cocktail of preservatives likeglycerol andpropandiol, in addition to antifreeze agents, are commonly used to get the body into a stable state where it wont be decaying, but also wont suffer damage from being stored at low temperatures for, conceivably, a very long time.

From there, the bodiesare given specific care that caters to the idea that death is a continuing process; one that can ultimately be reversed. The aim of cryonic preservation would be to one day be able to thaw the bodies and reanimate them at a cellular level preferably without too many epigenetic changes.

I tend to believe in new and emerging technologies, so I think it will be completely possible to revive her.

With ourcurrent understanding and technology, this process of reversingdeath so completely is just not possible. The closest kind of revival we have are themoments after clinical death where patients are revived by something such as cardiac defibrillation. Cryonics acts within this critical, albeit brief, period as well but works within the belief that death is a grey area. More of a processrather than a definite, final, event.

Just because we havent succeeded in reviving the dead yetdoesnt mean the field of cryonics isunnecessary or unimportant.This first case inChina is a major step forward for everyone researching inthe field of cryonics and those of us who may, one day, hope to benefit from advancements in it.

We may not be able to reverse death just yet,but it doesnt seem outof the realm of possibility to imagine that, with such wild scientific advancements underway, technology could one day allow it to be possible. Whether or not it does in our lifetimes, this most recent development is certainly a positive one.

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For The First Time Ever, A Woman in China Was Cryogenically Frozen – Futurism

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