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What is Cryosleep? Is Cryosleep Possible?

If you're a fan of sci-fi films You may have been aware of cryosleep. In fact, if you've not had the pleasure...

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This article writter by MN Editors on April 06, 2022

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What is Cryosleep? Is Cryosleep Possible?
What is Cryosleep? Is Cryosleep Possible?

If you’re a fan of sci-fi films You may have been aware of cryosleep. In fact, if you’ve not had the pleasure of living beneath a stone, then that last year’s blockbuster “Interstellar” has it in a prominent part. It turns out that it’s no longer just the stuff of fiction any more. Near the end of this season, NASA along with Atlanta’s SpaceWorks Enterprises, unveiled plans to drastically alter the way we approach space travel by making use of cryosleep.

While technically possible, a mission to Mars remains a dream due to the expense and the immense weight of human burden. Humans as well as the various other elements associated with us are a major factor that has a direct effect on the mission’s mass and the quantity of launches needed for the mission as well as the difficulty. The Dr. Bobby Braun, former NASA chief technology officer, explained, “Anytime you introduce humans in a spacecraft, it’s an order magnitude or two more difficult.”

Scientists believe they can solve the issue through by using the technique of torpor or short-term hibernation. It is discovered to be a natural phenomenon within a range of mammal species. In the process of creating a torpor stasis environment in which the spaceship crew “hibernates” throughout their journey, a space mission to Mars can be made more possible. Researchers based their method on the application of induced hypothermia in medical scenarios. In actuality, medically induced hypothermia is used to treat a range of ailments including neonatal encephalopathy, the spinal cord or brain after a trauma injury. It decreases a body temperature in order to reduce the chance of tissue injury due to ischemic trauma following a period of inadequate blood flow.

Hypothermia that is medically-inducible has been used in critically ill patient treatment. Until now.

The brief history of cryonics

That’s the essence of cryonics. The word “cryonics” is also taken from the Greek word for “cold” which is the preservation of low-temperature of a human body, in the hope that eventually it will be restored to full health and life. Bodies are then cooled to 200 degrees Celsius and then placed in a container filled with liquid nitrogen.

Michigan professor Robert Ettinger proposed cryonics in 1964 in a book titled The Chance of Immortality and suggested that death could in fact actually, be a irreversible process. The first person who was frozen is the Dr. James Bedford in 1967. He passed away from kidney cancer, however his wish was to be put in a cryo-chamber in hoping that one day in the future doctors are able to restore him. Ettinger who passed away in 2011 was later able to establish his own Cryonics Institute in Michigan where the family of his mother, as well as his second and first wives live in metal flasks that are kept at -196 degrees C.

Although the concept has not been widely accepted, six companies were created in the 1970s to make use of the technology. But they were unable to pay for the fixed costs of keeping the bodies in good condition which led to them going bankrupt and the number of individuals who sign to sign up is ever increasing year by year. There are currently more than 300 cryogenically frozen people in the US and further 50 in Russia as well as a couple of thousand hopefuls registered. There are over 30 animals at Alcor’s chambers. This is the largest cryonics company in this world in Arizona and was established in 1972.

A tiny issue. We’re not certain if we are able to wake them up, regardless of how the convincing cryogenics firms have claimed contrary.

Definition

Cryonics refers to the preservation of low temperature of a human corpse with the hope that someday it will be restored to health and fully restored. The bodies are chilled to 200 Celsius and then put in a container filled with liquid nitrogen.

If we can make it work, it would be a game changer, from rescuing sick patients in terminal condition, to resolving one of the major issues of interstellar travel. There are numerous efforts to bring it to a possibility.how does cryosleep work? – The concept of Cryosleep

Let us now consider if it is a real phenomenon at all? We are aware of the many methods to sustain life but how to maintain it for a long time is the issue?

Cryosleep is a procedure in where a person is placed into a condition of suspended motion by a drug, a chamber or something extremely cold. It is a popular sci-fi ploy. It can be described as a method to evade death, in which a body’s form could be suspended in 200 degrees Celsius and possibly preserved in the liquid nitrogen. But is there a possibility to awaken from the slumber?

In the Silver Screen we’ve seen many actors rise from their sleep whenever their names were announced or a button is placed on their large casket-like machines. But how do you know if it is this in the real world?

Would he be as alive as before?

Will he be able to move and walk, talk, and think like he did before?

It could be a time of hibernation, but only for a period of time. If we think about the person’s life on a social scale it is likely that in the lone travels that his family, friends and family members might not have been with them, so they would have gotten old and died in the Earth while the time ticks by, while they would not have lived a one day! This could result in a social effect on a individual’s mental health. But, keeping the body healthy appears to be fascinating in it’s own.

To live the body’s vital organs need to be maintained in proper order and to be checked every minute. We can find massive equipment and leads linked to the human body’s hibernating form that could induce sleep and also monitor the sleeper’s condition and even jolt the man awake.

Past and present scenario

Preservation of living forms preserved in frozen ice is the main goal of numerous researchers in the last decade. There are numerous instances of human and animal bodies that have been found in the ice that have been frozen, but preserved and not damaged by extreme temperatures. This makes the idea of a cryosleep sound feasible.

The first person who was frozen by the Dr. James Bedford in 1967. He passed away from kidney cancer, however his intention was to be placed into a cryo-chamber in hope that someday in the future doctors would be capable of bringing him back.

Robert Ettinger, a science fiction writer and physics teacher who’s idea of freezing dead people in the future for reanimation was a snub to many scientists, died in 2011, and then founded the Cryonics Institute in Michigan where his mother, he as well as his first and second wives now live in metal flasks that are kept at -196 degrees. Death is a sound that seems irreversible, but it can be debated.

Thanks to the advancement of science and technology the life expectancy of people has increased by a significant amount as well as the time is near where major diseases will be treated in one glance. There have been many incidents of near-death experiences in which a person was revived , despite losing vital indicators of life for a few hours. What if this experience could be extended a bit more by the use of technology? While the concept hasn’t been widely accepted, about six companies were created in the 1970s that utilized the technology. But they were unable to afford the fixed cost of preserving their bodies and consequently, they went bankrupt. there is a steady increase in people opting to join is growing year after year.

There are more than 300 people who have been frozen cryogenically in the US There are further 50 in Russia as well as a handful of thousand potential candidates have signed to apply. There are over 30 pets in Alcor’s chambers. This is the largest cryonics company in all of the globe in Arizona and was established in 1972.Current Ventures

There are many efforts to realize this idea. Space Works Enterprise works in cooperation with NASA to construct a stasis chamber to transform this idea into real life. If mild hyperthermia is produced, we can call it suspended animation however, it is more of a prolonged and intense sleep. The Institute believes that if this is true that we will be able to achieve space travel with ease without worrying about losing the ability to achieve it. This will improve the durability and efficiency of the relocation into Mars in coming years.

Current Ventures

There are many attempts to give shape to this dream. Space Works Enterprise works in collaboration with NASA to build a stasis chamber, to bring this concept into reality. When the mild hyperthermia is induced, we may call it suspended animation, but it is more like a long and deep sleep. The institute believes, if this holds true, we would be able to accomplish space travel easily, without the fear of losing the intelligence to do it. This will increase the sustainability and success rate of relocation to Mars in the near future.

Traveling in cryosleep to Mars?

The same problem exists with cryosleep, which is the most well-known method of travel used in sci-fi film and novels where characters have to travel to distant planets via light years. If we could achieve it then it could be a game-changer , from helping terminally ill people as well as solving one of the biggest issues of interstellar travel.

There are numerous attempts to bring it to a realisation. A Atlanta startup called Space Works Enterprises works with NASA to create a Stasis Chamber. The device lowers the temp of your body down to about 32 Celsius and induces mild hypothermia. If you have several hours, a room like that could prove to be a huge leap forward in the field of space exploration. However, it’s not suspended motion It’s actually a deep sleep that is called torpor which significantly decreases metabolic rates of humans for prolonged lengths of time. Space Works believes that NASA should take advantage of these developments to spaceflight, as they could possibly eliminate some extremely difficult technical hurdlesand allow viable and long-lasting space missions that reach Mars.

However, the medical Futurist is not sure if a type of deep sleep is sufficient to travel through time. We believe we’ll have to find something more effective and, for that, we’ll need to do more studies into cryogenics.

These Are Its Benefits

The benefits of this situation? A substantial reduction in consumables because of the absence of a crew member, a dramatically lower pressurized quantity required for living spaces as well as the capability to remove things such as a food galley and entertainment equipment, exercise equipment etc. In fact, SpaceWorks says the mass of a spacecraft carrying a team in torpor will be 19.8 tons, or less than half of the weight of the habitat reference.

This sounds appealing to say the least for those of us who are on the ground. However, a lot of research is required and there are many more questions to be addressed but the basis to transform the ideas of science fiction a real-world possibility is already in place.

Drawbacks and Limitations – Is Cryosleep Biologically Possible?

When we get into biology the body is composed of 50 to 75 percent water, which implies that our cells contain a high water content. If we freeze the tissue, we are more likely to see the water becoming frozen crystals. The freezing of water in this manner permits it to expand and damage cells. Like automobiles in the winter months, our bodies will require antifreeze liquid in order to stay unharmed.

Scientists are working on replacing the body fluids and blood with antifreeze liquids that can aid in the process. The tissues will be frozen instead of developing ice crystals the tissue will begin to clump together into a one-piece mass that is similar to glass. This is a process known as vitrification. Since the cells will be protected from rupture and bursting, it could preserve the shape for a longer period. But, can the liver, heart, and brain, or the brain survive? Is it possible to store it without losing crucial functions? The answer to this question could be in robotics.

Wake me up when cryosleep ends

The problem with cryogenics as well as cryosleep is pure science: our cells are stuffed with water. When you freeze water then it expands and creates crystals that cause irreparable damage to the body. In the Cryonics Institute is trying to resolve this issue by removing of blood, and then replacing it with antifreeze liquid to prevent the formation of harmful ice crystals in our bodies. At Alcor they employ a procedure known as vitrification. The process replaces for the liquid in the cells by adding an agent that prevents freezing. When the tissues are cool to cryogenic temperatures and instead of crystallizing into an ice-like state, the compounds form a clump and then become solid, molecularly identical to glass. This new form of glass stops the cells from bursting as well as, theoretically, keep them in an indefinite state of.

However, the latest advances in medical science haven’t proved yet that complex systems such like the circulatory system of humans or that of the brain are able to be “stored” using the aid of anti-freeze substances without causing harm. Clive Coen, a professor of neuroscience at King’s College London says that on one hand, the hugely dense brain tissues are not able to be handled by anti-freeze. On the otherhand, by the when the cryonics group is on the side of a patient who has just passed to death, certain neurons have already died irreparably.

Whatever what the outcome, there are some who remain optimistic. For instance, Anders Sandberg, of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, stated to The Guardian that he will be willing to pay for his head be frozen in hopes that brain’s contents will become “downloaded” in a robot in the near future. He estimates that an ice-freezing, freezing, and the process of reanimation “maybe a 5% chance” of success.

Want to be fit and well? Jump into a cryochamber!

It’s easy to understand why people don’t stand in massive queues in the face of cryonics companies to preserve their bodies after the time of death. However the concept of cryotherapy and the idea to use “freezing frigid temperatures” to boost your health have been getting more and more popular in the past few years, especially after athletes and celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Aniston and LeBron James, have adopted the method.

The idea itself is not new, but the technology. Hydrotherapy, or cold water, is an old practice. Hippocrates advised taking a bath in the spring to “allay laxity’. Later, the ancient Egyptians transformed it into an art form using flower essences and essential oils. If you’ve ever placed a block of ice on the injured muscle, you’ve probably have used it and are aware of its benefits. What’s different here is that cryotherapy does not use ice or water or even very low temperature. In the case of total body cryotherapy, such as that offered by Cryozone for instance it is where patients are seated or put into a cryotherapy booth for about 3-5 minutes. The procedure is used to alleviate muscles pain, sprains and swelling that result from injury to the soft tissue or surgery.

It is important to note it is important to note that in spite of the widespread popularity it hasn’t been proven convincing regarding its long-term benefits as of yet. There is a growing number of claims about benefits and the growing demand for it has led the FDA to advise consumers that “If you choose to test cryotherapy for your entire body, be aware that the FDA hasn’t authorized or cleared one of the devices for the treatment of specific medical conditions.”

However, cryotherapy, cryosleep and cryogenics will be around for a long time. Maybe the demand for cryotherapy is going to fade when “the the next thing” arrives, or maybe we’ll never know if cryopreservation actually works and if cryosleep can continue to develop as one of the most promising techniques for interstellar travel.

Storing and restoring ‘oneself’

As if on a paralell timeline researchers are exploring the idea of robots and computers gaining emotions and the capacity to think. We have succeeded in transferring the thinking process of insects and animals into artificial machines. What if the brain and the being the individual’s being be “downloaded” in the same manner.

Can this information be saved together with the living form to be used in a future awakening?

Cryotherapy – the basis of cryosleep

Cold temperatures and cold water, as well as Ice packs are known to provide medicinal advantages. Cryotherapy has been introduced in institutions, but the procedure is not FDA certified for the whole body. It is utilized in treating lesions of the tissue and is it is also used in a component of surgical treatments which is known as cryosurgery, or cryoablation.

What will cryosleep be used for?

As stated, the main goal of current research on cryogenic sleep is in the aerospace industry. As space travel expands the requirement to send astronauts farther afield is increasing. This poses the issue of sending astronauts on trips which the human body cannot handle. Other applications of cryogenic sleeping involve placing body parts in the state of slumber until doctors discover a solution to their diseases.

Beyond its practical applications Cryogenic sleep is long considered to be the best answer to time travel. But only in the future; unfortunately, a trip back to the 20s’s roaring times is not possible.

Through cryogenics, the human body can be lulled into a extremely deep sleep, where the process of aging is slow. As more sophisticated technology gets and the more durable the body can be expected to stay in the same state. If the process could last up to say 200 years, it could be thought of as a kind that is a form of time-travel! And don’t believe you’ll be hungry when you wake up! To ensure that the body gets the correct nutrients and expels toxic substances, the body that is frozen will be connected via an intravenous drip as well as a catheter.

Cryogenics in the aeronautic industry

In a constant rise in demand the cryogenic freezing process is rapidly becoming a preferred option for a variety of industries. Aeronautical companies including NASA in particular is particularly interested in the application of cryogenics. They are already using cryogenic freezing to create rocket fuels. Liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen are both made by cryogens. The most interesting is the ongoing research to develop cryogenic sleep as the solution to long-distance space travel.

Cryogenics for food and health

However, it’s not just the aeronautics industry that utilizes cryogenics. The health and food industries also use cryogenics. Food industry extremely low temperatures are produced by cryogenic freezing in order to ensure that food remains fresh. This is especially useful for food on cargo vessels that traverse over the Pacific Ocean – often taking up to three months if you consider the heavy demand on the naval infrastructure.

The medical industry is also a frequent use of cryogenics. Since the beginning of the age of ice, it was used to heal injuries. Think of the frozen peas your mother handed you to treat a head injury! It was followed by hypothermia that was medically instigated to aid sufferers of strokes, cardiac arrests or head injuries that are serious.

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Microbiology Notes is an educational niche blog related to microbiology (bacteriology, virology, parasitology, mycology, immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, etc.) and different branches of biology.

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