• Question: Can we chrogenically freeze some one then bring them back again ?

    Asked by hepworthandsimmons to Ben, Ezzy, Sam on 22 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Ben Smart

      Ben Smart answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      At the moment no. Well you can do it, but the person wont be very healthy (probably dead) when you thaw them
      The problem is that we can’t freeze people fast enough. As water (such as the water in your body) freezes it forms ice crystals. Big sharp pointy ice crystals. These crystals become so big that they puncture and burst cells in the person’s body. The cells are then damaged beyond repair and the person is doomed.
      The faster you freeze water though the smaller the ice crystals are. So if you can freeze a person fast enough then the ice crystals wont grow big enough to damage and destroy the cells.

      There are other ideas for how to cryogenically freeze things, such as freezing things slowly but in a very controlled way. This is how embryos are frozen in IVF treatment. However no one has worked out how to make this process work on a whole person yet.

    • Photo: Sam Vinko

      Sam Vinko answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      No, I’m afraid not (yet).
      We can do the freezing part to some degree and there are places around the world where you can get yourself frozen (after death) with the hope that some day modern medicine advances far enough to bring you back, and cured of any potential illness you might have had at death.

    • Photo: Elizabeth Pearson

      Elizabeth Pearson answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      We can cryogenically freeze people, in fact there are huge storage facilities wehre they do just that! The problem is that it its done too fast then ice crystals form in the cells and burst them. If you’ve ever frozen soemthing like a cucumber by accident and then let it thaw you’ll no what happens. You end up with a big gooey mess that’s no use to anyone.