Ultra-cold business: experts believe that cryonics is just a funeral service

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Ultra-cold business: experts believe that cryonics is just a funeral service
Ultra-cold business: experts believe that cryonics is just a funeral service
14 September, 16:25Photo: Фото: канал «Наука и техника»
There is no scientific evidence that a body frozen in liquid nitrogen will ever resurrect, and there cannot be.

A few days ago, the Russian media reported quite interesting news: a corporate conflict took place in the cryonics company KrioRus, during which one of the founders of this company, Valeria Pride, tried to kidnap cryopatients stored in liquid nitrogen. As a result, the raiding attempt failed, but, most likely, it called into question the possibility of successful defrosting of the victims, at least in Russia, experts say.

This incident again forced us to evaluate the prospects for cryonics. Currently, there is no evidence that cryonicists will ever achieve the possibility of returning to life people who have frozen themselves (although there are a number of experiments showing that this is theoretically feasible in the future). But so far cryonics is the dying person's only chance to cheat death. Perhaps technology will develop so much that nanomedicine will be able to repair the brain and other organs in a few decades.

Scientist and journalist Alexander Panchin outlined his attitude to this method in his blog:

“Here some media outlets are not very correct in quoting my attitude to cryonics, so I undertake to explain.

1. I consider it very important to research the possibility of freezing and thawing of cells, tissues, organs and whole organisms.

2. To date, the possibility of freezing and subsequent thawing with the preservation of life for mammals, including humans, has not been shown. There are frogs that can survive freezing.

Success was also achieved with small animals such as tardigrades, roundworms. And with some mammalian organs (with a number of reservations). They know how to freeze individual mammalian cells, including embryos. But the whole adult mammals are still a long way off.

3. Cryonics should be treated as a form of funeral services. No one can guarantee that a frozen person will ever be resurrected. Even if technologies appear in the future to resurrect frozen people (which is not a fact), there is no guarantee that modern cryonics companies will live to see this bright future. There are examples of companies that have already failed to deliver on their promises. Although there are examples of people who have been kept frozen for a long time.

4. I have no particular complaints about cryonics as a funeral service, provided that Clauses 2 and 3 are explained to clients. Without this, deception is obtained. The only downside to cryonics is the price, but some people spend even more on all kinds of luxurious coffins and traditional funeral services. If it weren't for the cost issue, then of all forms of burial, I would prefer cryonics, albeit without much hope that it will work. But even more I would prefer not to die..."

Biochemist Andrey Stepanov was much more categorical in his assessment of cryonics:

“Yes, they are swindlers. They appeal to the fact that in the future doctors will be able to treat those incurable diseases from which the client died and that no changes and chemical processes are possible at the temperature of liquid nitrogen. Yes, at -195 degrees, nothing happens, but when freezing and thawing, an irreversible catastrophe occurs in the cells. Even cryopreservation of stem cells (which are very tenacious) can save about 75% on average (results of our own research). In this case, the main losses of viability occur already at the time of freezing, and they are the stronger, the less intercellular fluid. That is, in these corpses, the main (cryo) cell damage has already occurred, including in the brain, the cells of which are well packed very compactly. I can't imagine what kind of jelly will come out there. Imagine if at least 10% of the neurons of the vital centers do not work. No technology will allow this to be resurrected. This is about how to rise from the dust..."

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