What Is Cryonics And How Does It Work?

  • Cryonics is the practice of preserving human bodies in extremely cold temperatures with the hope of reviving them sometime in the future.
  • The idea is that, if some­one has "died" from a disease that is incurable today, he or she can be "frozen" and then revived in the future when a cure has been discovered.
  • A person preserved this way is said to be in cryonic suspension.
  • It works on the basis that a really low temperature puts their body into a sort of suspended animation, slowing down their metabolism and brain function to the point where they needed almost no oxygen.
  • It is illegal to perform cryonic suspension on someone who is still alive.
  • People who undergo this procedure must first be pronounced legally dead - that is, their heart must have stopped beating.
  • According to scientists who perform cryonics, 'legally dead' is not the same as 'totally dead.' Total death, they say, is the point at which all brain function ceases.
  • Legal death occurs when the heart has stopped beating, but some cellular brain function remains. Cryonics preserves the little cell function that remains so that, the person can be resuscitated in the future.
  • More than one hundred people have been cryopreserved since the first case in 1967.

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