The first question we face in designing a cryopreservation revival scenario is whether to warm the patient to provide a liquid environment before beginning, or to initiate repairs at low temperature (77 K for patients in LN2, or perhaps ~140 K for patients in the future who elect Intermediate Temperature Storage (ITS)).
The obvious disadvantage of warming before initiating repairs is that further deterioration will take place, which might result in the loss of personality-relevant information (e.g., warming might cause deterioration of synaptic or neurological structures). We know that current methods of cryopreservation cause fractures.
While these fractures, like fractures in glass, are expected to produce minimal information loss, they would nevertheless create problems with structural integrity that, upon warming, could lead to further deterioration. Without some form of stabilization, warming fractures would be like slicing the tissue with incredibly sharp knives — on its face not something that we wish to do.
Other forms of damage that had occurred either prior to cooling or during the cooling process might, upon warming, also cause continued deterioration of the tissue. As a consequence, initiating the repair process at low temperature is the more conservative approach.
The Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona charges around $200,000 for a person's body to be frozen after they die.
The industry is being fueled by the hope that as medical science advances, it may be possible to bring the dead back to life.
Among those whose remains are frozen in the liquid nitrogen containment tanks of Alcor's facility is the legendary Boston Red Sox baseball player Ted Williams.
His family spent $100,000 to have the baseball legend’s remains sent to a cryonics lab in Arizona.
Nematodes were taught to react to the smell of benzaldehyde before being frozen for 30 minutes and then their memories of the smell were tested
Some scientists have expressed concern that the cryogenic process can damage the delicate neural structures in the brain, wiping memories
It is a technology that has remained firmly in the realms of science fiction, but new research has provided hope for those hoping to be revived after being cryogenically frozen.
Developed in the early 2000s, optogenetics—the combined use of genetic and optical (light) methods to control genes and neurons—is among the most rapidly advancing technologies in neuroscience and has the potential to revolutionize how scientists study the brain. With precisely timed pulses of light aimed at targeted tissue regions or cells, optogenetics allows researchers to trigger or block events in specific cells of living animals. In a mouse with a paw made hypersensitive to touch, for instance, the pain response can be eliminated by shining yellow light on the affected paw, cells in which have been targeted to express a type of light-sensitive microbial protein known as opsin.