Reactions Video: Can You Cryogenically Freeze Your Body And Come Back To Life?

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When you die, many things can be done with your body — embalming, cremation, donation to science and so on. But some people will choose to have their dead bodies, or parts thereof, frozen until technology has advanced enough to bring them back to life. This week on Reactions, an ACS production, they break down the chemistry of cryogenic freezing and whether it’s realistic to think we could ever reanimate a frozen corpse.

Founded in 1876, The American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. Reactions is a video series produced by ACS and PBS Digital Studios.

The video delivered with some deadpan humor discuses:

  • Cryonics, the rapid freezing and storing of a deceased person in liquid nitrogen, a process known as vitrification
  • Cryogenics, using freezing to preserve a living material, such as cells and tissues
  • Traditional cryoprotectants, solutions that prevent ice forming, such as glycerol
  • Reviving cells, first accomplished in 1949 using glycerol and sperm from birds
  • New cryoprotectants
  • Feasibility of cryonics, can those people already frozen ever be revived?
  • Lessons from the worm C. elegans

Credits:

Producer: Elaine Seward

Writer: Samantha Jones, Ph.D.

Scientific Consultants: Leila Duman, Ph.D. Michelle Boucher, Ph.D., Joe Schwarcz, Ph.D., Michael Swain, Ph.D., David H. Gorski, M.D./Ph.D., João Pedro de Magalhaes, Ph.D., David Sherwood, Ph.D.

Executive Producer: George Zaidan

Executive Producer: Hilary Hudson

Music: Sonoton Vanguard – Crawling Speed Sonton Vanguard – Components A AXS – Dark Alley Sonton Vanguard – Let’s Think Big William Tell Overture

Sources

  1. https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/reactions.html
  2. https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/about.html