Hundreds worldwide have had their corpses frozen in a cryogenic chamber
They are preserved after death in the hope they can be revived in the future
An expert has claimed scientists could reanimate one of these corpses within the next ten years
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Human corpses frozen by cryogenics could be brought back to life in the next decade, an expert has claimed.
Around 350 people worldwide have had their corpse preserved at low temperatures immediately after death in the hope it can be revived in the future.
Dennis Kowalski, president of the Michigan-based Cryonics Institute – an organisation fronting the human freezing process – has now claimed scientists could reanimate one of these corpses within the next ten years.
Human corpses frozen by cryogenics could be brought back to life in the next decade, an expert has claimed. Around 350 people worldwide have had their corpse preserved at low temperatures immediately after death in the hope it can be revived in the future (file photo)
Speaking to the Daily Star, Mr Kowalski, 49, said: ‘If you take something like CPR, that would have seemed unbelievable 100 years ago. Now we take that technology for granted.
‘Cryonically bringing someone back to life should definitely be doable in 100 years, but it could be as soon as ten.’
Mr Kowalksi’s Cryonics Institute has almost 2,000 people signed up to be frozen after they die.
The firm already has 160 patients frozen in specialised tanks of liquid nitrogen at its headquarters.
Mr Kowalski said that when the first patients are reanimated depends on the rate at which modern medicine improves.
‘It depends on how much technology like stem-cells advances,’ he said.
Cryonics, also known as cryogenics and cryopreservation, is the art of freezing a dead body or body parts in order to preserve them.
Dennis Kowalski (pictured), president of the US-based Cryonics Institute – an organisation fronting the human freezing process – has now claimed scientists could reanimate one of these corpses within the next ten years
CRYONICS: THE FACTS
WHAT IS CRYONICS?
The deep freezing of a body to -196°C (-321°F).
Anti-freeze compounds are injected into the corpse to stop cells being damaged.
The hope is that medical science will advance enough to bring the patient back to life.
Two main US organisations carry out cryonics in the US: Alcor, in Arizona, and the Cryonics Institute, in Michigan.
Russian firm KrioRus is one of two facilities outside the US to offer the service, alongside Alcor’s European laboratory in Portugal.
HOW IS IT MEANT TO WORK?
The process can only take place once the body has been declared legally dead.
Ideally, it begins within two minutes of the heart stopping and no more than 15.
The body must be packed in ice and injected with chemicals to reduce blood clotting.
At the cryonics facility, it is cooled to just above 0°C and the blood is replaced with a solution to preserve organs.
Cryonpreservation is the deep freezing of a body to – 196°C (-321°F). Anti-freeze compounds are injected into the corpse to stop cells being damaged
The body is injected with another solution to stop ice crystals forming in organs and tissues, then cooled to -130°C.
The final step is to place the body into a container which is lowered into a tank of liquid nitrogen at -196°C.
WHAT’S THE CHANCE OF SUCCESS?
Many experts say there is none.
Organs such as the heart and kidneys have never been successfully frozen and thawed.
It is even less likely a whole body, and the brain, could be without irreversible damage.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Charges at the Cryonics Institute start at around £28,000 ($35,000) to ‘members’ for whole-body cryopreservation.
Rival group Alcor charges £161,000 ($200,000) while KrioRus’ procedure will set you back £29,200 ($37,600).
HOW LONG BEFORE PEOPLE CAN BE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE?
Cryonics organisations claim it could be decades or even centuries.
However, medical experts say once cells are damaged during freezing and turned to ‘mush’ they cannot be converted back to living tissue, any more than you can turn a scrambled egg back into a raw egg.
Advocates see it as a miracle procedure to cheat death, with the hope that they will be revived once medical science has progressed far enough to cure whatever killed them.
Currently, it is only legal to freeze someone when they have just been declared dead.
The freezing process must begin as soon as the patient dies in order to prevent brain damage, with facilities currently available in Russia, the US and Portugal.
In the procedure, the body is cooled in an ice bath to gradually reduce its temperature bit by bit.
Experts then drain the blood and replace it with an anti freeze fluid to stop harmful ice crystals forming in the body.