Blog

Jun 25, 2019

Inside Cryonics: Will These Bodies Come Back From Death?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cryonics, life extension

Until the day he died, in 2011, Robert Ettinger hoped humanity would figure out a way to cheat death. Today, his body is stored in a chamber filled with liquid nitrogen and frozen to −196 °C. He lies in cryopreservation at the Cryonics Institute in Michigan—which he founded—alongside his late mother, his first and second wives, and 150 other deceased.

Ettinger, known as the “father of cryonics,” popularized the idea in his 1962 book The Prospect of Immortality. (Isaac Asimov, the renowned biochemist and science-fiction writer, helped Ettinger publish the book.) Cryonicists believe that technology will sufficiently advance to a point where cells can be rejuvenated and the aging process reversed. In practice, legally deceased patients arrive at a cryonics facility packed in ice. Cryonicists interrupt the dying process by draining the blood from the body and perfusing the corpse with a mixture of anti-freeze and organ-preserving chemicals, known as cryoprotective agents. The body is then transformed into a vitrified state and lowered into a below-freezing chamber filled with liquid nitrogen, where it lies in wait for a future generation to restore it.

“We Will Live Again” was directed by Myles Kane and Josh Koury (http://www.brooklynundergroundfilms.com). It is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.

Leave a reply