• Question: Do you think that one day we'll be able to create suspended animation?

    Asked by kyna to Amy, Andy, Georgia, Ollie on 23 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Amy Reeve

      Amy Reeve answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Hi Kyna

      Well i think we might be able to achieve this one day. It would be really useful for space flights to the new planets we might have to live on by then! Some research was done on this very subject a few years ago http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4469793.stm its a really interesting article 🙂 People are obviously researching this, so like most things in science it is probably just a question of time 🙂

    • Photo: Ollie Russell

      Ollie Russell answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Hi Kyna

      Im not sure how long it will take to develop this for a human, but everyday I use cells that have been in suspended animation 🙂 When we arent growing cells in my lab we added a compound to their growth medium called DMSO which stops them getting damaged when we freeze them. I then put them in liquid nitrogen at -196oC…. we have cells in our lab that have been in liquid nitrogen for 20 years and the still grow fine!

    • Photo: Andy MacLeod

      Andy MacLeod answered on 23 Jun 2011:

      I think it might be possible. At some point.

      Hi kyna. People can be frozen now, but I’m not sure about reviving them. Some have a lot more faith than I do: a few hundred people have already undergone cryonic freezing, just after death, in the hope that medical technology will have advanced sufficiently to be able to not only resurrect them, but cure whatever it was that killed them.

      As far as I know, no-one’s been succesfully revived from one of these procedures, so no-one knows for sure what effects the freezing/thawing process will have on the body or the mind. It’s impossible to say whether the person who comes out of the freezer will be the same one that was put there however many years earlier.

      I’d love to see how the future looks. But I’d much rather get there one day at a time. 🙂