Eerie lab turns bodies into ‘glassy solids’ to bring them back to life in future

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When Freddie Mercury asked 'Who wants to live forever?", it's unlikely the answer he had in mind was Americans willing to spend thousands hoping to pause the natural order of life.

A lab in America has frozen 200 bodies, including the brain of a three-year-old girl in stasis in the hope that they can be brought back to life in the future.

The Alcor Life Extension Foundation states that they use 'cryonics ' to pause 'the dying process using subfreezing temperatures with the intent of restoring good health with medical technology in the future.'

On the firm's website, they argue that "life can be stopped and restarted if its basic structures can be preserved."

What this actually entails though makes for squeamish reading.

The lab says that through vitrification they can change the substance of a body into a glassy solid that can be stored.

They state it is now possible to physically vitrify organs as large as the human brain, achieving excellent structural preservation without freezing.

In Alcor's Arizona lab, scientists look after hundreds of bodies and brains in the hope they can be brought back.

They are stored in giant tanks of liquid nitrogen at the cozy temperature of -196C and their blood is replaced by a cryoprotectant solution that keeps the insides of the bodies freezing.

Among the frozen is the body of three-year-old Matheryn Naovaratpong, who became the youngest person to be ever frozen after she died of cancer.

The rates are steep though.

If you wanted to have your whole body frozen it would set you back $200,000 but you can also just have your head and brain frozen for $80,000.

Should you wish to pay for the process, there are a number of factors that need to be considered for a successful operation.

The website lays out the ideal specifics for a freezing, which basically equates to you being acutely conscious of your own demise before it happens and spending your last hours surrounded by scientists.

It states: "The quality of cryopreservation depends on how soon the procedure can begin.

"Preferably, a cryonics standby team is waiting near a dying person up to a week in advance, so they may begin almost immediately after cardiac arrest.

"While the patient is legally dead at this point, they are still early in the dying process, with cells and organs still viable.

"Blood circulation and breathing are artificially restored temporarily, to protect the brain, and so protective medications can be administered intravenously.

"The patient is then cooled in an ice-water bath, and their blood is replaced with an organ preservation solution."

After that, it's a case of being loaded up into the tanks and waking up in 100 years, presumably.

Interestingly, the president of Alcor, Max More has previously indicated that he is also signed up to be frozen, although only as far as his brain.

He told the New York Times: "I have always been signed up for a neuro myself

"I don’t really understand why people want to take their broken-down old body with them. In the future, it’ll probably be easier to start from scratch and just regenerate the body anyway."

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