Scientists Make Progress Toward Suspended Animation


(YouTube Link)


Medical researchers in Seattle knew that, on very rare occasions, people had been frozen so long that their hearts stopped. But when warmed up, they revived. The researchers hypothesized that oxygen deprivation immediately before freezing may have made this resuscitation possible:

Roth and his colleagues wondered how it is that some people can enter a state of frozen suspended animation and then recover from it safely, whereas in general such a change of body temperature is deadly.

The scientists now think they may be on the track of an answer, having learned how to perform the same trick reliably with other lifeforms; in this case yeasts and nematode worms.

Yeasts and worms, like humans, will normally simply die if they are chilled down past a certain point. But Roth and his colleagues have found that if the little creatures are starved of oxygen before turning on the cold, they will go into suspended animation from which they recover on warming and go on to live normal yeasty or wormy lives.


The video above is a time-lapse recording of a roundworm successfully frozen and then reanimated.

Link via Nerd Bastards

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