Cryogenics- A Good Investment?

To Freeze or Not to Freeze?

The central premise of cryonics is that memory, personality, and identity are stored in cellular structures and chemistry, principally in the brain. While this view is widely accepted in medicine, and brain activity is known to stop and later resume under certain conditions, it is not generally accepted that current methods preserve the brain well enough to permit revival in the future. Cryonics advocates point to studies showing that high concentrations of cryo-protectant circulated through the brain before cooling can prevent structural damage from ice, preserving the fine cell structures of the brain in which memory and identity presumably reside.

To its detractors, the justification for the actual practice of cryonics is unclear, given present limitations of preservation technology. Currently cells, tissues, blood vessels, and some small animal organs can be reversibly cryo-preserved. Some very small animals, such as water bears, can naturally survive preservation at cryogenic temperatures. Wood frogs can survive for a few months in a partially frozen state a few degrees below freezing, but this is not true cryo-preservation. Cryonics advocates counter that demonstrably reversible preservation is not necessary to achieve the present-day goal of cryonics, which is preservation of basic brain information that encodes memory and personal identity. Preservation of this information is said to be sufficient to prevent information-theoretic death until future repairs might be possible. Does it Work? The jury is still out on that maybe no maybe yes but who knows what the future holds. I suppose if I had the means I might try it for a hundred years or so then if the technolgy has not advanced I would leave orders to proceed with burial. Obviously it’s a long shot but an interesting final investment nonetheless.


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