suspended animation

Dr. Mark Roth’s team at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has figured out how to freeze and re-animate worms and yeasts. The trick is that they must be oxygen deprived before freezing. Knowing that there’s been a few well known cases of humans being frozen and revived, they’re hoping they can extend this technique to humans.

The idea here is not so much to place people into deep freeze in order to endure lengthy interstellar voyages, a staple idea in science fiction but unlikely in the near future (humanity is struggling even to assemble a Mars mission right now).

Rather, Roth and his colleagues think that their work might lead to techniques that would let paramedics or doctors “buy time” for severely injured or ill patients by putting them into suspended states like those achieved by Nordby and Uchikoshi. Then, once the underlying problem had been fixed, they could be reanimated.

The Register: Suspended-animation cold sleep achieved in lab

See also: Roth’s TED talk on suspended animation