Cryogenics Is It Worth Waiting For Essay

Cryogenics: Is It Worth Waiting For Essay, Research Paper Cryogenics: Is It Worth Waiting For Imagine being frozen in time to escape a deadly illness, then getting

Cryogenics: Is It Worth Waiting For Essay, Research Paper

Cryogenics: Is It Worth Waiting For

Imagine being frozen in time to escape a deadly illness, then getting

warmed when a cure is found. There is question on whether cryogenic methods

should be used. To fully understand cryogenics a knowledge of cold, background

information on some branches of cryogenics, some problems with cryopresevation,

and different peoples views towards cryogenics is needed.

“Cold is usually considered hostile to mankind. Most people hate cold and

with reasons.” If not careful, cold can be deadly to animal and human life, but

it can also help cure, because cold bodies perform functions slower (Kavaler 16-

17). Measurement of temperature is extremely important in cryogenics and the

temperatures must be exact. The standard for scientific temperature measurement

is the Kelvin scale. On the Kelvin scale absolute zero has a value of zero

degrees on the thermometer. In theory no substance can be lowered to or below

zero degrees Kelvin or absolute zero. Temperatures in cryobiology range from

zero degrees Celsius–water freezes–to just above negative two hundred and

seventy three point sixteen degrees Celsius–absolute zero. The word

“Cryogenics” comes from the Greek word ?kryos? meaning cold (?Cryogenics?

Raintree 127, Kavaler 16). The science of cryobiology was first recognized in

the early nineteen sixties. Cryobiology is the study of the effects of

extremely low temperatures on living animals and plants. The chief concern in

cryobiology is to preserve living matter for future use. This method can also

be called cryopreservation. Cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold in treatment.

The first trials of cryotherapy proved with great results (?Cryobiology?

Comptons 1, McGrady 97).

Frozen cells can be kept alive for very long periods of time in a state

of ?suspended animation.? Almost immediately after rapid thawing, the frozen

cells regain normal activity. Cooling of the body causes a loss of feeling,

therefore it can be used as anesthesia in surgery. Since certain drugs don?t

affect healthy cells at low temperatures, the drugs can be safely used against

cancerous tumors in the body. Cryogenics also helps in the preservation and

storage of human tissues. Tissues such as eye corneas, skin, and blood that

were rapidly frozen can be stored in ?banks? for later use. Then skin can be

grafted to burn victims and eye corneas can replace damaged ones. Thanks to

Cryobiology blood can be frozen and stored for indefinitely for many years as

opposed to only three weeks as it was before cryogenic technology was used.

Surgeons can use a cryoscapel, freezing tips, to deaden or destroy tissue with

great accuracy and little bloodshed (?Cryogenics? Academic 350, ?Cryobiology?

World Book 929). Scientists use a liquid gas called liquid nitrogen to freeze

and store cells. Some could problems also occur in cryogenics. If cells are

not frozen fast enough they will explode and die. Many biological reactions may

take place in temperatures as low as negative nine degrees Celsius. And, ice

crystals, which form as temperatures as low as negative one hundred and thirty

degrees Celsius, will destroy the frozen cells (Allen 38, ?Cryobiology? Gale


Following are the views of two people involved with cryogenics. Mr.

Young, a biology teacher with a working knowledge of cryogenics, thinks

cryobiology should be used to preserve endangered species. He doesn?t see the

technology for freezing a whole body but maybe body organs in the near future.

Mr. Young believes the money that would be needed to improve the technology

could be better spent, which is a controversy in itself. If given a chance Mr.

Young would enter his body into cryopreservation for the benefit science (Young

interview). Whereas, an America On-Line–AOL–user with an interest in

cryogenics feels when cryopreservation becomes a reality for an entire body, if

people are willing and have the money, they should enter their bodies into

cryopreservation. He thinks the shock of waking up in a new age of time could

be dangerous to ones mental health (AOL interview).

Cryogenics is important because it could save and improve life

in many ways. Cryopreservation, a branch of cryobiology, has the main purpose

of preserving living matter, plant or animal, for future use. Cryogenics could

save the planet from extinction of endangered species. Scientist could save the

gametes, the sperm and the eggs, of endangered that can be fertilized and raised

when the environment is able to handle them. Cryopreservation should be used on

humans who want to use it. Many people are willing to take the risk of being

suspended or maybe even lost in time for a chance to live life again.

Works Cited

Allen, Richard J. Cryogenics. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippencott Company,1964. AOL

user. Internet interview. 6 January 1997. Coxeter, Ruth. ?The Deep Freeze for

Irregular Heartbeats.? Business Week 19

September 1994: 90. “Cryobiology.” Compton?s New Media Forum. 1995 ed.

“Cryobiology.” The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. 1996 ed. “Cryobiology.” The

New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. 1993 ed. “Cryobiology.” The World Book

Encyclopedia. 1967 ed. “Cryogenics.” Academic American Encyclopedia. 1991 ed.

“Cryogenics.” The Raintree Illustrated Science Encyclopedia. 1979 ed. Kavaler,

Lucy. Freezing Point. New York: The John Day Company, 1970. McGrady, Patrick.

Science Year The World Book Science Annual. Chicago: Field

Enterprises Educational Company, 1969. “New Tools of the Trade,”

Current Health 2 January 1992: 9.

Young, Glen. Personal