Cryonics: The Transhumanist Technology to Expand Lifespan

Olivia Ilono


Cryonics is a transhumanist technology that rests on the theory that in the foreseeable future the lethal diseases that triggers most modern fatalities would be curable and that the effects of long-term freezing would be reversed. The 'deceased' are within low-temperature tablets of liquid nitrogen where they'll stay until future technology is able to revive them. Some outstanding discovery has took place that suggests that aldehyde-stabilised cryopreservation (ASC) is the way forward (especially for neuropreservation-conservation of the mind) although it would take some difficulty adapting this technique to individual brains. There are many ethical issues surrounding cryonics such as concerns of harming the surroundings, prohibiting donation of organs, being truly a tool that is resistant to the opinion of God and possible dangers in the technology leading to the participants (awaiting cryopreservation at loss of life) no looking forward to a natural fatality. Though it is unlikely for the technology to be always a success, you may still find hopes.


In the previous few decades, there's been an exponential upsurge in the development and creation of new technology which leaves many optimistic that 1 day in the near future the power of "revival" could be possible. This notion falls under the concept of the transhumanism activity which connects the different branches of the STEM subject matter. The main goal of the transhumanism activity is improving the individual lifestyle and body through incorporating modern and future technologies. One important technology involved with this motion is cryonics.

Cryonics is protecting human body (other wised legitimately useless) at very low conditions. This technology rests o[DS1] the basic principle that in the future that the diseases that triggered these fatalities would be curable and reversing the impacts of freezing would be possible.

Overview of subject

How Will Cryonics Work?

Scientists, that involved in undertaking cryopreservation, declare that although the individual may be pronounced as "legally inactive" because of the heart no more undertaking its main function of pumping blood vessels around the body some of the brains mobile functions last soon after death.

When the 'hopeful' is pronounced as "legitimately dead", an emergency team quickly gets to the deceased to be able to maintain sufficient function whilst being taken to the cryopreservation facility the person must be given enough oxygen and bloodstream which is particularly necessary for the brain. During travel, the chemical substance heparin is injected in to the deceased that is stored in snow which stop the blood from clotting. When the 'decease' reach the cryonics service, the team must remove all water from their skin cells and rebuild the unbalance with a cryoprotectant. After this they are simply then in a position to place the 'deceased' in a vessel filled with liquid nitrogen (at -195C) minus the cells bursting. To be able to preserve the ultrastructure, the organs of the must go through a process of vitrification that involves a placing the body in an portion of dry ice so that the body can be chilled.

Many researchers that carry out cryopreservation believe that nanotechnology can fix the destruction of the mind scheduled to long-term freezing and perhaps remedy their lethal disease that killed them. Many forecast that tries of unfreezing the cryonauts for revival could happen within the next three ages.


As one may expect with a technology that essential "revives the deceased", there are extensive ethical constraints up against the technology. One debate against the progress of cryonic storage space is the fact it prohibits the deceased from donating their organs. Some may feel that they deprive people in hospitals that are on the long waiting list of acquiring these essential organs. Although this is a valid discussion it doesn't address the fact that lots of people that are legally deceased don't donate their organs even without taking the cryopreservation path. Therefore this argument holds no grounds by which people that opt to be stored under cryonic safe-keeping should be scrutinised, as the vast majority of the general public which are capable of donating their organs that would definitely be put to no use after their loss of life choose never to donate their organs. In addition, if cryonics is a success, the "revived" would require these organs for their later life therefore extending the life span and increasing their quality of life which will be the reasons several patients require these organs.

Another point against cryonics is the fact is can cause more injury to the environment than common operations of disposing a useless body. Cryonics takes a great amount of resources (i. e liquid nitrogen) over the near future decades that may not be cheap. However, this rests on the inability of cryonics as if it is prosperous the cryonaut would be revived alternatively than disposed of therefore cryopreservation is very different to these methods.

If cryonics supplies the anticipation of some day being revived back to life in the faraway future, would it not be worth hurting pain in this life span? This conception is notably the most widespread ethical concern as it suggests that premature or helped suicides could be carried out in order to avoid long term experiencing a painful dangerous disease as they could view cryonics as a wish or the near future. Furthermore, as collecting and freezing the brain at the earliest opportunity gives rise to higher possibility of cryopreservation achieving success anticipated to there being less damage to the brain it can be tempting to many with an early and much more organised death to be able to increase likelihood of being revived in the foreseeable future. This is a very dangerous precaution as the idea that cryonics can 'bring again the deceased' is very much indeed conditional and it might be morally wrong to end one's life sooner than anticipated.

Whilst discussing morals, it would be wrong not to dwelling address the elephant in the room. It really is unquestionable to state that if the cryonics technology does turn out to be successful it may make many question what loss of life means. As the cryonauts would have been 'lawfully useless' but came back back again to life, it clashes with the belief that there's a God and heaven. This therefore would make people less recognizing to the concept of God and leaves the question to be asked if it is possible to live on permanently through the repeated use of the process. However, it might not exactly actually question spiritual belief as who's s to know if the heart of the deceased will returning as the 'recently revived' may retain the memories of cryonaut but another type of soul. It could also leave many to think about where the spirits of the deceased would have been whilst under safe-keeping which would make human being kind a step deeper into answering one of the 4 important questions of life- 'What happens when I pass away?'.

The Future of Cryonics

Scientists of the 21st century medicine have been able to recover a rabbit's brain that was located under cryopreservation with reduced damage to the mind. Through aldehyde-stabilised cryopreservation (ASC) these were able to preserve the neurones and synapses in the mind which led to the researcher being granted the Small Mammal Brain Preservation prize. The researchers believe this technology could be put in place in greater brains as through perfusion the chemicals could actually reach and go through the brains of the rabbit and it is thought that process could easily be carried out in brains as large as the human brain. Furthermore, by turning the mind into a glassy sound matter these were able to maintain the brains ultrastructure after long-term storage.

However, the team does express that it's less applicable and effective in individual brains as the mind finance institutions would only obtain these chemicals hours after loss of life which at that time there would have been significant damage to the mind making revival less likely. Nevertheless, there continues to be optimism in taking this technique in other parts of our body.

Will cryonics achieve success?

This is the top question to answer as detected from what has been written up to now it is just a prominent aspect when discussing the cryonic technology. Kaufman, a software engineer at Yahoo, was able to quantitatively calculate the success of cryonics by surveying participants of the Cambridge LessWrong meetup for their estimates (probabilities) in response to each question he created that would determine if cryonic was possible. Sadly, only one member of the meetup had successful rate of more than 50% therefore recommending that it's a very small chance in cryonics. [DS3]However, Kaufman only surveyed 6 associates (including himself) which means sample size is inadequate so reliable conclusions can not be created from these results. Furthermore, most questions were external factors which the member has no control over, for example, the possibility that the cryonics service that the member decided would become bankrupt and have to close down. This therefore means that there surely is a degree of irrationality of every individual member estimating probabilities of occurrences happening as they don't really have enough perception to make a probability.

According to Kaufman's results, the common potential for success for cryonics is 7. 4% (excluding the anomaly) which is between Harris's possibility of 15% (when positive) and 0. 23% (when pessimistic) (Harris, 1998). This therefore makes Kaufman results more reliable as the common chance of success is within the range that a doctor at Alcor Life Extension Basis (a cryonic center) was able to achieve after creating 'The Warren Equation' and inputting probabilities from his perception and knowledge. On the other hand, this raises a problem as it shows in the best of instances it demonstrates cryonics has a tiny chance of being successful therefore suggesting that it's more likely to are unsuccessful than do well.

Research Methodology[DS4]

The main form of research found in this newspaper was supplementary research. Many of the resources were utilized from the World Wide Web and qualitative, as well as, quantitative research could be collected. Most the research that was gathered was not quite recent due to the cryonic facilities still using methods which were used years before therefore lots of the sources were not mostly from the previous 2 years.


The main seeks of this research paper was to bring forth background knowledge on cryonics and check out whether it would be possible to utilize this technology as a way of growing the human life-span whilst also discussing the moral issues regarding the technology as it is very important when evaluating if the technology would be used in the future. Although, it is abundantly clear that the technology will not really have the capacity to "revive the lifeless" in the near future, there continues to be a small chance that this technology could be utilized in the foreseeable future. There could find that it is best most effective to concentrate on neuropreservation rather than whole-body cryopreservation as the most portrayed in this paper the main difficulty lies in preserving the brain whilst also preserving the owner's recollections. Even though the odds are from this technology from being successful, there exists limit to know what future technology is capable of.


Bostron, N. (2003). Transhumanist principles. [online] nickbostrom. com Available at:http://www. nickbostrom. com/ethics/values. html [Accessed 24/08/16]

Harris, S. (1989) Will Cryonics work? [online] alcor. org Available at: http://www. alcor. org/Library/html/WillCryonicsWork. html [Accessed 3/09/16]

Kaufman, J. (2012) More Cryonics Possibility Quotes. [online] jefftk. com/index. Offered by:https://www. jefftk. com/p/more-cryonics-probability-estimates [Accessed 26/08/16]

Mathewson, S. (2016) Cryogenics: Whole Rabbit Brain Successfully Frozen and Revived For First Time [online] natureworldnews. com Available at: http://www. natureworldnews. com/articles/19877/20160211/cryogenics-entire-rabbit-brain-successfully-frozen-revived-first-time. htm [Accessed 24/08/16]

Shaw, D. (2009). Cryoethics: seeking life after loss of life. Bioethics, [online] Amount 23(9), p. 515-521. Offered by: http://eprints. gla. ac. uk/18452/1/18452. pdf [Accessed 24/08/16]

Van Riper, A. (2002). Technology in Popular Culture: A Reference point Guide City Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 35

Watson, S. (2005). How Cryonics Works. [online] HowStuffWorks. com. Offered by: http://science. howstuffworks. com/life/genetic/cryonics. htm [Accessed 26/08/16]

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