The idea of freezing oneself in time, only to be thawed out later without aging, has been an idea that many people have thought about in science. There is even a conspiracy theory that Walt Disney froze him self, so he could be melted out later. It's not true, he was cremated.
Anyways, scientists however, have begun taking baby steps towards making this idea a reality. They have also gained some intel on how length of life that could be sustained while frozen, as well as the length of time.
In November of 1983 in Antarctica, a team of scientists recovered a sample of Tardigrades from some moss. Tardigrades are eight legged, water-dwelling, micro-animals. They are also known as water bears or moss piglets. They stored these water bears at -20 degrees Celsius. Recently in May of 2014 they thawed out these samples.
The crazy thing is, they were eventually able to revive the water bears! They even went on to reproduce after they had been revived. It was no easy feat. Some of the revivals took up to 2 weeks. To get an idea of how successful the reproduction was, one Tardigrade laid 19 eggs. Out of those 14 hatched. That's pretty good if you ask me! This feat set a record. Beating out nematodes who had been frozen for 39 years.
This poses some interesting questions. Like how applicable this could be to modern medicine? Or just how applicable, in general, it could be to humans? Is it ethical to freeze someone so they can thaw out years later? I don't think these are questions we will be facing soon, as the success were on much less complicated organisms than humans. I don't know the science behind it, but I feel like there's a lot more that could go wrong on the human end of being frozen for 50 years!
Posted by: Nick Michienzi