Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
March 8, 2024 ·  2 min read

Inside The Infamous US Lab That Freezes Rich People in Hopes They Wake Up in the Future

Celebrities have requested cryopreservation after death. How does it work? Cryonics involves deep freezing deceased people’s bodies and organs for future resurrection. Slow cryogenic freezing slows death and preserves a body for years. If science can resurrect the dead, celebrities who ‘opted in’ to being preserved will live again. DJ Steve Aoki, Seth MacFarlane, and Paris Hilton have expressed interest in cryopreservation. However, Ted Williams, his son Jon Henry Williams, and computer scientist Peter Eckersley have gone further and completed cryopreservation.

From Heartbeat to Cryostasis: A Deep Freeze for the Future?

Dr. Max More, President Emeritus of Alcor, a leading cryonics company, joined in 1986. He told the Arizona-based company when a member is dying in a 2022 BBC documentary. The British-born practitioner said Alcor will send a ‘standby team’ if a subscriber is sick. These workers will stay with the sick member until death. “It could be hours, days, we’ve gone as long as three weeks on standby,” he told BBC in 2014. After the member dies, Alcor will use a ‘heart-lung resuscitator.’ This restores blood flow and powers the deceased’s organs. They will then administer cell-protecting medications.

A still of the cryopreservation facility.
Image Credits: BBC

Doctor More said, “This point is very much like donating organs.” “We’re trying to keep the tissues viable until we can start the next part of the procedure.” Doctors will take the patient to the Arizona companies’ headquarters to prevent freezing damage. Surgeons use ‘medical grade antifreeze’ to replace patients’ blood. “Instead of ice crystals forming, the fluid we use will just become thicker and thicker,” the president said. After pumping the Alcor member with anti-freeze, cryonics begins. Before being placed upside down in a container, the corpse will be protected in a sleeping bag.

Human remains will cool by one degree Celsius per hour in the aluminum pod. Resting body temperature will reach -196C after two weeks of gradual cooling. From there, the body will await medical advances to revive it. To keep the aluminum pods cool, Dr. More pours liquid nitrogen into the cylinders weekly.

Cryopreservation: Taking a Deep Freeze Gamble on Future Tech’s Hot Hand

Most of the 500 cryopreserved people in 2022 were from the US, China, and Russia. As expected, this experimental science costs $200,000 (£158,000) to preserve the body and $80,000 (£63,000) to preserve the brain. If you’re broke, Dr. More said almost 90% of Alcor members use life insurance to pay for the procedure.

This procedure is bizarre, but there is no evidence that resurrection will ever be possible. But Dr. More and Alcor’s patients are willing to risk it. “I think really it’s a bet on advancing technology,” the futurist said of medical advances. “We are funding nano-medicine research that will be very relevant to bringing people back.” He also said the company is starting to ‘grow organs in the lab’ for people who ‘can’t get a good organ match’ and that humanity will eventually beat death.

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