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RE: starship-design: Suspended animation.
Perhaps a little meat in the discussion...old news:
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 11:54:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: Doug Skrecky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Suspended animation and interstellar space travel within grasp
From: email@example.com (jolaf)
>From the Sunday London Times:
Frozen baboons returned to life
by Lois Rogers
SCIENTISTS have unlocked the secret of suspended animation by successfully
reviving baboons hours after their bodies were packed into crates of ice.
The breakthrough, which holds huge implications for the battle against
and ageing, will allow humans to preserve their ice-cold bodies in suspended
animation and wake up years later in the same physical condition.
It has aroused the interest of space scientists investigating the
interstellar travel, allowing human exploration of galaxies many light years
Military clinicians are also attracted by the prospect of allowing
injured troops to be near-frozen on the battlefield and preserved for later
The key to the technology is Hextend, a revolutionary plasma replacement
which is poured into the body through a vein in the upper thigh as blood is
drained and the anaesthetized body is cooled to 1C. As the clear fluid
the tissues, it prevents the deterioration caused by extreme lowering of
The results from the baboon studies, carried out at Biotime, a California
research company, were announced at the annual meeting of the American
Association of Anti-Ageing Medicine.
Hal Sternberg, Biotime's head of research, said work on the mechanisms of
hibernation had provided much of the basic information on suspended
One type of North American frog can partially freeze its body while it shuts
down during the winter months. Hamsters have been kept alive at 1-2C with no
heartbeat in Biotime laboratories for up to seven hours before being
The long-term objective is to add freeze-protectant chemicals to the Hextend
solution so human bodies can be stored at -196C, the temperature of liquid
nitrogen. The principal barrier, however, is popular opinion.
"It is like the public attitude to early organ transplants," said Sternberg.
"Although everyone will love us when we announce we have reversibly frozen a
human being, at the moment this area is not considered socially acceptable.
"There is a limit to how far people think you should go to save a life: but
already have children being born from frozen embryos. If you are extending
beginning of life, why shouldn't you also extend it later on?"
Sternberg and his colleagues expect to use their new techniques to put
themselves into long-term hibernation while they await the development of
life-extending techniques to cure and prevent cancer, heart failure and
Doctors believe the technique can immediately be used in complex surgery,
best results can be obtained by cooling the body to a level which would
otherwise cause brain damage.
Clinical trials of Hextend led by Michael Mythen, a consultant anaesthetist
worked on the project in America, are to begin at University College
London, this year.
It will be used in complex orthopedic, gynecological and stomach operations
where there is a danger of catastrophic blood loss and where better results
be obtained at low temperatures.
Kelvin Brockbank, a British-born scientist in South Carolina who has
funding from the American government for his research work in the allied
of preserving transplant organs, said deep-freezing of human tissue would be
possible within a year. "There will be a whole range of applications for the
technology," he said. "It will be up to people to decide how to use them."