I wondered if I should place this in the science group or in SF. Although it concerns real, demonstrative, science it is also one of the favored vehicles of the SF genre standing on the doorstep of reality.

Mark Roth studies suspended animation: the art of shutting down life processes and then starting them up again. It's wild stuff, but it's not science fiction. Induced by careful use of an otherwise toxic gas, suspended animation can potentially help trauma and heart attack victims survive long enough to be treated.

The video of Roth's speech is about 18 minutes long but it's well worth the time.

They have already had some successful human trials that shows some real promise for victims of traumatic injury, heart attacks, strokes and other life threatening events.

If they are able to increase the time in suspension significantly then people with liver failure, heart failure or other replaceable organs can be put into long term suspension until a donor organ becomes available.

The science fiction vision of hibernation for long space voyages could be close. Even travel within our solar system requires long time duration.   Hibernation would cut down on food weight, water and oxygen and; even more important, a crew packed in a small can for half a year could be a critical failure point in the program that can't be predicted; hibernation of most of the crew would reduce that problem significantly and larger crews could be sent.

With the rapid expansion of many of the fields of science and technology this decade may see many of the speculations of the SF writers become realities.

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Replies to This Discussion

I think for short term suspension of a "dead" person or suspension of healthy living individual there would be very little detrimental effects.  However, for longer periods, reanimation of the dead would, in my opinion, be unsuccessful.  

Suspended Animation of a healthy person could be possible as the individual is not dead and there are physical activities that continue (at a much reduced rate) which would allow the personality and memories to remain intact.  

I just watched a show whereas they are able to extend the life of a worm by 6 times their normal life span.  I think soon, everything will be possible.

Just what we need, old worms


Yeah, but the genes on this puppies are the same as ours and once they perfect it on them, they'll move to mice, and then.... Yeah!




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