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Kiester
07-05-2010, 05:51 PM
Okay, basically I need to know if it is possible for a human to be consciously aware that he is in suspended animation?

Because I have an idea for a Sci-Fi plot about a man who is in a cryogenesis experiment for around seven months, and it turns out that he was conscious the whole time, and develops psychological problems as a result of it.

So, what I am asking is, would it be possible? (E.g, if a chemical that induces unconsciousness isn't administered)

Becky Black
07-05-2010, 06:26 PM
I really think you can make it up here. So far nobody has been brought back from that state to tell us what it was like. All the people who are currently cryogenically frozen were at least legally dead when they were put in that state (since otherwise it would be murder to freeze them, even with their consent.)

You're going to have to make up some new cryogenics technology anyway. The technology we have currently only allows us to freeze people in the hope that eventually the technology will be invented that allows them to be unfrozen and revived. The whole process doesn't exist yet.

I wouldn't worry too much about the detail. If you can do some convincing hand waving and double-talk most readers will suspend disbelief for the sake of the more important matter - the effect on the man's mind. That's what the story is about, not exactly how it happened.

ladyleeona
07-05-2010, 07:25 PM
I really think you can make it up here. So far nobody has been brought back from that state to tell us what it was like. All the people who are currently cryogenically frozen were at least legally dead when they were put in that state (since otherwise it would be murder to freeze them, even with their consent.)

You're going to have to make up some new cryogenics technology anyway. The technology we have currently only allows us to freeze people in the hope that eventually the technology will be invented that allows them to be unfrozen and revived. The whole process doesn't exist yet.

I wouldn't worry too much about the detail. If you can do some convincing hand waving and double-talk most readers will suspend disbelief for the sake of the more important matter - the effect on the man's mind. That's what the story is about, not exactly how it happened.

I agree with this. Imagine away. =)

Drachen Jager
07-05-2010, 11:18 PM
When people are cryogenically frozen all of the cells in their bodies explode from ice crystals forming. That is why it is impossible to bring someone back. Might as well preserve them through heat and make their body a briquette. There is no chance of bringing them back.

IF someone managed to use some sort of anti-freeze to keep the cells from forming ice it might be possible to freeze someone and then thaw them. However, thinking takes energy, energy takes sugar and oxygen. If the body is frozen then a thinking brain would starve, meaning it would either have to stop thinking to reduce it's energy use or die.

Scientifically I don't think what you're talking about is possible. But it's science FICTION so you're not entirely constrained by the possible.

Witch_turtle
07-06-2010, 02:43 AM
Well, call it suspended animation instead of cryogenic freezing? Either way, it's common in sci-fi so it's definitely doable. I agree with junkfoodmonkey. Maybe research how the whole process is explained in different stories/movies/theoretical journals/etc., anyplace that has ideas about how to make it work (or how to make it SEEM like it works). Then come up with your own twists as to how this guy stayed aware during the whole thing. Definitely an interesting idea, and I'd love to see the psychological effect it would have. Like being in solitary confinement, I'd imagine. Research the effects of that, too.

Just a thought--maybe, to combat the issue Drachen brought up, you could have some sort of feeding-tube type setup required to keep the patient alive? Maybe not practical for the intended use of suspended animation, but if they're just experimenting and in the process of creating/perfecting the process, they might have to start with less full-fledged-freezing techniques.

I don't know, I'm not science-minded in the slightest. But I think you can make it work. Good luck!

ladyleeona
07-06-2010, 04:44 AM
I actually think that flash/blast freezing keeps cell membranes from rupturing. Or how about this, I know that flash freezing causes smaller crystals in the cells than say 'normal' freezing and therefore there's less membrane rupturing involved. [And enter speculation here] It might be possible to bring someone back from that state. But maybe not.

But it's your story--maybe create your own version of cryogenics/blast freezing...or create a way to combat the crystals that form.

DavidZahir
07-06-2010, 09:43 AM
I see two possibilities...

First--something prevents the cells from rupturing (a process or whatever), and if the body is frozen quickly enough and coldly enough then the nervous system might become something like a superconductor.

Second--don't freeze the body but replace the blood with some kind of liquid or serum, then reduce the body's temperature so as to slow the body's processes including aging, but perhaps the mind enters into some kind of altered state no one could have anticipated.

These were more-or-less off-the-cuff and I hope they're of some use.

Kiester
07-06-2010, 04:10 PM
Well from the research I have undertaken, there are actually experiments scientists did on dogs by replacing thier blood with a solution which doesn't freeze.

But I have also found out that cryoprotectants (Chemicals that prevent the formation of ice crystals) actually DO exist, and are used in thigs such as anti-freeze, and are also produced naturally by many animals which live in extremely cold climates.

Well what I was thinking of is a setup using around six or seven hypodermic needles, for the following things:


Cryoprotectants
Essential nutrients
A Coma-inducing solution
Blood Cell cryoprotectant fluids



Does that sound realistic?