The first person to be cryopreserved was American James Bedford, who was frozen after his death on January 12, 1967. "Vecherka" asked an expert about the current state of this field of science, how popular it is and how much it costs to cryopreserve oneself in Russia.
According to Igor Artyukhov, a biophysicist, director for science at KrioRus and co-founder of the Russian transhumanist movement, today there are three relatively large cryofirms in the world for storing frozen people.
- Two of them are in the United States, one is with us. In total, about 400 people have been cryopreserved today around the world. Of these, about eight dozen are frozen in Russia, says the biophysicist. - Unfortunately, this technology can hardly be called popular among people. And in most cases this is due to a lack of confidence in cryonics. To many people it seems that this is some kind of quackery and extortion of money. But this point of view is not true.
As Artyukhov jokes, from a business point of view, the production and sale of meat is many times more profitable than cryonics. Firstly, today it is a very resource-intensive technology, and secondly, there are always a lot of rumors and reasons for hype around this field of activity. At the same time, the biophysicist is sure that cryonics has very great prospects. For example, the ability to prolong a person's life or heal him from serious diseases.
- A lot is expected from the cryonics industry. The future is very big, but the development of technology is very, very slow.
The full potential can be assessed only when the evidence base appears, - says Artyukhov. - After all, the development of cryonics depends on the recognition of this area in society. And it will be possible to talk about how the freezing of people will affect the development of mankind after, for example, the first cryopreserved mouse is revived.
The expert noted that freezing the body today is not the cheapest procedure.
- Our whole body cryopreservation costs approximately 36 thousand dollars. Freezing the head will cost half this amount, - says Artyukhov.
According to him, the brain cryopreservation procedure is in great demand in Russia.
- It's much worse than freezing a single head or body. Indeed, the appearance of the technology for restoring the body can take much longer than the return of a person to life, the scientist notes. - This is due to the fact that in many cases there are relatives who insist that the body must be buried. Therefore, you have to make compromises and freeze only the brain.
As the biophysicist notes, today the development of such a direction as cryonics is hampered mainly by the prejudices and prejudices of a religious nature prevailing in society.
- For the most part, people who plan to freeze themselves are citizens with a scientific education and a corresponding mindset. That is, those who are able to impartially assess the prospects of cryonics, says Artyukhov.
In the United States, more than 250 people have been cryopreserved so far, and 1,500 have paid for the procedure for the future cryopreservation of their bodies. The cost of freezing varies from 28 to 200 thousand dollars.
A number of countries, including Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, the United Kingdom and Spain, have small cryostorage facilities. Employees of cryonics companies instantly react to the death of a person who has signed a contract with the company, and try to freeze his body or head as soon as possible. One cryopreservation procedure in 2017 in China was funded by the state.
LET'S BECOME TERMINATORS AND LET'S LEAVE THE MATRIX
Cryopreservation is not the only technology aimed at extending life. "Vecherka" recalled several of the most popular directions among fans of science fiction.
Cyborgization. The main point is to extend life and improve the performance and parameters of the human body through the implantation of electronic or mechanical components. By the way, the term “cyborg” (from “cybernetic organism”) was not invented by science fiction writers at all, but by neurophysiologist Manfred Kleins and psychiatrist Nathan Klein in the 1960s.
Biohacking. A relatively new practice, which is aimed at studying the performance indicators of the human body, in order to further improve them with the help of physical activity, changes in diet and dietary supplements. For example, IT entrepreneur Pavel Durov is engaged in biohacking. There is still no scientific evidence for the benefits and effectiveness of biohacking.
Digital immortality. A concept that assumes that in the future people will be able to upload their consciousness and personality matrix to information carriers, for example, to "cloud" data storage. This technology does not exist now. But then there is the “Initiative 2045” movement, whose supporters suggest that by 2045 the possibility of digital immortality will become available.
Genetic Engineering. A real technology with a huge future. Research in the field of regenerative medicine has already shown that through the activation of stem cells and their transplantation into the body, it will be possible to treat, for example, diabetes, diseases of the cardiovascular system and visual organs, and restore bone tissue. Unfortunately, the development of genetic engineering is hampered by religious and ethical reasons.