Forced Hybernation

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Very interesting! It would, indeed, have really interesting implications...I think the organ transplant angle of this has some huge immediate ramifications, and is probably a lot easier than the live organism aspect....

And I would be remiss if I didn't put this in this thread:

DRAKE: They ain't payin' us enough for this.
DIETRICH: Not enough to have to wake up to your face, Drake.
DRAKE: Suck air. Hey, Hicks...you look like I feel.
:D
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
0
Also as mentioned in the article the use in medicine. Physicians currently uses drug induced comas as a way to preserve brain cells. This would be a way preserve the whole body by reducing metabolism.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
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Maybe Michael Jackson could undergo this procedure until they find a cure for, um, er, whatever he has. He'd be comfy in his hyperbaric chamber.

Kidding aside, mkrishnan is right that this procedure could be used to stall for time when somebody needs an organ. Yesterday I had lunch with a woman who has worked as an organ courier, traveling with an organ from the point of donation to the point where a patient would receive it. For many procedures, timing is of the essence and if she and her ice cooler don't show up as scheduled, the patient's life hangs in the balance. She said she is always very nervous flying cross-country with an organ, but she knows it saved lives. I don't know if having a way to put a patient "on ice" would help in cases like this, but it sounds promising.

I wonder how long it will take, if the research continues with success, before this is tried with a human. Perhaps not long, because they'd try it in a case where the patient would otherwise die.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
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Why aren't hibernating mammals eaten alive by microorganisms? Well, apparantly their immune system is actually disabled. However, they wake up periodically, specifically to fight off any infections.

Humans can't do this if their cytochrome C is inhibited by hydrogen sulfide, so if you ever do this with humans, you'd have to make sure they wake up periodically to prevent all kinds of nastyness.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Doctor Q said:
I don't know if having a way to put a patient "on ice" would help in cases like this, but it sounds promising.
I was hoping it might be able to put *the organ* to sleep and keep it fresh for longer, but I guess with the couriers, I'm not even sure how much of an issue that is.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
37,693
3,808
Los Angeles
mkrishnan said:
I was hoping it might be able to put *the organ* to sleep and keep it fresh for longer, but I guess with the couriers, I'm not even sure how much of an issue that is.
Some organs are already put on ice, literally, as they are carried in coolers. And bone marrow is just like blood and must be kept sterile, but has no activity of its own that would need to be stopped/slowed. So I'm not sure this procedure would apply to organs themselves.

One thing is for certain: Cooling body parts is certainly better than cooking them.
 

MongoTheGeek

macrumors 68040
Doctor Q said:
Some organs are already put on ice, literally, as they are carried in coolers. And bone marrow is just like blood and must be kept sterile, but has no activity of its own that would need to be stopped/slowed. So I'm not sure this procedure would apply to organs themselves.

One thing is for certain: Cooling body parts is certainly better than cooking them.
Actually blood requires refrigeration. Bone marrow has activity but I am not certain how much care it requires to store.
 

rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
5,438
2
iowa
I know one of the current methods for "icing" a stroke or trauma victim is to insert a bladder into their stomach that salt water and ice are pumped through, so the circulatory system does the cooling of the lower abdominal cavity... very slow, time consuming to set up. If the goal is to ice the patient to stop damage from continuing, having to delay treatment for 30 minutes to chill the patient cancels out the good it does. Hopefully if this technique works for humans, it will be quickly adopted by hospitals, it sounds very promising.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
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Doctor Q said:
I'm gonna go take a cold shower and see if I live longer. Back in a minute to report on the results... :)
I'm anxiously awaiting the results of your experiment. ;)

Oh wait he could already be in suspended animation. :eek:
 

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