Cryonics — the practice of preserving the body or the human brain in a state of deep cooling after his apparent death. yourself ‘patients’ or their relatives prefer this method to the traditional burial with one purpose — that in the future, when science and technology in an appropriate progress, to revive the person. We decided to find out how to do it — in the world and in our country.
Meeting with Danila Medvedev, Chairman of the Board of Directors’ KrioRus «advance promised surprises in an interview in 2006 he told me that around the city in the sensor suit that allowed him to record what he sees and hears, and claimed that he was not interested in sex, because in 20-30 years, people will invent ways of getting steeper pleasures. And another interesting detail -in 2010 Danila Medvedev cryopreserved own grandmother.
The company, which employs Danila Medvedev, was founded in 2005. Now it is waiting for the resurrection of her store 25 patients: 11 neyrosohranennyh (only the brain) and 14 cryopreserved (whole body). As well as 11 animals: 5 dogs, 2 cats, 2 cats and 2 birds. Another 80 people have with «KrioRus» the contract in case of death.
Initially, my plan was to just visit the store. But the tour did not take place: first, was sick some important employee, and then next to the repository began repair work, and the company then start some mysterious modernization of premises. But talk about cryonics willingly agreed to Mr Medvedev.
Despite stories about touch costume for a meeting in the cafe was a very ordinary man, age 33, in jeans and a shirt, smart, with a neat beard wheat color. Laid out on the table iPhone, he ordered soup. Suspicion caused except that an object resembling a small wheel, which he brought with him. It turned out — really wheel. More precisely, Solowheel — electric monocycle, capable of speeds up to 16 km / h. It Medvedev travels around the city. When asked what happened to touch a suit, he said it was in the past — now it tends to get Google Glass.
Medvedev hails from St. Petersburg, scientists from the family: father — a doctor of economic sciences, the mother — junior researcher. He himself is also an economist by training. Since childhood, fond of science fiction in his youth interested in transhumanism — philosophical movement, which is based on the belief in advanced technology, with which it will be possible to avoid the aging and death, as well as significantly enhance their physical and mental capabilities.
In 2004, he met with Igor Artyukhov biophysicist, who two years earlier for the first time in Russia cryopreserved human brain. Medvedev learned that in Russia there is a whole group of people -filosofy, mathematicians, writers, physicists — who believe in the prospects for cryonics, but in the country there is no company that would be engaged in cryopreservation. Then he volunteered to write a business plan.
To establish a company, it took about $ 10 LLC. Investors were not as they do not have now, invested themselves.
But the first patient appeared even before the company acquired storage. In 2005, he came from St. Petersburg cryonicists Daniil Fedorenko, who wanted to freeze his 79-year-old grandmother, a schoolteacher Lidia Ivanovna. Grandmother at the time was still alive, to the idea of her grandson reacted favorably and recorded it in his will. When she died, Cryonicists with Medvedev drove her to the hospital.
«At first we were only going to cryopreserved body, and then send it to the store in the US, but it did not work» — said Medvedev. At the grandson of the deceased did not have sufficient funds for this purpose. But Artyuhova had a special container, which could temporarily put the brain, and they took advantage. And in 2006, when «KrioRus» equipped vault, he was transferred and placed in liquid nitrogen.
In fact freeze to ever revive — it is not exactly what they do Cryonicists. His mission, they explain this: the brain — is a carrier of information about a person’s identity. When it is a clinical death, brain cells do not die at the same moment — this is happening gradually.
Cryonicists convinced that if promptly stop the death of brain cells and fix it in this state, it is actually a person’s life will be saved — you only come up with a technology that will enable the brain of suspended animation (a favorite science fiction state of a living organism, in which the processes of life are so slowed down that no all visible manifestations of life), and resume normal activities.
After occurred clinical death of the patient’s body begin cooling with dry ice or ice water. «There are also more advanced ways. It all depends on the conditions of work and advance preparation, «- said Medvedev. This primary cooling is necessary to stop the process of decomposition of the body. In parallel, the ‘patient’ is connected to an artificial blood circulation and supply oxygen to the brain cells, so that they continued to live. Then introduced special drugs that protect cell membranes and body begin to fill -Substance cryoprotectant that protects cells from the damaging effect of freezing. Actually pumped out of the body up to 70% fluid (including blood) and replaces it with a cryoprotectant. «Freezing water body naturally becomes ice. The ice crystals damage the tissue and cell walls. To keep the body intact, and replaced with water to another substance that does not allow any remaining liquid to freeze. » — Says Medvedev. Thereafter, the body is further cooled in a special container to a temperature of -190 ° C and then immersed in liquid nitrogen where it, according cryonicists may eternally stored, and the brain and its cells will be safely preserved. The site Alcor, one of the largest cryonics companies in the world, it is said that after the procedure, cryopreservation «patient» is actually in a state equivalent to stay in a coma, with an uncertain outlook for the future: «No one is dead as long as the information is kept 8 brain , its cells are still alive. «
But why do some «patients» keep the whole body, while others are just a brain?
«The body is maintained, because it is more understandable and familiar. It’s easy to explain to relatives and friends: «I have decided cryopreserved our grandmother. After the death of her body will be shipped in liquid nitrogen. » «It sounds quite innocuous. — Said Danila Medvedev. — But with more complex head: just imagine what would happen if you say that you have decided to cut off the head of his grandmother? But the best thing is to keep your head entirely, because it is the natural environment of the brain, the extraction is difficult to avoid the damage. «
How then to revive a person if it was only on the brain? Cryonicists sure that a maximum of half a century it will not be a problem: as an option — you can grow (in other words — to clone a) a body without a brain and put the gray matter of the frozen man.
The cost of saving the whole body «KrioRus» — $ 36, OOO, only the head or the brain — $ 12, OOO. Plus possible additional costs, if the customer does not live in Moscow. For comparison: the preservation of the body in the American kriofirme Alcor is worth about $ 200 Ltd., the brain — $ 80 LLC. The American Society of cryonics preservation of the value of the body — from $ 33 to $ 155,000 LLC.
Medvedev says that is better to enter into a contract — then will be able to negotiate with doctors and morgue. Money can be paid at once, you can — in installments. Of course, in the second case the money after the death of a patient or family must pay or be compensated by will. Legislative restrictions there is a man of cryopreservation has the right to choose what happens to his body after death.
Asked whether there is among those who signed a contract with «KrioRus», famous people, Medvedev said yes, but did not mention specific names. He said only that the policy is not among them.
In 2006, Medvedev tried to take his business to a new level by offering to keep the body Turkmenbashi Saparmurat Niyazov, but relatives of the deceased dictator did not consider this option. Medvedev believes that authoritarian rulers simply underestimate the possibility of cryonics: «When he died, Hugo Chavez, he decided to embalm, which is nonsense. You can not believe in recovery, but when it comes to maintaining a quality appearance, cryonics is a hundred times better. And it could threaten the Americans — they say. if you borzet we revive Hugo Chavez. In general, in terms of political PR cryonics very beneficial. «
Today there are more than two dozen cryonics community: in America, Canada. England, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands. Italy and so on. D. Most of them do not have their cryostorages — body sent to North America. It was in the United States are the two largest and oldest kriofirmy — Alcor (founded in 1972) and the American Society of cryonics (since 1969).
Actually, in the 60-ies of the last century, and there cryonics, although the first experiments to monitor the cooling of the body began to be held back in the XVI-XVII centuries. Founding Fathers considered the Americans cryonics Robert Ettinger and Evan Cooper.
Robert Ettinger was born in 1918 in the United States. in a family of Russian immigrants. As a child, he read science fiction magazine Amazing Stories («Striking history»). Issue of July 1931 contained the story of Neil Jones’ Jameson Satellite «-o professor who froze himself and launched his body into space, where millions of years later, he was found by aliens and brought back to life. This story impressed Oettinger, and he remembered it all my life. V1944, Robert was wounded in action in Germany, and during rehabilitation at the hospital wrote his own fiction story «The penultimate trump card» — a 92-year-old billionaire, who desperately wanted to die. A rich old man found scientists who have studied the possibility of long-term preservation of biological objects by immersing them in a state of suspended animation, and the priests of science it safely frozen. He woke up after 320 years — a healthy and rejuvenated.
After the war, Ettinger studied and then taught physics and mathematics, but on his dream — to freeze and revive people — refused. In 1962, he published a programmatic book «The prospect of immortality.» In the preface to her, he later, in 1987, wrote: «If a living person can be revived after cooling, then why not be revived dead, whose injuries are insurmountable for today’s medicine, but (even considering the possibility of tissue damage from freezing) likely to be sheer nonsense to future technologies? «
Exactly in the same year came the work of another author on the same topic — «Immortality: physically, scientifically, now.» Its author — Evan Cooper — was inspired by the play of Vladimir Mayakovsky’s «Bug», whose hero Ivan Prisypkin been accidentally frozen, and then, after fifty years, resuscitated.
Cooper and Oettinger met together and in 1963 founded the Society of prolonging life in Washington, however, this alliance did not last long — a few years Cooper retired, and in 1982 was drowned in the sea.
In July 1965 the Company announced an extension of life, it is ready to save one person free of charge. Previously, they had already made several attempts to cryopreservation of people, but none of them was successful. Nevertheless, as a guinea himself offered a psychology professor at the University of California James Bedford y 73-year-old professor had kidney cancer and lung metastases.
At this point, Ettinger and Cooper were not the only ones who are seriously engaged in cryopreservation. There relevant organizations in New York and California. As a result, already engaged in cryopreservation Bedford others: January 12, 1967, when his heart stopped, apart from his doctor a number of experts were of the California cryonics society. When Bedford died, his hooked to the heart-lung machine, ice surrounded the body to lower the temperature and slow down the decomposition process. He was then impregnated with a protective solution and placed for storage in liquid nitrogen. The body of James Bedford kept still — it changed several shelters, and now rests in the vault of Alcor. In 1991, it assessed the state of «patient» and published a report stating that the capsule was removed «physically well-developed, well-nourished man who looked younger than his 73 years.»
What if kriofirma ruined? Or there still something unexpected? «In this area, you, of course, no one can guarantee», — said Danila Medvedev.
In the history of cryonics had a bad case of the conservation bodies, which had almost put an end to all direction. President of the California Society cryonics Robert Nelson after the first successful human-frozen decided to put the matter to the stream. V1967, he agreed with the owner of a private morgues in California and started to deliver it «patients.» He lied to family members, arguing that it has the necessary equipment, and he just kept the body in dry ice. However, he soon figured out how to solve this problem. In 1969, he was contacted by a woman named Mary Brooks, who froze his father with another Cryonicists, who had all the necessary equipment. He convinced her. he has a store with the best conditions, and that the tank transported to the morgue father Nelson. After securing the reservoir, Nelson put it another three patients. Mary Brooks paid to Nelson for the content of his father and did not even know about. that he appeared «neighbors». Soon, in a similar way to Nelson managed to get a second tank. In the fall of 1974, Nelson resigned as president of the California Society krionichesogo and went abroad. Apparently, when he stopped the contents of both containers — the person who supplied him with liquid nitrogen, stopped receiving payments from it. Relatives began to suspect something was wrong, «patient», and soon in the case including journalists. Storage was opened in June 1979. One of the journalists who was present, later wrote that the smell of the crypt was such that «the stomach makes a thousand dizzying somersault.» Another eyewitness said that he saw the decaying body in a black muddy slime. Later, Nelson argued that no one promised nothing and that once said that the body can store only for a certain period of time. True, he did not specify how long. In 1981, a trial was held, and Nelson had to pay about $ 1 million compensation.
Find a third-party experts, scientists not connected with the business of cryonics and ready to comment on the practice of maintaining the body, was not easy. At the Institute of Human Brain RAS declined to comment on the subject. Talk about cryonics only agreed Nikolay Shubin, the head of the complex cryobiological Institute of Cytology RAS. According to him, today the successful defrosting dead man — it’s fantastic, «No technology to successfully cryopreserved multicellular organism. Now there is a refrigerator where you can push a man, but it’s kind of a new type of columbarium. Today we can not even successfully freeze individual human organs — at various freezing techniques they die. The main thing — not learned to freeze the brain, whose cells begin to die within 15 minutes after a person’s death. Individual brain cells can be frozen, and save it as a structural unit without any damage — no. I still see some sense in freezing of a living person, for example, a terminally ill. It could be immersed in a state of suspended animation, lower the blood to fill it with the bloodstream some kisloro-dosoderzhaschey liquid or gas and cool. Then, maybe someday it will be possible to revive him. But if you freeze the body, even after thousands of years, you get only a corpse. Breathe life into it is impossible. «
But there is probably some truth in the words of the father of cryonics Robert Ettinger. who died and was frozen in 2011 (as, incidentally, and both his wife): «If this will be a pipe dream, then you lose? You’ll be dead. «