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Question:
Is it possible to freeze someone and bring them back to life? Would it be possible to recreate organisms from their DNA pattern?



Replies:
As we know a person can "die" as far as their personality goes, and yet be alive in the strict sense because nearly all of their cells are still alive. This is why organ transplant is not merely a weird form of murder. This is also why you can "die" and recover sometimes, because the absence of your personality was not as complete as it looked. HOWEVER if you freeze someone directly, just toss them into the icebox, you will kill every cell in their body. That is death on a serious scale, and there is no way back even in principle. The problem is the production of crystalline ice in the cells, which expands and destroys them. There are animals, however, principally frogs, that can apparently be frozen and thawed safely. They do it by preventing the water from forming crystals of ice (it forms a glass instead). In this case the freezing just stops the chemistry of life (well, slows it down a lot) and you can restart just by heating. People would like to know how this neat trick is done, less for the sake of freezing whole people than in freezing organs so they need not be transplanted immediately or not at all. You cannot recreate an organism from just the DNA alone, because you need the machinery (i.e. the fertilized sex ovum) that knows how to turn that DNA into an organism. Blueprints are not enough to build a house, you need carpenters and electricians and masons as well.

Christopher Grayce



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