Cryogenics: Is It Worth Waiting for

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  • Topic: Temperature, Absolute zero, Thermodynamic temperature
  • Pages : 3 (882 words )
  • Download(s) : 31
  • Published : October 8, 1999
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Cryogenics: Is It Worth Waiting For

Imagine being frozen in time to escape a deadly illness, then getting warmed when a cure is found. There is question on whether cryogenic methods should be used. To fully understand cryogenics a knowledge of cold, background information on some branches of cryogenics, some problems with cryopresevation, and different peoples views towards cryogenics is needed.

"Cold is usually considered hostile to mankind. Most people hate cold and with reasons." If not careful, cold can be deadly to animal and human life, but it can also help cure, because cold bodies perform functions slower (Kavaler 16- 17). Measurement of temperature is extremely important in cryogenics and the temperatures must be exact. The standard for scientific temperature measurement is the Kelvin scale. On the Kelvin scale absolute zero has a value of zero degrees on the thermometer. In theory no substance can be lowered to or below zero degrees Kelvin or absolute zero. Temperatures in cryobiology range from zero degrees Celsius--water freezes--to just above negative two hundred and seventy three point sixteen degrees Celsius--absolute zero. The word "Cryogenics" comes from the Greek word "kryos" meaning cold ("Cryogenics" Raintree 127, Kavaler 16). The science of cryobiology was first recognized in the early nineteen sixties. Cryobiology is the study of the effects of extremely low temperatures on living animals and plants. The chief concern in cryobiology is to preserve living matter for future use. This method can also be called cryopreservation. Cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold in treatment. The first trials of cryotherapy proved with great results ("Cryobiology" Comptons 1, McGrady 97).

Frozen cells can be kept alive for very long periods of time in a state of "suspended animation." Almost immediately after rapid thawing, the frozen cells regain normal activity. Cooling of the body causes a loss of feeling, therefore it...
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