Ask Dr. Mel – The Truth About Cryogenics

July 13th, 2007 by Dr. Mel

Once again,‘s very own Dr. Mel answers a question from you, the readers.

This week’s question:

Dear Dr. Mel,

I’m bored of today’s society and our lame plastic technology. Can I be cryogenically frozen and brought back to life in the future when things are cooler?

Bored stiff

Dear BS,

To start off, the only people who can be cryogenically frozen at the present time are those who have already died. When you are cryogenically frozen, you are technically dead, and so, if the person was not already dead before the freezing process, then it would be called murder. And that is illegal even though it uses some pretty neat technology, and makes for some awesome sci-fi stories.

However, beyond the legal issues, the technology at present (that they tell the public about) is a bit problematic. You see, your body is made up of lots of tiny cells, and each of those cells are pretty much sacks of water. When water freezes it expands and forms ice crystals. Ice crystals are pretty sharp and can poke through the cell membranes causing them to burst – you’d basically become a big puddle of goop. BUT they have figured out how to freeze tissue fast enough to avoid the expansion of ice crystals. So you can be successfully frozen!


We just haven’t figured out a way to thaw you quick enough to prevent the ice crystals from expanding. Well we could just char broil the heck out of you, but that would cause other problems, like death.

So in answer to your question, BS, yes, you could be cryogenically frozen today, but you’d have to fake your own death, and then hope that in the awesomely cool, non-plastic future that they’d figured out how to defrost you AND that they’d want to bother with you. They probably won’t, since you come across as a whiner, so my advice to you is to suck it up and try to enjoy living in today’s world – or learn how to hibernate.

Dr. Mel

P.S. You could try getting yourself connected with top secret government or military research labs – they’ve probably had uber cool cryogenic technology for decades. Just tell them Dr. Mel sent you, and they’ll hook you up.

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One Response

  1. ET


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