The arrest of biological time as a bridge to engineered negligible senescence

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Jun:1019:559-63. doi: 10.1196/annals.1297.104.


Biological systems can remain unchanged for several hundred years at cryogenic temperatures. In several hundred years, current rapid scientific and technical progress should lead to the ability to reverse any biological damage whose reversal is not forbidden by physical law. We therefore explore whether contemporary people facing terminal conditions might be preserved well enough today for their eventual recovery to be compatible with physical law. The ultrastructure of the brain can now be excellently preserved by vitrification, and solutions needed for vitrification can now be distributed through organs with retention of organ viability after transplantation. Current law requires a few minutes of cardiac arrest before cryopreservation of terminal patients, but dogs and cats have recovered excellent brain function after 16-60 min of complete cerebral ischemia. The arrest of biological time as a bridge to engineered negligible senescence, therefore, appears consistent with current scientific and medical knowledge.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia
  • Cats
  • Cold Temperature
  • Cryopreservation / methods*
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Rabbits
  • Specimen Handling*
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors