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Can you freeze your body and come back to life? - Shannon N. Tessier

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In 1967, James Bedford had a plan to cheat death. He was the first person to be cryogenically frozen. This process promised to preserve his body until a theoretical future when humanity could cure any illness, and essentially, reverse death. So is it possible to freeze a human, preserve them indefinitely, and then thaw them out? Shannon N. Tessier explores the challenges of human cryopreservation.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Cryobiologists are actively trying to:

1) Protect endangered species from extinction and preserve biodiversity.
-Please visit the Cryo-initiative at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute here.

2) Find better ways to protect important crops, improve food distribution systems, and reduce food waste. 
-In the US, there are several field repositories that maintain living collections of important crops as well as facilities that employ short- and long-term preservation methods.

 -The National Center for Home Food Preservation provides information and methods to preserve home food to reduce food waste that enters landfills.

3) Improve the supply chain that gets living therapeutics to a patient safely (e.g. vaccines, cell therapies, organs for transplant, blood for transfusion, etc.)
-Visit the PAHO/WHO Cold Chain Resource Center to learn about the immunization cold chain.

-To learn more about cryopreservation for in vitro fertilization (IVF), read this paper from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.    

-To learn more about how blood goes from donation to transfusion, including the ways blood components are stored, visit the American Red Cross website here

-To learn more about how organs for transplant are transported, dig into this article from the University of Minnesota

Many news outlets have covered Cryonics as well. Explore a few of them here:
-VICE News: Frozen Faith: Cryonics and The Quest to Cheat Death
-VCE: The Frozen-Undead: Ethical Implications of Suspended Animation and Cryonics
-BBC News: What are the ethics of cryonic preservation?
-BBC News: What does cryopreservation do to human bodies?

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Shannon N. Tessier
  • Director Gavin Edwards, Movult
  • Narrator Pen-Pen Chen
  • Music Stephen LaRosa
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Senior Producer Anna Bechtol
  • Associate Producer Sazia Afrin
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Senior Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-Checker Charles Wallace

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