The Jakarta Post
Computer rendering of the Timeship project. (Stephen Valentine/-)
A recent development in Texas, US, may prove that the ‘fountain of youth’— the ability to prolong life, sustain health and, possibly, achieve immortality—may no longer be just be a myth.
The Timeship Building, designed by architect Stephen Valentine, in Comfort, Texas, is expected to become the “mecca of cryogenics” according to New Scientist magazine. Cryonics is low-temperature preservation of animals and humans. Construction began last month.
Housing 50,000 frozen bodies, the cryogenics center will serve as a life extension research site storing biological materials, including cells, tissues and organs. In a way, Timeship will be like the ‘Fort Knox of biological materials’. It was also built with safeguarding in mind, designed to provide security at every level, against all threats ranging from a terrorist attack to climate change and the interruption of energy supplies due to catastrophe.
A belief central to cryogenics is that long-term memory, personality and identity are stored in durable cell structures and patterns within the brain. This project essentially “takes people to the future,” Valentine explained to New Scientist.
(Read also: Google Earth spots 'sea monster’ near Antarctica)
In February, scientists managed to use cryonic methods to freeze the brain of a rabbit, later recovering the brain in near-perfect condition. Researchers said that the experiment was evidence that ‘near-perfect, long term structural preservation of an intact brain is achievable’, suggesting that the technique would soon be applicable to humans. To do so, experts drain the blood from the head and diffuse a deadly chemical fixative called glutaraldehyde through the brain’s vascular system. The process ceases metabolic decay and fixes proteins in place, thereby allegedly stabilizing the tissue and preventing the brain from shrinking and damage.
Cryonics is oft criticized as an erroneous endeavor and or an activity that is exclusively for the wealthy. The philosophy behind the procedure is said to heal those who doctors fail to save, saving them for a later time by reviving the frozen bodies and offering contemporary medicine. (sab/kes)
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