Cyrogenics – Bones Episode


Scenario:

Bones and Arastoo are puzzled as to why a cryogenically frozen skeleton doesn’t exhibit all of the tell signs of that process.

Question:

How would Bones be able to tell from the bones that the body was cryogenically frozen as apposed to frozen in a normal freezer?

Answer:

Bone marrow should show freeze artifact. Frozen bodies, once thawed, will actually decompose at an accelerated rate. And that’s just for people stuffed in a conventional freezer.  This is because of the cellular rupturing that can occur during formation of frost crystals in the body.

Sources: James, Alcor Technologies, Dr. Harnwell, Stanford

If there is no cryoprotectant, the bone would expand due to formation of ice crystals within it.  Once the body is thawed, that microscopic damage would be evident, such as fracture lines visible via thin sectioning and magnification. Due microscopic damage to the integrity of the bone, it would degrade at a faster rate than expected. For example, the  exfoliation (flaking) of the cortical bone would be faster than average without cryoprotectant.

After calculating time of death based on decomposition of soft tissue, with the advanced rate of decomposition of bones (flaking, fracture lines), Bones would find major discrepancies.

We were also asked to provide any other interesting facts about the process of cryonics, such as how many total bodies could fit into a dewar at a given time?

For this we decided to see for ourselves.  ERC was given an exclusive tour of Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona.  During our visit, we interviewed several cryonics experts and took photographs of the facility to be used as reference.  The result was a realistic representation of the cryonics process.  Oh, and by the way, we learned that up to five bodies could be stored in a dewar at one time, along with up to a dozen heads!

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