Vacuum packed cells survive days to weeks

RobertBradbury writes "A group lead by Fred Levine at UCSD is now reporting in Cryobiology (42:207) that simply drying cells in a vacuum is feasible method for cellular preservation. The highly unexpected discovery is discussed in a New Scientist article from October 22, 2001. This potentially provides a very different approach to cryonic suspensions where you would dehydrate the person first, then lower the temperatures to keep them in stasis. No water means no freezing damage due to ice crystal formation. The question becomes whether or not the extracellular structure of the brain (and other tissues) could survive the dehydration process? The shrinkage due to water loss seems like it would put a fair amount of stress on the proteins that bind the synaptic junctions together."

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