Frozen Worms = Immortality Around the Corner

Frozen Worms = Immortality Around the Corner June 1, 2015
Photo credit: Joneau / Foter / CC BY-NC
Photo credit: Joneau / Foter / CC BY-NC

Cryogenics has long been the province of cranks, charlatans, and the easily-duped (I’m not a big This American Life fan, but the “Mistakes Were Made” episode is one for the ages), but its aims are right in my neurotic wheelhouse. I want the opportunity to extend my life as long as possible, but cryogenics was always a pipe dream, Captain America aside.

But hold on, folks. Because it’s not just enhanced World War II-era supersoldiers who can retain something of themselves after a lengthy deep freeze. Worms can do it too!

Here’s John Hewitt at ExtremeTech:

Two researchers, Natasha Vita-More and Daniel Barranco, have now proven for the first time that cryogenically-suspended worms retain specific acquired memories after reanimation. [ … ]

To do this, the researchers first trained the worms to move to specific areas when they smelled benzaldehyde (a component of almond oil). After mastering this new task, the worms were bathed in a glycerol-based cryoprotectant solution and put into to a deep freeze. When the worms were thawed, they remembered their job and moved to the right spot when benzaldehyde wafted in.

And this worked with two different freezing methods.

We clearly need to move on this. Fast. Defense of the homeland? The Mars program? Alaska? Forget them. Sell it all off, shut it all down, and let’s fund the shit out of this.

Then, as we continue to make Earth utterly miserable and uninhabitable, a select few of us can be frozen, and kept safe over the centuries until things, er, cool off. Then we’ll emerge from our slumbers, have all of our memories intact, and then, well, I guess we start killing each other over dominance and resources and mates and whatnot.

Wait, that went in a direction I didn’t intend.

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