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Gunshot Victims To Be Part of "Suspended Animation" Trials

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the between-life-and-death dept.

Medicine 357

New submitter Budgreen writes: "Knife-wound or gunshot victims will be cooled down and placed in suspended animation later this month. The technique involves replacing all of a patient's blood with a cold saline solution, which rapidly cools the body and stops almost all cellular activity. 'If a patient comes to us two hours after dying you can't bring them back to life. But if they're dying and you suspend them, you have a chance to bring them back after their structural problems have been fixed,' says surgeon Peter Rheeat from the University of Arizona in Tucson, who helped develop the technique. 10 gunshot and stabbing victims will take part in the trials."

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Space travel (5, Interesting)

geogob (569250) | about 7 months ago | (#46600839)

This sounds more like science fiction than anything else to me. But if it works and the technique becomes viable to handle patient with heavy injurie - and assuming the patients can be kept suspended for long periods of time without creating further damages, I wonder if the technique could be adapted for space travel. It would solve a lot of problems related to long-duration interplanetary travel.

The idea is not new. I just wonder if this could be the first step in this direction.

Re:Space travel (5, Insightful)

prefec2 (875483) | about 7 months ago | (#46600933)

It is very unlikely that we will ever be able to use this technology for deep space travel. First, the distance that grate that you need thousands of years to get there. Therefore, the suspended animation must last that long without chemical decay of cellular structure. Second, all the technology in the ship must last that long. We have no technology which is usable without maintenance for that long. Therefore, self-repair ability for everything including the ship itself must be part of the mission. This looks very much, like the man who wanted to travel around the world in a straight line from Peter Bichsel. Third, all that requires energy, which has to be brought with you.

In the end it will also not matter, because when these people reach the distant location, there will be no compatible civilization on earth left. If any at all. 10000 years ago we were sitting in caves. Reading books from medieval time in their original writing is almost impossible to most people today and that is only 500-1000 years. There is no point in deep space travel as long as we are not able to go faster than light or at least close to light speed.

Re:Space travel (2)

geogob (569250) | about 7 months ago | (#46601017)

I agree. This is also why I was pondering about interplanatary travel... Once we are well established on the boundry of our own solar system, I will start to speculate about deep space travel.

Re:Space travel (5, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46601067)

The first thing you see when the lid of your cryo-chamber whirrs open will be another human saying, "Hey, we made a warp drive engine while you were asleep!"

Re:Space travel (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 months ago | (#46601245)

"And oh, that planet that you were headed for to colonize? Yeah, we terraformed it already, but thanks for the effort."

Re:Space travel (5, Funny)

Salafrance Underhill (2947653) | about 7 months ago | (#46601373)

And by the way, since we hacked the algorithmic and neurological underpinnings of intelligence, way back when, we've been so much smarter than you people that it's just not funny.

But...

We think you're *so* adorably kawaii!

Who's a good boy! Whooo's a gooood boy!

Mummy loves her little guy, yes she does!

Re:Space travel (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46601243)

This is also why I was pondering about interplanatary travel.

Just so. Reduce lifesupport requirements significantly, and a trip to Mars by a 100-man study team becomes (relatively) trivial.

Or a hundred-man colonization team, for that matter.

Re:Space travel (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46601269)

Or a hundred-man colonization team, for that matter.

That would not be a successful long term colonization effort. But fifty men plus fifty women might be.

Re:Space travel (5, Funny)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46601289)

Even better, ten men and ninety women....

Re:Space travel (1)

l0n3s0m3phr34k (2613107) | about 7 months ago | (#46601351)

Richard Branson, is that you?

Re:Space travel (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 7 months ago | (#46601361)

Sorry to destroy your fantasy with TEH SCIENCE, but it sounds like the optimal configuration would be 100 women and a very well stocked sperm bank...

Re:Space travel (5, Funny)

dcw3 (649211) | about 7 months ago | (#46601369)

Why would I bring along nine other men???

Re:Space travel (5, Insightful)

Raumkraut (518382) | about 7 months ago | (#46601071)

In the end it will also not matter, because when these people reach the distant location, there will be no compatible civilization on earth left.

People don't generally think of multi-millennium cryo-sleeper journeys as a "there and back" deal, so the state of any civilization on Earth would be pretty much moot once they wake up at the destination.
That is, unless Earth has advanced so much that FTL Earth ships arrived at the destination before the sleepers did. In which case; "welcome to the world of tomorrow!"

There is no point in deep space travel as long as we are not able to go faster than light or at least close to light speed.

Perhaps no point for those staying behind, no. But for the pioneers, however long the journey takes, they may well become the first humans to explore and colonise a new planet and star system. If you honestly think that such an amazing achievement is entirely pointless, then I think you might be on the wrong website.

Re:Space travel (1)

prefec2 (875483) | about 7 months ago | (#46601175)

Ok. If you think in independent colonies. In that case you need above the previous requirements a really large group to go to the new destination for two reasons. First, to be able to survive in an alien environment you need technology. To understand and maintain such technology you need educated people. Knowledge is already that diverse today that a small group of 1000 people would not suffice. And you should not only send telephone disinfectors ;-) Second, to have a stable population you need genetic diversity which also includes larger groups of people. However, if you managed putting people in stasis and build ships which last thousands of years, you easily can build multiple ships to transport enough people to the new location. Leaving you only with one problem: A large group of people to be willing to leave earth. This only will happen when we fuck up earth totally which we are actually working on.

Re:Space travel (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46601231)

You don't need to build multiple ships (except for redundancy).

The beauty of suspended animation is that you can carry millions of people stacked up like cordwood (asleep), plus a maintenance crew (awake), plus all the machinery required, all in a much smaller space than would be required if everyone were awake the whole voyage.

Re:Space travel (1)

prefec2 (875483) | about 7 months ago | (#46601319)

Maintenance crew is out of the question if you want to bridge the distance to another star. Alpha Centauri is approx 30000 years away. So you need auto maintenance.

Re:Space travel (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46601367)

What, you don't think that maintenance people know how to screw?

Or for that matter, if you're carrying a million people, you can wake 100 of them every year for maintenance duties, and then each of them will have spent three years awake for the voyage.

Note that this assumes that 30K years is correct. At 0.1% of lightspeed, the trip would be closer to 4300 years than 30,000.

Yes, we don't know how to get to 300 km/s now. We will before we consider going to alphacent. And if we decide to go to alphacent before we can do 300 km/s, well, we'll have 25000 years to figure out how to go 300 km/s and still get to alphacent first with a ship that's going 300 km/s.

Re:Space travel (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 7 months ago | (#46601377)

Not necessarily. Rotate the crews between suspension, and maintenance duties. Or, only wake a tiny crew occasionally when maintenance is necessary.

Re:Space travel (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 months ago | (#46601279)

You could preserve genetic diversity with frozen embryos/sperm/eggs. Could probably fit a lot of "people" on a tiny ship, and they could all be pre-screened for genetic disorders (or any other trait the colonists deem appropriate).

Re:Space travel (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46601325)

To understand and maintain such technology you need educated people.

Or advanced robotics and a few terabytes of storage for the knowledge base.

Second, to have a stable population you need genetic diversity which also includes larger groups of people.

Or a bank of frozen ova and sperm. Or DNA sequences stored on a flash drive. Humans have 98% of their DNA in common, so you would only need to store the 2% of diffs. If properly compressed, all the genetic diversity of the entire human population of the earth would probably fit in a few terabytes.

Leaving you only with one problem: A large group of people to be willing to leave earth.

There are plenty of qualified people that would leap at the chance to go.

Re:Space travel (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 7 months ago | (#46601403)

Depends upon your definition of "qualified", and is it assumed that they'd never be back to Earth? Or, maybe this is an opportunity to pull all of the guys who live in their mommy's basements out, and allow them to be anti-social together.

Re:Space travel (1)

l0n3s0m3phr34k (2613107) | about 7 months ago | (#46601357)

I would hope that FTL ships would go out and find the sleeper ships, instead of just waiting for them.

Re:Space travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601077)

Deep space has a lot of definitions, you know. Some, like me consider deep space anything beyond the moon. Not sure what GP was talking about though. I was thinking this might or might not be able to get you to the mars and back. Huge saving on weight for life sustaining systems if we can put the crew in even just a low metabolic state. But I doubt this works for more then a few hours. :(

If our civilization was to expand beyond our star system. We would only need to build a nuclear pulse rocket. It would get us to alpha Centauri in about 85 years. However, I think we might one day build a more realistic nuclear drive rocket that could get us there in say under 500 years. How would we transport ourselves there then??? Well, let's look at the concept of ourselves closer. That would be humans and our civilization. The way to do this would be to send fertilized embryos with an artificial womb to raise them and an automated system to raise the children to adulthood. This system would have to be built and test here or in space. Assuming we can't ever freeze adults. These embryos could be frozen at liquid nitrogen temperatures so chemical decay wouldn't be a problem, though radiation exposure and radioactive decay might case problems on that scale. (probably solvable by using enough embryos and picking only the healthy ones to raise to adulthood.) Of course, the ship would need a way to refine and grow from a very small foot print all the food to raise this kids. Not to mention a way to extract and refine the chemicals and elements for life and ship operation from what every planets are found in the Alpha Centauri system.

754fad4d0bfd1d03bd8c052df6243801ace4524e76c13cfc1684561a14fa2d71

Re:Space travel (2)

Wootery (1087023) | about 7 months ago | (#46601135)

In the end it will also not matter, because when these people reach the distant location, there will be no compatible civilization on earth left. If any at all. 10000 years ago we were sitting in caves. Reading books from medieval time in their original writing is almost impossible to most people today and that is only 500-1000 years.

You're referring to the divergent nature of the evolution of natural languages, right? The difference between the cave-man and the space-traveller is that the latter can be constantly beaming signals back to Earth.

Even if the languages diverge, and even if the distance between Earth and the space-ship is so great that conversation is impossible, Earth will still have an excellent record of the evolution of their language.

Re:Space travel (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601173)

Mod down for not being able to spell. Grate? Seriously?

Re:Space travel (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 7 months ago | (#46601205)

It doesn't seem likely that suspended animation would be practical over those time periods, so maybe a better bet for deep space travel is to have colony ships. Don't suspend people, just have a community that lives, reproduces, dies etc.

Re:Space travel (4, Insightful)

Calydor (739835) | about 7 months ago | (#46600951)

This sounds more like science fiction than anything else to me.

I'm sure they said the same thing about organ transplants a hundred years ago.

Re:Space travel (4, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46601281)

The first successful organ transplant was done in 1883: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Space travel (-1)

flyneye (84093) | about 7 months ago | (#46601127)

And if it fails, you will never hear about it again.
I can not help but apply the wisdom if it sounds like a bad idea, it probably is
The medical community of science hasnt exactly fostered any more trust or confidence with their hit and miss and educated guesses over the centuries, than I would trust that bearded fellow ,who smells funny, pumping quarters into casino slots. Add modern schooling, political agendas, pharmaceutical company intrigue and the number of fuckup doctors appearing on the news for mishaps and you can just imagine, I will stuff a tampon in my own wound , thank you. Ive already had qualified doctors and surgeons fuck me up multiple times. Quit making medicine sound like science and spend more time highlighting the warthealing and chickenblood aspects of the carnival. We need more truth and less bullshit.

Re:Space travel (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601293)

The medical community of science hasnt exactly fostered any more trust or confidence with their hit and miss and educated guesses over the centuries, than I would trust that bearded fellow ,who smells funny, pumping quarters into casino slots.

You sir, are a fucking moron.

Old idea. What makes it possible now? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 7 months ago | (#46600845)

This idea is very old, so I suppose there was a technical hurdle to overcome. What is the new development that makes this now possible? The product used is cold saline, so it can't be that.

What's the new technique, process, idea?

Re:Old idea. What makes it possible now? (5, Insightful)

geogob (569250) | about 7 months ago | (#46600877)

Sometimes its small details that make a huge difference and allow old ideas to become reality.

Just think about blood tranfusions. The first attemps to store blood to transfuse it at a later point all failed. A simple stabilisation agent made the procedure possible. I wouldn't expect the New Scientist to produce such details in their publications though.

It would be interesting to see a paper from a medical journal on this topic.

Re:Old idea. What makes it possible now? (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46600893)

This idea is very old, so I suppose there was a technical hurdle to overcome.

Probably the replacing-all-their-blood-with-saline-without-them-dying part.

Re:Old idea. What makes it possible now? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601125)

It claims it can be done 2 hours after they've died, at that point I think I could replace the corpses blood with marinara sauce without worrying about the health effects.

Re:Old idea. What makes it possible now? (1)

guises (2423402) | about 7 months ago | (#46601221)

No, it claims that it can't be done two hours after they're dead.

Re:Old idea. What makes it possible now? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46601253)

NO, two hours after they're dead, it's pointless - they're dead. They're not going to get better.

Two hours before they're dead, and they can extend that two hours for an arbitrarily long period.

Re:Old idea. What makes it possible now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601225)

Reading comprehension... fail.

Pretty simple in theory (1)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about 7 months ago | (#46600849)

I have to wonder why this hasn't been done sooner. We've known of the benefits of cooling the body before surgery, as outlined in the article. In fact, I'm pretty sure we've been doing it since the 50s. That being the case, why has it taken so long to get to this point?

Re:Pretty simple in theory (4, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46600957)

Maybe it's a bit trickier to replace every milliliter of blood in your body with cold salty water than to lower someone's body temperature.

Re:Pretty simple in theory (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 7 months ago | (#46601409)

You don't have to replace "every milliliter of blood". The primary purpose of infusing cold saline solution is to cool the body rapidly.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600851)

keanureeves.jpg

"Victims" (5, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 7 months ago | (#46600853)

"10 gunshot and stabbing victims will take part in the trials"

Jesus, I can already picture a scientist charging around a shopping mall with a revolver and a switch-blade yelling "For science!"

Re:"Victims" (-1, Flamebait)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#46600863)

"10 gunshot and stabbing victims will take part in the trials"

Jesus, I can already picture a scientist charging around a shopping mall with a revolver and a switch-blade yelling "For science!"

This will be the next excuse of the muslims - "I did it for science"

Re:"Victims" (5, Funny)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 7 months ago | (#46600945)

Mohammed K. (2001). On The Effects Of Passenger Aircraft On Steel Frame Buildings. Proceedings on International Terrorism: 223-225. New York.

Re:"Victims" (1)

prefec2 (875483) | about 7 months ago | (#46600953)

Yes let it out your racist impulses.

Re:"Victims" (4, Informative)

bdeclerc (129522) | about 7 months ago | (#46600977)

You do realise that "Muslim" is not a race, right?

Re:"Victims" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601001)

You do realize that if you are blaming all Muslims / Arabs for the things a bunch of Wahabbist extremists did, you probably are racist, right?

Re:"Victims" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601053)

You do realise that 'incorrect statement' and 'racist statement' are different things, and the fact he's making the former does not imply the latter? You devalue work to fight racism by labelling everything under the sun with the term.

Re:"Victims" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601109)

In the end it was a really stupid thing to say anyway.

Re:"Victims" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601201)

I agree... because Muslim isn't a race. ;)

Re:"Victims" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601331)

That too.

Re:"Victims" (0)

bytesex (112972) | about 7 months ago | (#46601233)

You realize that there is no biologically acceptable definition of 'race', right?

Re:"Victims" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601333)

This proves otherwise:

http://www.gizmag.com/dna-facial-mug-shots/31394/

UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 7 months ago | (#46600867)

It makes sense that they're doing this in Pittsburgh, as opposed to New York City, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles, all jurisdictions with very tough gun control laws, thus precluding the team from having any gunshot victims to test their method on.

Sarcasm aside, it's interesting that they're waiting for gunshot and/or stabbing victims. Wouldn't this technique be applicable to any physical trauma resulting in massive amounts of bleeding that you might need time to repair?

Re:UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about 7 months ago | (#46600883)

My question is this voluntary? How is exactly does one opt out if they prefer traditional care? Doesn't seem to be like a recent victim of gross trauma, can exactly make an informed decision.

Re:UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh (5, Informative)

heypete (60671) | about 7 months ago | (#46600915)

My question is this voluntary? How is exactly does one opt out if they prefer traditional care? Doesn't seem to be like a recent victim of gross trauma, can exactly make an informed decision.

According to the article at New Scientist [newscientist.com] :

Getting this technique into hospitals hasn't been easy. Because the trial will happen during a medical emergency, neither the patient nor their family can give consent. The trial can only go ahead because the US Food and Drug Administration considers it to be exempt from informed consent [acutecareresearch.org] . That's because it will involve people whose injuries are likely to be fatal and there is no alternative treatment. The team had to have discussions with groups in the community and place adverts in newspapers describing the trial. People can opt out online [acutecareresearch.org] . So far, nobody has.

Re:UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh (5, Funny)

deadweight (681827) | about 7 months ago | (#46601163)

I may get an informed consent form tattooed on my chest. "Dear Mr/Mrs Doctor Person, If I am pretty much dead, feel free to try your experimental zombie procedures. Signed Iwill EatYourBrain

do you want to be a zombie? (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 7 months ago | (#46601455)

There are good reasons for refusing such treatments: they may very well leave you with serious brain damage, i.e., a "zombie". Even for resuscitation after regular heart attack, brain damage is so common that some people would rather be dead than take the risk. I probably would rather die than take the risk, but unfortunately there is no way to get paramedics to honor such a request reliably.

Since when do we have to opt out to avoid being... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601237)

experimented on?

This sort of sounds like we have to opt out to avoid being "experimented" on.

Re:UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh (1)

Guppy (12314) | about 7 months ago | (#46600935)

My question is this voluntary? How is exactly does one opt out if they prefer traditional care? Doesn't seem to be like a recent victim of gross trauma, can exactly make an informed decision.

Unfortunately, this is the problem with experimental therapies intended to be used on emergency patients in extremis, where most of which will be unable to give meaningful consent. It's a common issue in severe trauma and stroke trials. While implied consent for standard emergency treatment can be assumed, this does not hold for experimental therapies.

In such cases, the researchers will most likely ask a surrogate decision maker (the patient's family) for permission -- as you would for any other non-competent patient who needed a medical decision, and who did not leave written directives beforehand. There will also be an ethics board monitoring the whole thing (as with all human trials, but these types of trials more closely than most).

Re:UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#46600885)

It makes sense that they're doing this in Pittsburgh, as opposed to New York City, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles, all jurisdictions with very tough gun control laws, thus precluding the team from having any gunshot victims to test their method on.

Sarcasm aside, it's interesting that they're waiting for gunshot and/or stabbing victims. Wouldn't this technique be applicable to any physical trauma resulting in massive amounts of bleeding that you might need time to repair?

I assume that they need victims who have injuries where they are unlikely to survive with conventional treatment, but are fixable given time. Things like motor vehicle accidents are more likely to have multiple complications (did he suffer brain damage from the impact or was it due to the freezing?) and so on.

Re:UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh (2)

TimMD909 (260285) | about 7 months ago | (#46600903)

Presby is only a 5 minute drive from places where stabbings and gunshots are common. One of my mom's friends lost her son from a gunshot basically on the doorstep of Presby. There's a handful of other hospitals next door too (Magee, Mercy, Shadyside, etc). Something like this may have saved his life.

Re:UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 7 months ago | (#46600929)

It makes sense that they're doing this in Pittsburgh, as opposed to New York City, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles, all jurisdictions with very tough gun control laws, thus precluding the team from having any gunshot victims to test their method on.

Sarcasm aside, it's interesting that they're waiting for gunshot and/or stabbing victims. Wouldn't this technique be applicable to any physical trauma resulting in massive amounts of bleeding that you might need time to repair?

I guess they need patients where traditional care wouldn't be enough - the Hippocratic oath most physicians adhere to have the idea to do no harm. If traditional care is likely to work it should be preferred to this experimental one. That means that the right patients to try this on are the ones that traditionally would be almost certainly die which limits the selection to some specific types of damage, severe gunshot and stabbing wounds seems like a good subset to select.

Re:"Victims" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46600869)

Why switch-blade? Regular kitchen knives, the one use the most in murder, isn't scary enough for your fantasy? And, how pressing a button to open a pocket knife make it more likely to be use for murder peoples?

Re:"Victims" (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 months ago | (#46600895)

Try carrying a kitchen knife in your pocket sometime and pulling it out in such a way that results in your doing more damage to someone else than to yourself. The reason kitchen knives are one of the most common murder weapons is that most murders are crimes of passion in the home and a kitchen knife is readily available in a convenient knife block or draw (corollary: don't insult the cook!). They're a lot less common in situations involving premeditation.

Re:"Victims" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601459)

https://www.google.com/search?q=Uk+knives+crimes&tbm=isch

Kitchen knives, among other large fix blade, are still more common it 'outdoors' crimes than sophisticated and expensive automatic pocket knives aka switch-blade.

Nobody commit premeditate murder with a 400$ auto knife. They use cheap throw away 4$ kitchen knife from wal-mart.

INB4 cheap China made auto, these break when stabbing butter.

Re:"Victims" (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46600969)

"10 gunshot and stabbing victims will take part in the trials"

So, what, until then they just have to muster on as best they can? Seems a little harsh.

Re:"Victims" (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 7 months ago | (#46601169)

This is America. Finding gunshot victims isn't that hard.

Re:"Victims" (1)

DBCubix (1027232) | about 7 months ago | (#46601187)

Jesus, I can already picture a scientist charging around a shopping mall with a revolver and a switch-blade yelling "For science!"

I see you have been to Tucson before.

Re:"Victims" (1)

Marginal Coward (3557951) | about 7 months ago | (#46601311)

When somebody approaches you at a mall asking you to sign a consent form for this, just get out - fast!

Re:"Victims" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601427)

...looking for volunteers!

Too bad they won't use glycoproteins (3, Interesting)

wisebabo (638845) | about 7 months ago | (#46600901)

The real(?) key to long-term suspended animation (months, years) would probably involve cooling the body to sub-freezing temperatures.

At that point, you need something to keep the ice-crystals from rupturing cells. In certain antarctic fish they have glycoproteins that do this (I think other hibernating animals use glycol or glycogen).

Until we get nuclear fusion(?) it's clear that spaceflight even just within our solar system is going to require some pretty lengthy journeys. On the other hand, if safe long-term suspended animation is attained, there might be a whole bunch of "future" travelers who might decide to jump (one way of course) years, decades, centuries into the future.

I think there was a science fiction book which talked about the (disastrous) effects such a technology had on society.

Re:Too bad they won't use glycoproteins (1)

geogob (569250) | about 7 months ago | (#46600949)

How do you believe that nuclear fusion would improve the speed of travel through the solar system?

Re:Too bad they won't use glycoproteins (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46601003)

Radically better thrust/weight ratios than chemical fuels? Potentially better behaved than 'Project Orion' style nuclear propulsion?

Be that as it may, I'm pretty sure that no sane IRB would sign off on using cryonics and experimental nonhuman proteins on gunshot victims just because Space is Awesome, man! The scope of the study is techniques to provide team trauma surgeon more time to stitch them back up before they bleed out, a short timeframe, and likely one where working on frozen tissue would not make matters easier.

Re:Too bad they won't use glycoproteins (2)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 7 months ago | (#46601113)

It's not "frozen" - it's cold. The whole point of the technique is to minimize ice-crystal formation, which is what does a lot of the damage.

Re:Too bad they won't use glycoproteins (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46601159)

'Frozen' was referring to the grandparent post's expression of disappointment that they aren't using glycoproteins and sub-freezing temperatures. My point was that ethically doing those experiments, or even getting IRB approval for those experiments, on this patient population would (and should) be essentially impossible.

This study aims to improve outcomes for severe tissue damage. The grandparent poster wanted research into long-term hibernation. Aside from long-term work simply being riskier and more speculative, it is likely that at least some of what works best there is directly contrary to what works best for short term treatment of tissue damage.

Re:Too bad they won't use glycoproteins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601229)

It's probably worth mentioning that 'Project Orion' style nuclear propulsion can use fusion bombs and they are faster than fission-only designs.

Re:Too bad they won't use glycoproteins (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46601283)

Radically better thrust/weight ratios than chemical fuels? Potentially better behaved than 'Project Orion' style nuclear propulsion?

Thrust/weight ratios are pretty much meaningless for interplanetary travel. What you are no doubt thinking of is "Specific Impulse", which should be radically greater with fusion (or gaseous fission) drives.

As far as Orion goes, it's likely that the first nuclear spacecraft (whether fission or fusion) will be some variation on the Orion concept - laser fusion will likely be the easiest way to develop a fusion drive, and laser fusion is just Orion with tiny bombs....

Re:Too bad they won't use glycoproteins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601475)

One Word: NERVA

Probably canceled to prevent Congress from having to vote on a bill to send people to mars or at least build a moon colony.

Re:Too bad they won't use glycoproteins (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 7 months ago | (#46601007)

Lots of interesting propulsion systems become viable that make current rocket technology look the equivalent of a horse and cart to a modern motor vehicle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

Science fiction (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46600959)

"We are suspending life, but we don't like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction," says Samuel Tisherman, a surgeon at the hospital, who is leading the trial. "So we call it emergency preservation and resuscitation."

Are they nuts? That's exactly why they should call it suspended animation! It's awesome!

Re:Science fiction (1)

deadweight (681827) | about 7 months ago | (#46601191)

I can't count the number of sci-fi books where a badly injured person is put in suspension until they reach a hospital that can deal with their injuries. This really will be life imating art. In other news, Haitian witch doctors can do something similar. Real life "zombies" are not dead, but they THINK they were. Might want to look into that as well. If memory serves, puffer fish poison was the main part of their zombie drug.

Well, Calrissian, did he survive? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46600985)

"Yes, he's alive, and in perfect hibernation."

Re:Well, Calrissian, did he survive? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 7 months ago | (#46601081)

"Yes, he's alive, and in perfect hibernation."

Can't say the same thing about Lando's dance moves [youtube.com] though. That first number with the dancing stormtroopers and the supporting Ewoks was painful to watch. Though I'll give him props for trying it at his age and with the physical issues he has.

old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601013)

This has already been covered days ago, everywhere else. If I wanted old news, I'd subscribe to a newspaper.

Re:old news (1)

Adam Colley (3026155) | about 7 months ago | (#46601079)

You're new here, aren't you.

Re: old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601411)

Not everyone is as quick as you.

Sounds like a horror film plot (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 months ago | (#46601025)

I seem to recall some horror film plots something like that. Usually it's something along the lines of zombies, but I also seem to recall something along the lines of preserving the lives of those who are supposed to be dead and something bad happening as a result. Combine the two? Uh boy... they are supposed to be dead and when "brought back" are actually spirited by demons or something like that.

I am extremely wary yet curious about the technique. To take a body and remove the blood and store it? I'm okay with doing that to a person officially declared dead especially if it's (1) approved by the living person in advance (2) someone extremely recently dead.

What is it about blood which causes problems which are solved by removing it? What's more, with all that capilary action, how can they be sure they removed it all?

Re:Sounds like a horror film plot (1)

Livius (318358) | about 7 months ago | (#46601117)

I think the point about replacing blood is just to get the refrigerant to all parts of the body quickly. But if there was any temporary oxygen deprivation, there could be brain damage and then you've got zombies.

Re:Sounds like a horror film plot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601147)

It's not the lack of blood that's the trick, it's just using the circulatory system to pump cold saline to rapidly (and evenly?) reduce the body temperature. This is similar to the stories about people falling through the ice who are submerged for extended periods but survive because hypothermia slowed down their metabolism enough to slow the damage.

Re:Sounds like a horror film plot (2)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 7 months ago | (#46601227)

What is it about blood which causes problems which are solved by removing it?

10 C or 50 F is pretty cold for blood. I would imagine it would difficult to maintain pressure that that temperature. Cooling the blood to that level may also damage cells, regardless of the fact that it's not freezing - that's me speculating. I would also venture to guess that its faster to cool the body with readily available cold saline then run the blood through a cooling machine. Also, under the conditions they are testing the technique, the patient has already lost most of their blood. Doctors already use blood cooling machines for certain types of heart surgery, but in that situation, they have time. With this technique, time is of the essence.

especially if it's (1) approved by the living person in advance

From the article:

"The trial can only go ahead because the US Food and Drug Administration considers it to be exempt from informed consent. That's because it will involve people whose injuries are likely to be fatal and there is no alternative treatment. The team had to have discussions with groups in the community and place adverts in newspapers describing the trial. People can opt out online. So far, nobody has."

I am extremely wary yet curious about the technique.

Why are you wary? The technique has already passed animal trials and these people are going to die anyway. At the beginning of your comment you mention a concern that people will come back with demon souls or something similar that you have "learned" from watching horror films. At first I thought you were being facetious - are you actually concerned about that?

You should try reading the article, it's rather enlightening.

If it were 1/4/2014... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601115)

I almost suspect this could be an April Fool's joke just for the name of the surgeon.
How perfect is it that his name is Peter Rheeat? :D

Hydrogen Sulfide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601155)

The article didn't mention this, but I would bet that they're also using hydrogen sulfide [redorbit.com] to help maintain that state of suspended animation.

I had something similar done about 10 years ago (5, Interesting)

joseph90 (193138) | about 7 months ago | (#46601209)

I had something similar done about 10 years ago. It was a bit experimental at the time and they told me I was very probably going to die during surgery and if I did not die I would prob. have brain damage and/or organ failure but without the surgery I would be dead in hours. They cooled down my body and then removed all my blood, there was no saline replacement. I was dead for about 10 minutes and apart from some problems reanimating me it worked out OK (there were some problems,I spent a month afterwards in a medically induced coma and had to have further work done repairing some damage caused during surgery). It was considered a major success at the time.

A bit scary to be told that you have about 30 minutes to live. Last thing I remember is the anesthetist putting a line in and thinking that once he injected the anesthetic I was going to die.

No method of fixation is without it's artifacts. (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | about 7 months ago | (#46601217)

The fly is in the ointment.

April Fool's day : new date in march ? (2)

advid.net (595837) | about 7 months ago | (#46601285)

Is it April Fool's day right now on /. ?

Leader's haircut, suspended life, ... what's next ?

Re:April Fool's day : new date in march ? (2)

Marginal Coward (3557951) | about 7 months ago | (#46601465)

Facebook Purchases Minecraft for $3 Billion

AP - Social networking giant Facebook announced plans Thursday to buy the popular multiplayer game Minecraft from its creator, Markus "Notch" Persson, for $3 Billion, its latest in a series of high-profile acquisitions. Persson will receive compensation in the form of cash, stock, and an undisclosed number of Oculus Rift headsets.

Asked why he is selling Minecraft to Facebook following his statements that he would cease development of Minecraft for Oculus Rift when Facebook's purchase of Oculus recently was announced, Persson said, "Look, they offered me a lot of headsets in this deal. I simply couldn't turn that down. I also get a seat on the board. Although that doesn't give me any actual input into Facebook's future, the seat itself is extremely comfortable - and the boardroom has some really nice paneling."

When asked about the deal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented, "Minecraft is yet another in a series of strategic acquisitions as we evolve Facebook from a social gaming platform into a social gaming platform. Also, Markus will make a fine addition to Facebook's board; I know we'll receive some top-notch input from him as the board continues to consider future options for the seating and paneling in our boardroom."

Clinically dead but technically still alive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46601381)

If this is successful, will the clinical definition of what is considered "dead" be changed?

Wow, undergrads will do anything! (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 7 months ago | (#46601395)

How do you suppose they advertise this? "Need subjects for really cool study! $10s and all the ice cubes you can eat! Must have own gun/knife."

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