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Cryobiology - a science of the future

Cryobiology is a part of biology that studies life at low temperatures, temperatures that are too low to sustain it. This may sound a little strange, but in fact it's not, because life is too complex to be easily defined, so all its aspects must be studied, even when it ends, or 'expires'. You may say that at low temperatures the border between life and death can be reached, because water starts to freeze and turn to ice. Without water, life can't be sustained anymore, it begins to fade, to freeze, and time seems to stop. Cryobiology studies these phenomenons that occur when life freezes, and it has a lot of practical uses for us.

Technically, you could say that cryobiology represents the study of life at all temperatures that don't support it. It may be said that the science of cryobiology started in 1949 when sperm was cryopreserved for the first time. Nowadays cryopreservation has a lot of general uses, from which the most important is that due to it organs (hearts or kidneys for example) can be preserved and transported at low temperatures, and than transplanted to people in need. Many lives were saved this way.
Cryobiology is also used at in-vitro fertilisations, eggs can be fertilized by sperm that was previously frozen, or the other way around.

Another really useful thing that is based on the science of cryobiology is cryosurgery. It's not too common but it has some advantages, like helping increase the duration of the operations, or maybe curing cancer in the future.

But cryobiology is quite a new science, so more results of the cryobiolgysts' work will be seen in the future. It is hoped that cryobiology will be used in slowing down the aging process, because the chemical reactions that lead
to aging can be substantially slowed down at low temperatures.

Also, as you probably know from science - fiction movies, it is hoped that cryobiology will have an important use in long - distance space travels, because the astronauts could be frozen during the long trip, with their vital signs preserved, so they wouldn't age or consume too many resources.

So we can only hope that cryobiology will evolve and we will have new means of delaying old age or curing difficult diseases.

Quoted from Content-Articles.com

rating: 8.83 from 6 votes | updated on: 25 Oct 2006 | views: 2330 |

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