Cryonics institute aims to beat death

Jan. 4, 2010 at 1:59 PM
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DETROIT, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- The Cryonics Institute in Detroit says it has frozen 94 human corpses with the aim of one day outsmarting death.

Live membership in the institute has grown from the single digits in 2000 to more than 830 people worldwide who want to preserve themselves, their DNA, or their pets, in hopes of future medical and scientific advances that could someday revive them, The Detroit News reported Monday.

Sixty-four animals, mostly dogs and cats, have been frozen so far in the institute's facility in Clinton Township in metropolitan Detroit, said Joseph Kowalsky, a board member of the institute.

While many dismiss the idea of cryogenics as science fiction, Kowalsky likens it to "an ambulance to the future." For example, a person who suffered a heart-stopping attack in the 1800s would have been considered dead, while today defibrillators allow many people to live.

The institute is one of several worldwide that freeze a body in liquid nitrogen for fees ranging from $28,000 at the institute to $150,000 at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., where baseball legend Ted Williams was placed in cryonic suspension in 2002.

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