Cryonics means the low-temperature preservation of a human corpse, with the hope that one day it can be restored to life and full health. Bodies are cooled down to -200 Celsius and placed in a container of liquid nitrogen.
If we could make it work, it would really be a game-changer — from saving terminally ill patients, to solving one of the main problems of interstellar travels. And there are many attempts to make it a reality.
Overview of cryonics, cryosleep, and cryotherapy:
The trouble with cryogenics and cryosleep is pure physics: our cells are filled with water. And when you freeze water, it expands and forms crystals, which irreversibly damage the body. No matter what, some people are still hopeful. For example, Anders Sandberg, of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, told The Guardian that he will pay for his head to be frozen in the hope that the brain’s contents might be “downloaded” into a robotic agent in the future. He gives the freezing, thawing and reanimation process “maybe a 5% chance” of working.
Perhaps the popularity of cryotherapy will fade as “the next big thing” comes, maybe we will never know whether cryopreservation works, but cryosleep will definitely develop further – as the most promising technology for interstellar travels.