Active Winter Insects May Help Scientists Cryogenically Freeze Humans In The Future

Active Winter Insects May Help Scientists Cryogenically Freeze Humans In The Future

Winter is a tough time of year for the world’s creepy-crawly population. Most insects either die from the extremely low temperatures or they may locate sufficient heat from indoor locations. Of course some insects hibernate in order to regain activity during the spring. But we all know that very few insects can retain a high enough body temperature to survive in the wild during the winter. However, there are some bugs that are perfectly well adapted to survive in freezing cold temperatures. In fact, many of these winter-loving bugs thrive within the snow. These types of bugs are referred to as “supranivean invertebrates”. Not all of these invertebrates are insects, many of them are types of arachnids, but nearly all of them are arthropods. These bugs have not been studied thoroughly from a physiological perspective, but some scientists hope to use supranivean invertebrates as inspiration for the successful cryogenic freezing of human beings.

Most of you are aware that alcohol will remain in liquid form within freezers. Supranivean bugs also use alcohol in order to get through the winter, but not in the same way that your uncle does. These bugs possess glycerol internally. Glycerol is a type of alcohol. Glycerol keeps other internal bodily fluids from freezing in supranivean bugs. This is a nice survival adaptation to possess, as the life of a winter bug is, in many ways, easier than a summer bug’s life. For example, finding a mate is much easier for supranivean bugs, as their exists far less competition among males. These winter bugs also have a much lesser chance of encountering predators during the winter. Also, winter bugs can move much faster on the crystalline surface of snow. Now scientists believe that these understudied bugs could prolong human life by holding the secrets to cryogenic technology. Researchers are currently collecting supranivean bugs for cryogenic research.

Do you believe that successful cryogenic technology can be developed within the next twenty years by using supranivean bugs as inspiration?


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