What a chilling article on cryonic preservation last month (‘Waking The Dead’, August). I can’t say I understand why somebody would want to pay thousands to have their corpse frozen after death, but the feature offered really interesting insights into the process. I wondered if there are back-up power generators in place in the event of a power cut at a cryonics facility? You’d hope so, given how much money these people invest in the process.
Although most plants have back-up generators in place, it would take weeks for liquid nitrogen to boil off and the firms also keep extra in reserve. To ensure as much protection as possible, whole-body patients are hung upside-down from their feet so that the head would be the last part of the body to defrost in the event of a power failure. To date, no cryonics patient has ever thawed as a result of power failure.