Cryogenics: Can a company really help you live forever?
Las Vegas (KSNV) — There is a place that promises you can live forever. But--you have to die to get there.
News 3 was looking for southern Nevada history.
We wanted to find the owner of a house near the airport that has an underground bunker that looks like a movie set.
The location was a Cold War dream. We found the owner.
The house is actually owned by a company called The Society for The Preservation of Near Extinct Species. When we asked what that was, we were not prepared for what we found.
The company is called Transtime. They literally are in the business of living forever.
“We take patients that have passed and preserve them until technology catches up. They can bring them back and cure whatever caused their death,” said Steven Garan, the CTO of Transtime.
Garan welcomed us in and told us all about a company that will freeze you in liquid nitrogen and bring you back to life whenever a cure for what killed you is found.
“For you to be admitted to Transtime you have to be legally dead,” said Garan. “You have to have a death certificate, and we will then start the process of cryogenic suspension.”
The location is non-descript. the inside is small, too. There’s an office and the room where they prepare the bodies.
I’m not alone in this room,” said Garan. “There are actually four other people in here. in there. They are frozen, suspended in time hoping one day to come back to life.”
How does it all work? As Garan explains, It’s pretty simple.
“What we do is, when we receive the patient from the hospital -- and they have to be dead -- we profuse their blood with a cryoprotectant, like an antifreeze", he says.
They cool the body to 321 degrees below zero. Then they place it inside a metal box and lower you into a dooer -- an insulated metal tube that holds temperature very well over a long period of time.
The company has a large supply of nitrogen, which is topped off every three weeks. Bodies are placed in upside down -- that way, if the nitrogen were to evaporate, the head would be the last thing to go.
That's the whole process.
At this point, you might have certain emotions about what you heard. It all seems very science fiction.
But Garan is no Dr. Frankenstein. To him, the people in here are patients.
“They’re completely intact,” said Garan “I think, you culture some cells, and they'll come back to life.”
Of course, those people are technically property of Transtime. Once you are a member here, you donate your body to research.
There is a cost.
“The cost is $150,000. And that covers the suspension and the reanimation,” said Garan.
Though there could be a problem with that last bit.
Supension? They've done that. But when it comes to bringing people back...
“We don't guarantee that,” said Garan. “What we believe is that technology will keep on its course.”
The sales pitch here is: what have you got to lose?
Transtime will hit the pause button while medical researchers continue to move by leaps and bounds. They'll take care of you while the inevitable cure for what killed you is discovered.
People have signed up. The longest patient has been with them since 2003.
4 patients are with them now, and 90 more are waiting.
“Death is final,” said Garan. “I think living is a better alternative to that.”
Transtime is one of just three places in the world offering cryonics.
Find them online at transtime.com.