Thursday, September 3, 2009
Back from the Dead
North American wood frogs are giving more weight to the plausibility of human cryogenics. To survive the winter, the frog pumps large amounts of glucose, which serves a purpose similar to antifreeze, into its bloodstream and hibernates. The frog has no heartbeat during this period - it is as close to death as you can get without being dead. The phenomenon is baffling as when compared to humans, who can suffer from diabetes from a doubling of glucose blood levels, the frog easily copes with a 250-fold increase!!
When the temperature rises, the glucose is flushed into the bladder, where it is absorbed into the blood slow enough for the liver to convert it into harmless glycogen (which can be indefinitely stored).
Labs have repeatedly chilled wood frogs to as low as -6 °C and the frog still survives.
Check out the video.