Topic Background


     Cryobiology is the study of the effects of low temperatures on living organisms and their biological systems. It's main focus is the study and effects on freezing living organisms in very low temperatures. In the future, cryobiology could be considered a field in biotechnology that can save millions of lives. Cryobiology on a small scale can extinguish skin lesions and benign tumors. On a larger scale it could cure cancer or even bring the dead back to life. Cryobiology doesn’t use an invasion approach unlike other procedures in
order to eliminate unhealthy tissue, while sustaining the healthy tissue that surrounds it. Cryobiology has three important focuses: Cryosurgery, Cryonics and Cryopreservation.




 The use of Cryobiology can be traced back to as early as in 2500 BC when low temperatures were used in Egypt as medicine. The use of cold or low temperature was recommended by Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, in order to stop bleeding and swelling. With the discovery of modern science, Robert Boyle studied the effects of low temperatures on animals.
Cryosurgery (the use of extremely low temperatures produced by liquid nitrogen (or argon gas) to get rid of abnormal or unwanted tissue) was carried out by James Arnott in 1845 in an operation on a patient with cancer. Cryosurgery though is still not common today.

           Some major challenges to research and scientific advancement of this area of biotechnology are the ethical and legal issues that cannot be ignored. The study of biotechnology can be controversial, such as embryonic stem cell research, cloning and in-vitro fertilization to name a few. Surrounding the field of cryobiology are many ethical issues and legal issues especially in the field of cryopreservation, ethical issues are found, because it deals with assisted reproduction and technology that has not been perfected yet. Also, many people believe that human beings’ lifespan is predestined and should not be tampered with through the
help of cryogenics especially those who are Roman Catholics. Cryobiological techniques also can cause severe damage to the cells and the surrounding areas of the part of the body subjected to the treatment. If cryobiology ever become perfected, the price of the treatment would be expensive especially at first so normal people could not afford to make use of the beneficial effects it would bring to many patients who are less fortunate.
     This application of biotechnology is still under development. Scientists are now hoping to perfect it as soon as possible in order to be soon applied as one of the newest treatment in certain types of diseases such as cancer. Now scientists are now conducting many clinical trials in order to treat cancer tumors/cells and also to be successful in applying this to cryopreserved human beings to prolong their lifespan. As soon as cryobiology will be successfully developed in the near future, it could be considered as one of the turning points in the field of science and medicine.

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