It’s Zebrafish Goldschläger!

Here’s a clever trick to thaw out frozen embryos: before you freeze them, you inject them with nanogold particles, and then you thaw them out by heating the scattered particles with a laser to prevent local formation of ice crystals.

(Before the cryogenics weirdos get all excited, this only works with transparent embryos, and requires the ability to microinject particles into all of the cells you want to protect.)


  1. says

    this only works with transparent embryos

    You couldn’t do it with microwaves, maybe? Obviously not, as that’s so obvious that someone would have already tried it, I’m sure. Just wondering why that wouldn’t work.

  2. rietpluim says

    C’mon, it’s only a matter of time before we can microinject nanogold particles into single cells in live human bodies. I love the “micro” and “nano” prefixes!

    (I’m not a real cryogenics weirdo, but sometimes I like to behave like one. I like Elon Musk too when I’m in a playful mood.)

  3. davidnangle says

    NelC, you use my microwave and you’ll end up with most of your sample frozen solid, and the plate the temperature of lava.

  4. blf says

    You couldn’t do it with microwaves, maybe?

    There is a fad for adding gold to expensive food, and thus, for instance, turning a quite good slice of pizza costing several dollars into a a slice of pizza which tastes exactly the same and costs a hundred dollars. And it still doesn’t glitter.

    I don’t think zebrafishys are expensive — not even the Mad Scientist Bubbling Vat Grade poopyhead uses — and have no idea how they taste, but microwaving seems a viable cooking method. So clearly adding gold, microwaving, and selling the resultant zebrabait fritters, will help find the gullibility gene poopyhead’s searching for, but might be a tad expensive in microwave ovens as the microwaves reflect off the gold and melt the oven.

  5. davidnangle says

    All this talk reminds me of radioactive seeds for prostate treatments, as well as TUMT, transurethral microwave therapy.

    (Urologists treat bad prostates like high ranking clergy treated apostates in the Middle Ages: All sorts of wildly inventive ways of killing them.)

  6. Zeppelin says

    For humans we just need to put a self-heating nanomachine in each cell of the body, obviously. Any nano problem can be solved with additional nano.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    In one of the Superman films, he travels backwards in time by circling the Earth counter- clockwise really, really fast.
    If we do the same with the frozen people, we will bring them to a time before they were frozen.

  8. unperson says

    That’s not *completely* out of the question for cryogenics: it could still work for bodies that are not optically transparent if a material can be found that is inert, non-toxic, and which strongly absorbs some non-ionizing wavelength to which a frozen human body is largely transparent. I don’t know if such a material-wavelength pair exists.

    Even if that problem is solvable, there’s still the issue of using it to heat something of the size of a human body evenly. It would hardly do to boil the skin while leaving the interior frozen. This might be avoidable by increasing the density of the absorbent at increased depths within the body: in principle, the increased absorption at depth could counter the attenuated energy source to yield even heating.

    Of course, as PZM points out, there’s still the issue of impregnating a body with this wonder-material. Which would need to be performed with very high accuracy with very little collateral damage within a short amount of time to be practical for cryogenic purposes. The problem of removing the wonder-material will of course be left as an exercise to the future.

  9. michaelwbusch says


    I use neutrinos to heat up my frozen humans.

    It’s possible to get enough neutrinos in one spot to do that. But the only time that happens is in close proximity to a supernova explosion; at which point the light from the explosion is millions of times brighter than a nuclear bomb held to your face: .

    At which point the neutrino heating is rather incidental.