Alive from the dead in a matter of a few months

Alive from the dead in a matter of a few months
Cryopreservation of organs is still a far-fetched dream but there is an amphibian called Rana sylvatica (wood frog) that freezes itself during winter and roars to life in the spring. It is found in the regions of North America and Artic circle. It is usually brown, tan or rusty in colour and has a dark eye mask. Individual frogs have the ability to change their colour. They hide themselves under the twigs and leaves, freeze solid and spend the entire winter unconsciously. When frozen, their heartbeat and breathing stop; there is no measurable brain activity, and eyes remain wide open, become rigid and pale white. Once spring starts and temperature thaws, the frogs’ heart starts beating, they gulp air and come to life. They blink while the colour returns to the eyes. Once they sense that the temperature is dropping to almost freezing, they move water from the blood and organ cells and collect it in the abdomen; simultaneously they deposit large amounts of glucose into the bloodstream along with additional sugar alcohols raising the blood sugar level hundredfold. This increase in the quantity of sugar lowers the freezing point of the remaining water converting it into sugary antifreeze. Some more water present in the body gets forced to the places where ice crystals cause the least harm and have a favourable effect. Flat sheets of ice are found between the skin and muscles, and a large mass of ice is found in the abdomen. Through the entire process the cells remain liquid; hence, the wood frogs are able to come back to life. The frozen cells kill the frog. All the organs get dehydrated while the ice gets forced into shapes so that they do not tear through the organs. The inevitable least damage that occurs is repaired by the clotting factor called fibrinogen.


How to cite this article:
Prasidhee V. Alive from the dead in a matter of a few months . BioLim O-Media. 27 April, 2016. 4(4).
Available from: http://www.biolim.com/read/BOMA0117.