Humans could recolonize Earth after mass extinctions with ectogenesis: If all living things perished in a powerful enough mass extinction event, their cryopreserved embryos and plant seeds could survive. This is established in an article published in Science X.
The embryos would be stored in deep underground bunkers for short duration events and in fully automated orbiting spacecraft for long duration events. When favorable conditions on Earth had returned after an apocalyptic event, the embryos would be thawed and raised using the emerging assisted reproductive techniques of ectogenesis .
The ectogénesis is the development of embryos outside the natural womb, to be reared by keepers and farmers androids. According to the conclusions of the research, published in the International Journal of Astrobiology, artificial uterus (AU) systems must allow complete ectogenesis, that is, the integral development of embryos and their subsequent birth. without requiring a natural uterus.
Although this technology is not yet available, the study suggests that it will be developed in the near future as an alternative for therapies and treatments related to assisted reproduction and fertility. The cryonics , meanwhile, seems to have a more clear and concrete scenario: the preservation of living things at low temperatures.
It is carried out when medicine cannot provide answers or offer solutions to certain diseases or ailments. In this way, people are kept frozen until new medical treatments are available to “revive” them. However, the idea raises many doubts, at least with current technology.
CURRENT LIMITATIONS AND FUTURE SCENARIOS
Nowadays, it is essential to carry out operations that involve organ transplants as quickly as possible, so as not to lose their functions. Despite these efforts, many organs are lost before being transplanted: if we are not able to freeze organs effectively, can we think of freezing whole bodies with some degree of success?
Beyond myths and emblematic cases such as Walt Disney, reality indicates that cryogenization is a “service” already available in different centers and institutes, although its scientific viability has not yet been proven. In other words, there is still no known case of a deceased and cryopreserved person who has managed to be ‘revived’.
However, it is known that human babies can be born from embryos that have been cryopreserved after in vitro fertilization for two decades, although scientific work suggests that in theory this period could extend up to thousands or even millions of years .
In this regard, the case of arctic rotifers is indicated , microscopic and multicellular organisms that managed to be revived after being frozen for 24,000 years. In the same vein, there are bacterial species that could be revived after being in a “suspended” or hibernating state for more than 100 million years.
Despite current limitations and still developing technology, the new study indicates that an advanced civilization using such an integrated embryonic approach could eventually colonize distant parts of its home galaxy and potentially the entire universe . Will we ever be able to do it? Or maybe another intelligent civilization has already done it and at some point we will run into it?