Suspended animation is within our grasp - Mark Roth
Mark Roth studies suspended animation: the art of shutting down life processes and then starting them up again. It's wild stuff, but it's not science fiction. Induced by careful use of an otherwise toxic gas, suspended animation can potentially help trauma and heart attack victims survive long enough to be treated.
Our work in suspended animation derives from the fact that many animals exhibit what we call "metabolic flexibility," the ability to dial down their respiration and heartbeat and, in effect, "turn themselves off" in response to physical or environmental stress. Mammalian examples include hibernation — from ground squirrels to bears — as well as estivation (quiescence in response to heat) and embryonic diapause, a pause in embryonic development found in about 70 species of mammals. Meanwhile, many invertebrates can go dormant for days, months, and even years before reanimating. Finally, germ and somatic stem cells are well known to exit the cell cycle for extended periods of time and to re-enter only when it is favorable for the organism.
"That will buy them the time to be transported to the hospital to get the care they need. And then, after they get that care ... they'll wake up. A miracle? We hope not, or maybe we just hope to make miracles a little more common."