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10 Future Jobs in Health Care


9
Cryopreservation Specialist
A scientist cryogenically stores samples of DNA. Matt Meadows/Getty Images
A scientist cryogenically stores samples of DNA. Matt Meadows/Getty Images

Who can forget all of the jokes that have been made over the folks choosing to freeze themselves after death (or just their brain, to save money) in the hope that science will someday be able to cure whatever killed them, then bring them back to life? Even favorite pets are being put in the deep freeze for this purpose. That's where cryopreservation comes in.

Cryopreservation is the art of freezing something to preserve it for the future, specifically excised tissues or organs. And a cryopreservation specialist is the person doing the freezing. The most common use for cryopreservation today is probably freezing embryos for use in in vitro fertilization (IVF), and chilling sperm and ova for those who are ill and may lose the ability to naturally reproduce.

While bringing frozen people back to life isn't on most scientists' minds -- at least not yet -- there is hope that one day more complex tissues and organs will be able to be successfully frozen and thawed when ready for use. Transplant organs have a shelf life of just a day or two and may go to waste if a recipient is not immediately available. Imagine if these organs could be preserved! Scientists have been hard at work on this for years. And once they are successful, cryopreservation specialists will be hot commodities [source: Cossins].