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A man named Dennis Kowalski has signed his whole family up to be frozen when they die in the hope they can be brought back to life in the future.

His wife Maria and their three sons – Jacob 19, Danny 17, and James, 16 – will all be preserved in a vat of liquid nitrogen after they die.

Dennis, a paramedic and the president of the Cryonics Institute, spent $140,000 (£104,800) for the process which he believes could give them all a "second chance at life," Daily Mail reported.

Cryonics already has 160 human bodies and around 100 pets frozen. They start the process as soon as a person is declared legally dead. The bodies is then cooled to low temperatures.

Then, they are transported to the company headquarters of the Cryonics Institute in Michigan. There, the person's blood is replaced with antifreeze solution and the body is kept in a vapourised cooling chamber.

Dennis, who lives in Wisconsin, believes those who take part in this process have "little to lose and virtually everything to gain".

In fact, he said: "We think of it as donating our bodies to science. If it works then we have helped science and advanced life."

The 49-year-old added: "Essentially, we are buying time until technology catches up and is able to fully repair and restore the human body...We have decided to take action in the present for the chance at a renewed life in the future."

The concept of cryonics was introduced Robert Ettinger in 1962 with the publication of his book, The Prospect of Immortality.

The purpose of cooling a legally dead person to liquid nitrogen temperature is to stop all physical decay – with the goal of preserving the tissues, organs and especially the brain along with its associated memories and personality as much as possible.

"We have decided to take action in the present for the chance at a renewed life in the future," said Dennis.