mattnyc99 writes: The brilliant writer Tom Junod has a jaw-dropping profile of MacArthur genius Marc Roth in Esquire's annual Best and Brightest roundup, detailing how this gonzo DNA scientist (who also figured out how to correctly diagnose lupus) went from watching his infant daughter die to literally reincarnating animals. Inspired by NOVA and funded by DARPA, Roth has developed a serum for major biotech startup Ikaria that successfully accomplished "suspended animation" — the closest we've ever come to simulating near-death experiences and then coming back to life. From the article: "We don't know what life is, anyway. Not really. We just know what life does--it burns oxygen. It's a process of combustion. We're all just slow-burning candles, making our way through our allotment of precious O2 until it becomes our toxin, until we burn out, until we get old and die. But we live on 21 percent oxygen, just as we live at 37 degrees. They're related. Decrease the oxygen to 5 percent, we die. But, look, the concentration of oxygen in the blood that runs through our capillaries is only 2 or 3 percent. We're almost dead already! So what if we turn down the candle's need for oxygen? What if we dim the candle so much that we don't even have the energy to die?"