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Long Life vol 3 no 6 - Immortalist Highlights July-August 4004

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  • John de Rivaz
    Long Life: the Cryonics Institute newsletter July 2004 -- Volume 3, Number 6 - Immortalist Highlights Welcome to Long Life -- the electronic newsletter of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 14, 2004

      Long Life: the Cryonics Institute newsletter

      July 2004 -- Volume 3, Number 6 - Immortalist Highlights

      Welcome to Long Life -- the electronic newsletter of the Cryonics Institute. We're here to update you with brief cutting-edge news, updates, links, and information about the latest scientific, medical, health, anti-ageing, and social developments relevant to CI's goal of saving, preserving, and extending human life. Long Life may also include news about Cryonics Institute events and member activities and opinion. We welcome your feedback, and encourage readers to forward issues to friends and interested parties.

      I would also urge readers to subscribe to the paper issue of The Immortalist (see http://www.cryonics.org/info.html ) as not everything is reproduced in this email version.

      NEWS & VIEWS
      American Cryonics Society News & Views
      Some "Senior" Personal Ads seen in Florida newspapers
      Cryostats Status Report, June 2004
      The Highest Law

      NEWS & VIEWS

      President's Report

      This issue of THE IMMORTALIST (as with the previous issue) is being sent gratis to every CI Member (one per household) in the United States. This policy will continue at least until the end of 2004. Postage costs outside the United States makes the expense of regularly sending free issues prohibitive, but the last issue of 2004 will be sent to all CI Members everywhere (one per household).

      This policy is being implemented on an experimental basis -- in 2005 we may either resume with fully paid subscriptions or switch to online publication. CI Members who have been subscribing will have their subscriptions extended in 2005 if paper-publication with paid subscriptions resumes, or can receive a refund if paper publication does not continue.

      Since writing my last President's Report CI has had three more patients bringing the total for the first half of 2004 to five, about as many as we have ever had in any full year. I wish the quality of patient care had been better.

      CI’s 63rd patient suffered a heart attack at home on Monday. He was not discovered and pronounced dead until several hours later. He was refrigerated at the morgue and soon released to one of our funeral directors who held him at water-ice temperature for over a day while it was determined whether financing was available to cryopreserve. Then he was cooled in dry ice for at least another day.

      The Patient is a big man: 6' 3" and weighing nearly 300 pounds, he was too large for an insulated Ziegler (steel shipping coffin). Laying on an air tray he used a prodigious amount of dry ice. He is currently being cooled to liquid nitrogen temperature.

      It is not feasible to perfuse after several hours of warm ischemia because of clotting and vascular damage. But neurological damage is slower and takes much longer. Dry ice cooling should have been initiated immediately upon discovery.

      In the hope of reducing the number of losses of members living alone I have been testing two alarm systems with Robert Ettinger and plan soon to test a third. I will be reporting on my investigations in a forthcoming issue of THE IMMORTALIST.

      CI's 64th Patient deanimated shortly after midnight on Sunday morning, May 16th. The event caught too many people by surprise. Knowing he had cancer, the member's paperwork and funding were in order. But he was living at home and apparently getting better thanks to his new Erbitux treatments.

      His deterioration was very sudden -- he was in the hospital only about a day before his deanimation. The hospital staff was not informed of his cryonics arrangements, nor was many in his family, although his wife had signed a next-of-kin form. The funeral director had been forewarned and responded fairly rapidly. CI only learned of the deanimation from the funeral director.

      The Patient's family should have understood the importance of contacting CI immediately when the member went to the hospital, the hospital staff should have been informed and persons willing to stand by to render immediate CPS should have been found. My commitment as CI President is that CI Members/Patients will benefit as a result of my being President. I am not proud of my role in this case. Complacency about apparently recovered cancer patients can be hazardous.

      I have resolved to have more personal discussions with CI Members who are cancer patients, their family and their funeral directors.

      Patient 65 was a "last-minute" case which demonstrated many of the things that can go wrong for people who sign-up at the last minute. We were initially contacted about 8pm Eastern Standard Time and the patient deanimated at about 4am EST the next morning.

      The patient was a cancer victim living in the Los Angeles area. Both her son and brother were intent on having her cryopreserved, but did not have much familiarity with cryonics. They chose a funeral home and hospital well before the time they contacted us. They were unaware that we use cryoprotectants, but agreed to a credit card charge for us to express courier our perfusate to their funeral home.

      We will not accept a full cryopreservation fee on a credit card and it takes the better part of a day to wire funds or express-courier a cashier's check. Too late we learned that the funeral home refused to do the perfusion, refused to allow anyone else to do a perfusion on their premises and objected to having two boxes of perfusate couriered to their address.

      Our funeral directors' network cannot be utilized unless there is a commitment that a paid-up Member is at immediate risk. Without cash-in-hand we cannot be certain that a last-minute case will not result in a last-minute change-of-mind, so we had to find another funeral director outside of our usual network.

      I contacted my friend Russell Cheney, who was in Florida. Russell has been a local response coordinator for Alcor in the Los Angeles area. In addition to his recommendation of a funeral director Russell gave me a list of phone numbers for Alcor volunteers in the LA area. I was reluctant to contact these people, thinking that there might be "political" ramifications to circumventing official Alcor approval. Later I decided I would try to contact them the next day -- which proved to be too late. I think a number of them would have agreed to stand-by and apply ice and CPR upon pronouncement of death. I would not have been circumventing official approval, either, because an agreement for such co-operation had been made at the CryoSummit, although renewing the discussion with the new Alcor administration would be a good idea.

      Arrangements were made with the second funeral director and the courier was instructed to redirect the perfusate to his premises. The first funeral home was still responsible for the patient, however, and they phoned us at 4:30am informing us that they were removing the patient from the hospital. Incredibly, the hospital told the funeral home that they had no ice. We instructed them to get ice at a convenience store. The patient was transported back to the funeral home and placed in refrigeration.

      After having initially agreed to take the patient, the second funeral director changed his mind and decided he didn't want to do it. Because we still did not have cash-in-hand we decided to work with a funeral director in San Diego who had done a previous case for us. We called the courier company and told them to redirect the perfusate to San Diego.

      The first funeral home drove the patient to San Diego. When the San Diego funeral home opened two boxes from the courier company to begin the perfusion they discovered computer parts. The parts had not been expected, although they did belong to the funeral home (were correctly addressed) and were delivered by the same courier company. The courier company found the boxes of perfusate in a Los Angeles warehouse and sent them to San Diego. In their defense they said that good service cannot be expected when re-directing shipment twice en route.

      As the general public learns more about cryonics I hope they also get the message that cryonics arrangements are not to be made while on a deathbed. Unfortunately, there are also many people who know a great deal about cryonics who think that last-minute arrangements are preferable for economic or other reasons. I think such people are making a big mistake.

      A huge difference could have been made to patient care if one of our Members could have been on hand to render assistance. It would have helped even to get ice at a convenience store. Someone willing to stand by could have immediately packed ice on the patient and encourage hospital staff or a funeral director to inject heparin. If the Member-volunteer did not want to do chest-compressions, a hospital staff person might have been encouraged to do it.

      I have created a column in our database that will indicate CI Members who may help in a cryonics case. We will not phone Members who do not give permission to be contacted and we will recognize that circumstances in your life may often mean you are unavailable. Cryonics is not an established industry and Members cannot afford to have a passive consumer-mentality. We are building our own lifeboats. We are few and far between. If we want others to help us when we need cryonics we should think of offering help to others.

      If you may be willing to sometimes help in a cryonics case, please let Andy Zawacki (our CI Facilities Manager) know that you can be called. Send him an e-mail at CIHQ@... -- CIHQ (at) aol.com -- or phone

      (586) 791-5961 or write 24355 Sorrentino Court; Clinton Township, MI 48035 with instructions to list you as a possible volunteer.

      Elsewhere in this issue should be my review of available personal emergency response equipment, which could help reduce the time between deanimation and cryonics rescue -- or perhaps save lives. Those with a cell phone who can call an emergency number with the push of a button might get-along without these devices (although the situation may change when vital signs monitoring becomes available in 2005) -- as long as the phone call results in a reliable human connection.

      Otherwise I recommend the Magnavox MobilePal+GPS which provides instant access to a live operator who can locate you for a monthly fee of $19.95. A drawback is the bulkiness of the device, which should be worn on the belt. For those who are house-bound a pendant or wrist-watch type "panic button" may be more convenient, but a product with a lower monthly fee than the Pioneer unit we have been testing might be as good.

      I had been hoping to report on deployment of Dr. Yuri Pichugin's vitrification formula, but we received a setback. We were very encouraged by the fact that potassium/sodium ratios (a measure of viability) were as good for rat brains perfused with vitrification solution and cooled to -130oC and rewarmed, as for brains perfused without cooling. Even better, the less expensive commercial grade reagents are as good as the expensive grades.

      The setback came when we tried to make electron micrographs (EMs). The results were terrible -- as bad for the samples cooled to -130oC as for the samples held at freezer temperatures. Based on the viability measures and gross appearance of rat brains and sheep brains perfused with vitrification formula, we believe the bad EM results were artifacts. In preparing EMs the brain is perfused with Karnovsky's solution in addition to the vitrification solution. They were stored for a long time at freezer temperature while we sought a good university lab to do the EMs. They were shipped at ice temperature, because we had no good way to ship at freezer temperature. We are uncertain of the quality of work at the university we chose.

      Dr. Pichugin has now had to devote himself to studying how to better prepare EMs. He prepared another batch of samples, and this time he cut millimeter cubes from the brains and fixed them in osmium tetroxide.

      We have sent these cubes to a Canadian lab which did good work for us before and are awaiting the results. EMs are frightfully expensive and it is a harrowing experience to be learning from EMs on a trial-and-error basis. Contributions to the Research Fund are always welcome and are tax-deductable. E-mail CIHQ@... or phone (586) 791-5961 if you have questions. Credit card payment is accepted.

      Dr. Pichugin will be taking the month of July for a vacation in his native Ukraine.

      He is preparing samples for EM work in Ukraine, which would be less expensive

      -- although they must be carried at room temperature. He also hopes to find an inexpensive Russian light-microscope which he can buy for use in our Research Facility.

      I myself will be spending much of July "on vacation" in China. I expect to attend the annual Society for Cryobiology Conference which is being held in Beijing this year ( With Robert Ettinger as Vice-President and Andy Zawacki as Facilities Manager, CI will be in good hands while I am away.

      I remind all CI Members of the Cryonics Institute and Immortalist Society Annual General Meetings which are being held on Sunday, September 19, 2004 at the CI Facility in Clinton Township, Michigan. This will be an excellent opportunity to visit the Facility, meet other CI Members (along with Staff, Officers and Directors) and get a lively experience of the issues that face our organization. A buffet dinner is served to all who attend. Please notify us in if you do plan to attend. The AGMs are open to the public, but we must have advance notice of who is attending to plan for seating and buffet.

      As announced on March 23 the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Cryonics Institute will be Sunday, 19-Sept-2004. There are currently 12 Directors and 4 of the 12 are elected to their positions every 3 years. The 4 Directors up for re-election this year are:

      John Besancon

      Royse Brown

      Jim Fitzgerald

      Edgar Swank

      Any CI Member who is an Option One Member or has been a paid-up Option

      Two Member for at least two years is eligible to be a Director and to vote for

      Directors. A Director candidate must be nominated by another CI Member who

      is qualified to vote, either at the AGM or beforehand (nomination in this forum

      would be acceptable). A candidate need not attend the AGM to be elected.

      An important qualification for a Director candidate is active use of e-mail insofar as most decisions are based on discussions held by e-mail. There is no requirement for physical presence at any meeting, so geography is not a limitation. (Two of our Directors currently live in the UK.)

      It is not too early to be giving thought to who might make a suitable Director

      or who might want to run for the office.

      It seems likely that all the existing Directors will be candidates.

      The AGM will be held at the CI facility in Michigan.


      Male 337

      Female 118

      USA 334

      Non USA 111

      Option One 339

      Option Two 116

      The eleven "lost" Members I reported earlier have mostly been found, but we have changed the definitions slightly. By our current definition a "lost" Member is someone for whom we do not have a current address, but for whom we have a good prospect of getting a current address. We have two "lost" Members based on the fact that we are getting a message on their answering machine and we are expecting to eventually make contact.

      Not counted as Members are those in our "inactive" file. This includes people who have renounced their membership and who say they want to be cremated or buried rather than cryopreserved. Such people may change their mind again, in which case they can be activated again upon request if they are Option One. Option Two Members who have stopped paying dues must pay an initiation fee and resume dues to be activated again.

      Member we have inactivated is a man we believe is now living in South Africa who has not contacted us since five years ago when he was living in Michigan as a University student doing a PhD thesis. His e-mail address and mailing address are defunct. If he contacts us and gives us an address, we will reactivate him.

      Ben Best



      The controversy surrounding the suspension of Ted Williams by Alcor continues

      The latest development is that an Arizona paper has entered the fray. The Arizona Republic has joined the daughter of Ted Williams in a court battle to view documents held by a cryonics lab where Williams has been frozen to determine if he legally consented to have his remains stored at the facility.

      The newspaper filed a motion late last week in Arizona Superior Court to unseal documents filed by Alcor Life Extension Foundation in response to a civil suit filed by Williams' daughter, Bobby Jo Ferrell, seeking to force Alcor to produce documentation proving that her father's remains were legally given to the Scottsdale cryonics lab.

      `They claim to be in compliance with the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act but they want to hide everything they've done and they want to hide everything in the court file,'' Ferrell's attorney, John Heer, said of Alcor yesterday.

      Ferrell has long wanted to claim her father's remains and have him cremated

      based on his original will, but the body went to Alcor after his death in 2002.

      Ferrell's half-brother, John Henry Williams, who died of leukemia in March,

      reportedly obtained his father's approval to be placed at Alcor after his death.

      John Henry's will states that his remains be kept at Alcor.

      Although Ferrell gave up her right to claim her father's remains as part of a $215,000 settlement with his Florida estate, Heer is seeking to examine her father's contract with Alcor to see if it conforms with the Anatomical Gift Act.

      If Ferrell’s attorney can prove Ted Williams was sent to Alcor without his written permission, he hopes to circumvent Ferrell's agreement with her father's estate and lay claim to the baseball Hall of Famer's remains.

      Attorneys for Alcor have filed their responses and an affidavit opposing

      Ferrell's motion under seal. The Republic, citing public access laws, has joined Heer's effort to have the Alcor court filings unsealed. ``Alcor has taken steps that are absolutely unheard of to seal the entire court file,'' said Heer. ``This is not your normal court situation so it's going to be interesting to see what happens." Just before we went to press, the Ferrell’s announced they were stopping all legal action. Stay tuned!


      The American Association of Anti-Aging Medicine is planning two conventions this year. The first will be in Chicago on August 20-22. The second will be in Las Vegas on December 3-5.

      Some of the subjects covered will be Stem cell therapy, Cosmetic office procedures, Brain aging, Laboratory biomarkers of aging, Nanotechnology, Obesity drugs and minimally invasive obesity surgery, Anti-Aging therapies, Heavy metals/environmental detoxification and Hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

      The events are billed as "attracting 5000 physicians, scientists, exhibitors and key members of the industry and media."

      For information call 1-800 558-1267



      An hour after a 22 month old boy was pronounced dead, a hospital nurse who was preparing the body for funeral home pickup noticed movement in his chest. He was submerged in a canal for 30 minutes after wandering away from his babysitter. An officer gave him CPR, and emergency workers tried to revive him, with no success.

      He was subsequently removed to a local hospital in Boise, Idaho. A few days later his condition was still listed as critical.


      American Cryonics Society News & Views

      By Jim Yount

      Lots of people pitched in and donated time and talent to bring off the recent move of ACS patients from the CryoSpan facility in Southern California to CI’s Michigan facility. Thanks to all, and for the many suggestions on how to make the move safely. Our patients deserve no less.

      When Paul Wakfer and others first formed CryoSpan, and the long-term cold-care facility was started, it offered a high level of patient care and a keen dedication to purpose. Everyone involved was cryonicists and expected to be their own customers.

      ACS was immediately interested in contracting for liquid nitrogen storage of our own patients. The service was as promised: there were no "melt-downs," and the safety equipment such as the alarm system and the underground silos that housed the cryostats were innovative and practical. There was never a time when we were concerned that our patients were not being properly cared for.

      CryoSpan did not get the boom in business that it had hoped for, and after the principal shareholders changed, it was decided that the facility, which shared space in a building dedicated to other kinds of research, would be closed down.

      We are well satisfied with the care that ACS patients received at CryoSpan, and we are also pleased with the care that ACS patients have gotten at the CI facility. I have very mixed feeling about the move of our patients. On the one hand there is something to be said for the advantages of centralizing operations and what we hope will be an economic advantage in greater numbers of cryonauts cared for under one roof. On the other hand, the elimination of one of a very few competitors in the long-term storage business may mean that there is less innovation and perhaps even higher prices.

      Our contact with the Cryonics Institute provides ACS patients with the same safeguards and oversight by our organization as did our contract with CryoSpan. The number of patients now under care by the Cryonics Institute, includes quite a number of other ACS patients, and is large enough that it seems unlikely we will have to do another patient move anytime in the near future. As to the far future, who knows? When my time comes to spend a hundred years or so in liquid nitrogen, it will not surprise me greatly to "wake up" on the far side of the moon! Now that will be a move!

      Cryonics for All, or just for us Beautiful People?

      An argument that has been around at least as long as I have been enrolled concerns who should be frozen. Oh, I don’t mean that there has ever been a serious effort to exclude anyone. We all agree that we need a few more good frozen men (and women). Rather, the disagreement is about who we should try to get to join our motley frozen crew.

      Should we market to the masses? Is there really much hope that Mr. and Mrs. Mainstreet will become cryonics prospects? Or should we, instead, concentrate on the demographics that have yielded the very few "takers" that we have so far managed to stuff into cryostats?

      There is no doubt that it is safest to take note of the characteristics of the takers and to then try to structure a marketing program to appeal to like folks. Good samples of cryonics patients are those who we recently moved from Southern California to Michigan. These included a schoolteacher, a lawyer, two NASA space program computer programmers, a welder, a housewife, two students, a technical writer, and a horse breeder. This group sounds fairly Main Street. It would be difficult to find a publication in which to advertise cryonics services that is read by a majority of these folks, unless it be a very general publication, such as a newspaper.

      In order to appeal to the masses do we need to "dumb down" cryonics? Or perhaps we just have not been smart enough to present cryonics in a way that will be readily understood by ordinary folks?

      I will confess that I don’t know who is right: those who think we can tap the Mainstreet market, or those who think we need to concentrate on attracting more Beautiful People? I like the idea of cryonics having a broader appeal, and I fervently hope that we can find better ways of explaining it so it is of interest to more people. There is also the danger that if cryonics becomes, or is regarded by most people, as too elitist, that very fact will make us a target for derision. If we can’t appeal to ordinary folks, let us at least avoid ticking them off!

      What to do with the Dogs and Cats?

      On my desk is a draft copy of a contact between the American Cryonics Society and the Cryonics Institute whereby CI agrees to keep frozen dogs and cats owned by members of ACS. This contract will be for the pets transferred in the recent move from Southern California, but the questions that must be addressed are pretty much the same for other pets of our members. The facts that people usually outlive their pets, and also have a great deal of love for them, suggests that there will be plenty more frozen animal companions in the future.

      There are several contractual problems unique to pets that need not trouble us as much when dealing with people. Pets don’t make arrangements for themselves. They are dependent upon humans, and may or may not be happy being reanimated without their companion human. Who is to care for the reanimated pet? Should we require that pets not be reanimated unless and until their owner/companion human is also reanimated? What constitutes reanimation for pets? Should it be the same standard as that of humans? Should we first reanimate the pet’s owner, and then have him or her decide about the pets?

      It may actually be a false assumption that pets require an owner or other sponsor to make decisions on the pets’ behalf, but humans do not. Certainly young children who are suspended don’t have the same capacity for reason as do adults, and may need such sponsorship. But what of the most intelligent cryonicists frozen today?

      What if that intelligence, in relative terms, is akin to that of dogs and cats? The beings of the future, be they computers, super humans, or hybrids will likely be able to make decisions regarding reanimation and future lifestyle much better than will we. Should we then recognize that fact and demand in our own contracts that such beings be "owners" or "companion beings" to animals such as us?

      We didn’t make the decision to freeze pets easily or lightly, and there are still quite a number of cryonicists who think we should not provide cryonics services to animals. It is interesting to note that all of the cryonics organizations now do accept pets, which probably is indicative of the inevitability of accepting such subjects.


      We were recently on Florida’s west coast. While over there, we stopped in to see Curtis Henderson, who lives in Spring Hill with his son. Curtis, along with Saul Kent started the Cryonics Society of New York back in the 60’s. Considering that he had a stroke a couple of years ago, he’s doing pretty well for a seventy six year old.

      Although his principal transportation is still his motorcycle, the last we heard, he and his brother were touring the country in his brother’s single engine plane. They recently stopped in Detroit to visit Robert Ettinger.

      This issue carries another ad from the Life Extension Foundation. We thank them for the confidence they’ve shown in us, so as they say in the trade, "Please patronize our advertisers." Well, in this case, it’s a little more difficult.. The ad on page 14 pushes a web site that, based on information you type in tells you how many seconds you have to live and, your death date. I typed in the info as accurately as I could, and it told me I have 0 seconds to live, in fact I died in September of last year! I haven’t felt well since then. I saw no mention of LEF or their products.

      I found out later that those with some time left on this earth are provided links to LEF products that could extend their life time. But, since I was already dead, there’s no sense in giving me the link!

      Speaking of LEF, it’s not very often, (OK, it never happens,) that we see a familiar name when reading the "Letters" column of a magazine. Well, lo and behold, in TIME’s June 23rd issue, there was a letter from Bill Faloon, "Director, Life Extension Foundation."

      It seems TIME ran a piece about the health benefits of red wine and the antioxidant compound resveratrol stating that Longevinex, a company marketing wine supplements is the only firm whose pills are made from real red wine extract from France. Well Bill corrected TIME, and got a little publicity as well. He didn’t say if the pills still provide a buzz.

      A "LETTER TO THE EDITOR" in WIRED also caught our eye. It was in response to the treatment cryonics received in the piece on BioTime, page 15. The letter writer said….But why be embarrassed by the connection to cryonics? If cryonics can work, isn’t it much more "creepy" to let your loved ones rot or burn?

      Peter Merel

      Limpinwood, Australia

      There’s a Peter Merel in Australia who’s a frequent cryonet contributor.

      James Swayze’s advice about being a pleasant hospital patient is excellent, but it’s even more so for cryonics patients.

      See CIYG Digest, page 11.

      This past June 5th marked the 50th anniversary of the publishing of Robert Ettinger’s The Prospect of Immortality

      It’s understandable, if anyone reading BACK IN THE SUN, page 14 is confused. For years we’ve been told to avoid the sun, and if you must be exposed to it, to be sure and use sunscreen. According to this, a lot of older people aren’t getting enough sun. But what really caught our eye, was the closing quote: "there’s not a whole of lot of direct evidence that sunscreens prevent skin cancer, and virtually none, that they prevent melanoma, the deadliest form."

      What’s a person to do?



      By John Bull

      How low temperature surgery could kick-start the cryo game.

      Preceded by an eye-catching graphic of a male nude resting in a giant ice cube, the article, written by Wil McCarthy reports on BioTime’s two main products, Hextend and HetaFreeze, and then gets into some cryonics bashing. It closes with an upbeat assessment on the future of cryo surgery.

      Major surgery can be hell on a patient and procedures that require interrupting blood flow can be the worst because they starve the body of oxygen. One way to avoid these issues is to minimize the body’s oxygen demand, and the simplest way to do this is to cool the affected tissues. This has spurred a billion dollar industry in therapeutic hypothermia, in which a dozen firms hustle for market position. These companies have developed any number of devices, but they all have one shortcoming—they just cool a specific area. One drops a patient’s core temperature as low as 90 degrees. Any lower and blood thickens to sludge.

      "It’s here that BioTime stands out from the pack. The company has developed a process that cools living bodies much further than that. Fifty-six degrees further, in fact, right down to the brink of freezing—a state in which the brain takes hours, not minutes, to wither.

      BioTime’s secret is astoundingly obvious: antifreeze. The company’s flagship product, Hextend is an FDA approved blood volume expander designed to maintain blood pressure and chemistry in the wake of massive blood loss. BioTime has been testing Hextend in baboons, pigs and dogs, replacing their entire blood supply and then cooling them to 35 degrees. At that point vital signs cease. Bleeding virtually stops. Oxygen hungry tissues go on a diet. Then technicians raise the body temperature, reintroduce the blood, and shock the heart back to life. Right now, we can easily bring animals back from two hours of absolute clinical death," says Hal Sternberg, BioTime’s VP of research. "No pulse, no respiration, no measurable brain activity."

      The company’s other main product, Hetafreeze, described as a cryoprotectant is still undergoing testing. So far they’ve been able to freeze tissue-- skin and hair, without cell destruction. It may allow whole organs, such as hearts, and even intact (but brain dead) organ donors to survive partial freezing.

      "Clinical death for up to 15 minutes has been reversible since the 1952 invention of the defibrillator, now BioTime is on the brink of extending that limit to hours. But with the envelope pushing out further and further, the momentum is carrying the company into stranger territory. Especially given that Sternberg and his colleagues are longtime members of the cryonics movement, whose techno-utopian frozen head agenda is well known."

      After describing the company’s experiments with vitrification, the article gets back to cryonics bashing. "Nonetheless, the medical establishment has shunned advocates of freezing bodies for eventual revival. And who can blame them. Cryonics is just plain creepy." It rehashes the whole Ted Williams/Larry Johnson/Sports Illustrated fiasco.

      McCarthy softens his tone a little towards the end, "as far as anyone knows, there’s nothing physically impossible about reviving a frozen head. Still, when you get down to it, Alcor and Trans Time are taking money for a service that may never exist, and that even the companies estimate is 150 years down the road. BioTime is approaching the problem from the other end-the respectable end-by working to extend established medical procedures. The immediate benefit will be preventing untimely death in the here and now, which is completely different proposition than reviving the already dead."

      For the fiscal quarter ending March 31, 2004 Biotime announced a 20% increase in royalty revenue from Hextend sales by Abbott Laboratories. "Hextend sales to the U.S. Armed Forces during the first three months of this year contributed to a significant portion of the increase in royalties we received," said JudithSegall, BioTime Vice President of Operations, Office of the President. Hextend is the preferred resuscitation fluid of the U.S. Special Operations Command.


      Some "Senior" Personal Ads

      seen in Florida newspapers: (Who says seniors don't have a sense of humor?)


      : Sexy, fashion-conscious blue-haired beauty, 80's, slim, 5'4"

      (used to be 5'6"), searching for sharp-looking, sharp-dressing companion.

      Matching white shoes and belt a plus.


      : Recent widow who has just buried fourth husband, and am looking for someone to round out a six-unit plot. Dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath not a problem.


      I am into solitude, long walks, sunrises. If you are the silent type, let's get together, take our hearing aids out and enjoy quiet times.


      Active grandmother with original teeth seeking a dedicated flosser to share rare steaks, corn on the cob and caramel candy.


      I still like to rock, still like to cruise in my Camaro on Saturday nights and still like to play the guitar. If you were a groovy chick, or are now a groovy hen, let's get together and listen to my eight-track tapes.

      Paul Pagnato

      Cryostats Status Report, June 2004

      By Ben Best

      Currently the Cryonics Institute has nine cryostats in service for storage of cryonics patients in liquid nitrogen. One cryostat is a capsule, three are rectangular and five are cylinders.

      We call our custom-made fiberglass HSSVs (Hard-Shell, Soft-Vacuum)

      units cryostats to distinguish them from the HSHVs (Hard-Shell, Hard-Vacuum) steel dewars manufactured by companies such as Minnesota Valley Engineering (MVE, acquired by Chart Denver in

      1999. http://www.cryenco.com

      Dewars have a very high vacuum ("hard vacuum") in an empty two-inch space between steel walls. Our cryostats have inner and outer walls made of fiberglass-resin composite that is very much stronger than either fiberglass or resin would be alone. The distance between the inner and outer walls is about a foot for the entire circumference of a cylindrical cryostat (or perimeter of a rectangular cryostat). Within that foot of space is perlite insulation packed loosely enough that a soft vacuum could be applied.

      Vacuum is measured in units of air pressure -- similar to mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) used for blood pressure, but orders of magnitude lower -- zero microns Hg for a perfect vacuum. Some people use the term hard vacuum to refer to a pressure of one-third or less

      of atmospheric pressure (atmospheric pressure is 760 mm Hg), whereas soft vacuum is any pressure less than atmospheric, but greater than hard-vacuum. Others (including cryonicists) restrict the term "hard vacuum" to pressures of a few microns or less, and "soft vacuum" to pressures greater than hard vacuum, but up-to but not greater-than a few orders of magnitude higher.

      A strong vacuum pump creates the hard vacuum for a dewar at the time of manufacture -- a vacuum intended to last for 10 years. The vacuum is reinforced by getters, chemically reactive metals (usually barium, zirconium or their alloys), which react with oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor to further, harden the vacuum and keep it hard. The vacuums in our soft-vacuum cryostats are periodically reinforced by our Welsh-Sargent DuoSeal Pumps.


      The perlite insulation of the cryostats provides a backup for the soft vacuum. An armor-piercing bullet from a high-powered rifle could travel through the entire diameter of a cryostat or dewar. But a pistol bullet or forklift puncture would likely only put a hole in the outer wall of a cryostat. For a dewar, such a puncture would be an emergency demanding immediate removal of the patients. Even a dent can create a "hotspot" in a dewar. But the loss of vacuum in a cryostat might not be much of a problem because of the perlite insulation. There would be plenty of time to patch the fiberglass and restore the vacuum.

      Although we have some patients who are quite tall and/or obese, we have not yet experienced any problem fitting six patients into one of our cylinders. There would be even less problem in the rectangular units where the patients lay flat and are simply stacked on top of each other 3 or 4 layers deep. In the cylinders the most crowding occurs in the area of the chest, with general narrowing toward the feet (partly due to the variation of abdomen and hip girth for men and women). There is plenty of legroom.

      The cylinders and capsule are filled once weekly, whereas the rectangular units are filled twice weekly. The depth of liquid nitrogen ranges from 7.5 feet at the lowest to about 8 feet just after a refill. The level of liquid nitrogen in the most efficient cylinders drops only a bit more than 2 inches in a week (We will soon start filling these cylinders only once every two weeks.) So in the cylinders our tallest patients, at about six-and-a-half feet have at least a foot of liquid nitrogen above their toes at all times. Should a disaster occur -- which has not happened since we began service in 1976 -- the feet would be the first to suffer exposure and the head the last. The first cryostat built is designated HSSV-2, signifying that it is a Hard-Shell Soft-Vacuum unit holding two whole body patients. Hard-Shell means that the shell is hard enough to maintain shape when a vacuum is applied (ie, the walls do not collapse due to external or internal pressure).

      A vacuum pump needs to be run on the cryostat or else it will lose the vacuum required to slow liquid nitrogen boil-off, but the pump is not so strong as to produce a Hard Vacuum in the sub-micron range, as is done with Alcor's dewars. (Cryostats are like big vacuum thermos bottles.)

      HSSV-2, HSSV-R7, AND HSSV-R10, are the older model cryostats.

      HSSV-2 looks like a big gelatin capsule propped-up at a 20-degree angle (or looks like a spaceship ready for launch). HSSV-2 is tilted so that the patients' heads can be down, but it couldn't be built to be vertical because the ceiling of the old building wasn't high enough. CI has three rectangular cryostats, designated HSSV-R7, HSSV-R10 and HSSV-R14, which hold 7, 10 and 14 whole-body patients respectively. HSSV-R7 is actually soft-shelled rather than hard-shelled because it only maintains its shape under vacuum due towooden supports between the walls.

      Like HSSV-2, all of the rectangular units were built by CI facilities manager Andy Zawacki using epoxy fiberglass for the inner walls, polyester fiberglass for the outer walls and wood for structural support. The HSSV-R10 and HSSV-R14 were built in such a way as to avoid the use of wood between the walls -- because wood conducts heat. The HSSV-R14 unit ("the largest cryostat in the world") took Andy two years to build. He was too busy with the pressures and projects of running the CI facility and he was having problems with rashes from the epoxy fiberglass, which is needed to hold the liquid nitrogen. So it was decided that it would be necessary to contract with a manufacturer to build fiberglass cryostats.

      Robert Ettinger favored an upright cylindrical design for units that would hold up to six patients. The first upright cylindrical unit, the HSSV-6-1, had structural defects. First Andy found a hole which he had to plug in order for the unit to hold a vacuum. When he put liquid nitrogen into the unit, it cracked -- forcing him to reline the inside with fiberglass.

      The thick top conducts too much heat. Another manufacturer had to be found. The second manufacturer uses a type of fiberglass resin which is the same as one they use for liquid nitrogen testing of cruise missiles.

      They gave CI good warranties on the quality of their work, which has been (for the most part) very good. Between the inner and outer walls of the cryostats -- in the area which takes the vacuum -- there is perlite, a non-corrosive, noncombustible, naturally-occurring volcanic glass used as an inexpensive insulator.

      On HSSV-6-2 -- the first unit from the second manufacturer -- Andy did not notice that there was not enough perlite in the walls near the top until the unit was already being used for patients. The perlite had settled during shipment from the manufacturer. So HSSV-6-2 has poor insulation near the top. Andy took care to add an adequate amount of perlite before storing patients for the last three units received -- HSSV-6-3, HSSV-6-4 and HSSV-6-5, which are our most efficient cryostats. (HSSV-6-4 is currently only about as efficient as HSSV-6-1 and HSSV-6-2 because of the temporary lid, which will soon be replaced.)

      Prior to getting the bulk liquid nitrogen tank we were paying 50 cents per liter for liquid nitrogen. But with the bulk tank, which holds 3000 gallons, we have only been paying 13.5 cents per liter. A

      liquid nitrogen delivery truck that looks like a gasoline tank truck periodically fills the bulk tank, from which the cryostats are filled with liquid nitrogen through insulated pipes and hoses. On

      the first of July the price of liquid nitrogen rises to 15.3 cents per liter. Using this price, I constructed the following table:

      Cryostat Boil-off (liters/day) Cost per patient per year


      HSSV-2 11.5 $319

      HSSV-R7 58 $460

      HSSV-R10 68 $380

      HSSV-R14 61 $243

      HSSV-6-1 19.5 $173

      HSSV-6-2 17 $160

      HSSV-6-3 10.5 $98

      HSSV-6-4 17.5 $164

      HSSV-6-5 10 $94

      The most uncertain estimate is for the HSSV-2 which, because of its shape and positioning, makes it too difficult to calculate boil-off on the basis of drop in height. The estimate comes from information on page 4 of the June 1988 issue of THE IMMORTALIST. At that time a vacuum pump was running on the unit at all times and it was being filled from cylinders of known volume. Of all the units, HSSV-2 does the worst job of holding a vacuum.

      Andy runs the vacuum pump on HSSV-2 constantly while he is in the building, but does not do so on his days off because of the risk of a machine failure that could result in complete loss of vacuum with no one present to notice. The worse the vacuum, the greater the boil-off.

      HSSV-R10 & HSSV-R14 have a vacuum pump running about 16 hours per day, 4 days per week. Pressure after Andy returns from his days off work will be up to 40 microns Hg. HSSV-R7 does the best job of holding vacuum -- the pump only needs to be run about one or two days per month and pressure is rarely over 20 microns Hg. The HSSV-6 cylindrical cryostats are vacuum pumped about one day every two weeks, with vacuum as high as 40 microns Hg. Although the HSSV-R7 is the most efficient at holding a vacuum, the wood in the walls causes heat loss.

      The HSSV-2 cryostat has the most sentimental value and is the most photogenic, but it is a pain to maintain (including checking liquid nitrogen levels, which is done daily for all the cryostats). HSSV-2 is the first cryostat I would replace. The future looks bright for the HSSV-6s, however, because of their wonderful efficiency.


      I should prefer to an ordinary death

      , being immersed with a few friends in a cask of Madeira, until that time, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country! But in all probability, we live in a century too little advanced, and too near the infancy of science, to see such an art brought in our time to its perfection. Benjamin Franklin in 1773 WIRED

      NASA Funds Sci-Fi Technology

      The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) funds long-range,wild ideas, such as a space elevator, shape-shifting space suits, antimatter-powered probes to Alpha Centauri, Robotic armada to destroy incoming asteroids, and a way to move a hurricane with satellite-beamed microwave energy....IBID

      Hydrogen Cars

      The Department of Energy has found that nanotechnology could reduce the high costs of hydrogen cars by developing revolutionary ways of producing and storing hydrogen.

      Hydrogen stores energy more effectively than batteries, burns twice as efficiently in a fuel cell as gasoline does in an engine, and produces a single waste product, water. Kurzweil Newsletter

      Reef burials.

      We’ve reported previously on the ingenious ways we Americans treat our deceased. Here’s another! Eternal Reef’s Inc. takes cremated remains, mixes them with cement, and forms them into balls resembling igloos with holes to provide hiding places for fish. In late April, just off Ft. Lauderdale, reef balls containing the ashes of 16 people were lowered 65 feet to the ocean floor. The company, located in Atlanta, Georgia offers a number of models, the most expensive is a 4000 pounder that sells for $4995. (delivered?) FLORIDA TODAY

      Does your doctor wear a tie

      ? Researchers at New York Hospital Medical Center sampled ties from doctors, assistants and medical students. Half the ties contained disease carrying bacteria. By contrast, only 1 of 10 tie wearing security guards tested positive. Ibid.



      All About Antioxidants

      The right diet can help fight aging. By the year 2020, an expected 70 million Americans-about one in five of us-will be 65 or older. While we may not be able to halt the passage of time, we do have some control over our biological age.

      There is a clear connection between the foods we eat and the rate at which our bodies age. By living a healthy lifestyle and enjoying a diet rich in colorful foods, you can help keep your body feeling young and ward off some of the effects of time.

      THE STRESS OF OXIDATIONWhile oxygen is essential for life, it's also one cause of aging. Unstable" oxygen molecules, called free radicals, initiate detrimental changes in the body that result in deterioration and aging.

      To counteract the effects of free radicals, we need enzymes and vitamins. "When the number of free radicals exceeds our bodies' ability to subdue them, the power shift is called oxidative stress," says Cheryl Forberg, RD, author of Stop the Clock! Cooking. "This stress, or free radical burden, attacks healthy cells. Their accumulation ultimately results in a series of events that leads to oxidation and the process we call aging."


      We've all heard about the benefits of antioxidants, and one group of them packs a particularly powerful punch against aging. Pigments that give plants their bright colors are called phytonutrients.

      Colorful fruits and vegetables "protect your genes and promote your health and longevity... Each [color] group contains important antioxidants that detoxify free radicals to protect your genes," says Marcia Zimmerman, CN.

      Add the following foods to your diet, and graze throughout the day. "The afterlife of dietary antioxidants in our bloodstream is about six hours. Therefore, regular intake throughout the day optimizes antioxidant levels in the bloodstream," says Forberg. Who knew that an anti-aging regimen could be so delicious?

      ASPARAGUS, BROCCOLI, & CABBAGE These green vegetables help repair genes, improve cellular nutrients, and detoxify the body. This family of veggies is packed with anti-aging nutrients, including lutein, quercetin, and beta carotene.

      BERRIES The bluish-red pigments in blueberries, cherries, grapes, cranberries, and raspberries protect against both cancer and heart disease. An average strawberry contains about 200 seeds, each a concentrated source of ellagic acid. This antioxidant promotes healing and also fights cancer and heart disease.

      GARLIC & ONIONS Garlic promotes heart health by lowering cholesterol, and compounds in onions may help with the liver's detoxification process.

      GRAPES Purple grape seeds are loaded with antioxidants, and many juice companies are extracting these antioxidants and pouring them back into the juice. Recent studies show that regular consumption of grape juice may have significant cardiovascular benefits.

      PLUMS Studies show that five dried plums a day can slow the oxidation process and decrease LDL cholesterol. The high levels of fiber promote regularity and maintain healthy glucose levels.

      BROWN RICE & OTHER GRAINS Tan carbohydrates balance hormones. Whole grains have three groups of phytochemicals, which translates into antiaging antioxidant activity that exceeds most vegetables. Adapted from Greenwise


      High Fat Breakfast May Raise Heart Risks

      Within an hour of eating a large high-fat, high-carbohydrate breakfast; the body starts making inflammatory chemicals associated with clogged arteries, a new study has found. These inflammatory factors stay high for three to four hours, and that's when many people sit down to another meal.

      "This kind of eating probably keeps the average American in an inflammatory state all day. Thank God he sleeps at night," said

      . Dr. Paresh Dandona, the study's senior author. This nearly continuous state of inflammation, he said, helps explain why obese people are at higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.

      Dandona, chief of endocrinology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and several colleagues studied nine normal weight adults who fasted overnight before eating a McDonald's Egg McMuffin, a Sausage McMuffin and two servings of hashbrown potatoes. (That meal came in at 910 calories, with 81 grams of car:bohydrates, 51 grams of fat and 32 grams of protein.) Dandona said many people regularly consume even less healthful meals.

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