Catching up after an absence....

Catching up after an absence....

Tanya Jones
Tanya Jones

April 22nd, 2004, 4:57 am #1

It's been weeks since I stopped by, and scrolling back, there are numerous items to which I want to respond.

On Alcor News, it has obviously not been published on a regular schedule lately, and that is entirely my fault. Mike Perry provides some content, light editing, and mails the newsletter personally. He is always swift to carry out his tasks. I, on the other hand, am not. Right now, I have many responsibilities, some of which are a little more urgent than informing the membership of the latest news. I'm one of the biggest fans there is of dissemination of information, so please don't take that as a lack of regard for distributing the newsletter.

The original plan was for Charles to continue producing Alcor News, interviewing the staff and documenting issues during the month; but that plan fell by the wayside for various reasons. I wish I had more of his punctuality, and I will try a little harder to make it so.

When I do draft the newsletter, I have a tendency to recycle material from my monthly Board report and add any items relating to other staff members' areas and developing news. April's issue was delayed because of things like cases, and I still only had about an hour to put it together before leaving town again. Hence, the rough edges on some of the sections.

To get to a particular, it was not my intention to be deliberately obscure on the topic of whole-body vitrification. My goal was mostly to let people know that:
  • We're working on it.
  • We have a preliminary design for the changes needed in the operating theater.
  • We'll be producing drawings and formal design specs shortly.
It's my personal belief that even if vitrification designs are perfected -- both for neuro and whole-body -- there are additional problems associated with deployment. If you want acroynms to use in the meantime, I've been using ITNS and ITBS to distinguish between the projects (Intermediate Temperature Neuro (and whole Body) Storage. Admittedly a shortcut, they represent both the changes in the cryopreservation prep and in the storage systems.

I think that in order to offer this, Alcor will need to change their fee structure significantly, and that would price us further out of the market. One possible solution is to offer tiered options for preservation. This might not be a bad thing, as we could conceivably start as low as patient care+cooling. I'm not a huge advocate of the straight freeze, but an array of options starting there and ending in perfected vitrification might not be a bad thing.

Our preliminary calculations indicate that storage costs alone will be 2 to 3 times higher for those patients. The simplicity of the existing system will also be destroyed. No more thermos analogies. Using individual storage containers with heaters and controllers and fans means a long list of new potential failure points. Though there are certainly ways we can network controllers, one of the primary intentions of intermediate temperature storage is to allow every patient to be stored at their ideal temperature.

We're having to consider sacrificing the proposed independent pod system and choosing a single storage temperature for all patients to make redundancy less of a worry. Given the cracking data and current preservation methods, that temperature would have to be about -115 degrees C to prevent macroscopic fractures. That is just too warm. I'd also like to see the ideal storage temperature get down to -140 degrees C, since we still have time-to-probable-revival to consider.... Assume for a moment that we perfect every aspect of this equation, that we can offer perfect preservation today, people still die not from the freezing process, but cancer, HIV, and old age. We won't want to wake anyone up until that damage can be prevented and reversed. Those research projects are going to take more time. Four or five decades is probably a pessimistic estimate of how long it will take, but the patients should be stored at a temperature that allows for the worst case scenarios. I don't believe -115 is cold enough for that. (See Hugh Hixon's old article on How Cold is Cold Enough?"

Changes the operating theater for whole-bodies is well-understood process. We just need to prototype until we settle on a complete design. The design we have already looks to meet all our needs, but only building and testing will tell. Few designs require no tweaking, but I expect that only two prototypes will be needed. The second should be the one we deploy for patients.

I fully intend to keep pushing this development forward. Despite the large reservations I have about the current state of the art, I desperately want vitrification perfected before I need it myself. And the sooner we get it done, the more people benefit. Some of these people we're preserving I really want awakened, so I'll just have to yell until we have that cure for cancer as well.

... I had more, but this'll probably do for a start.
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Rick
Rick

April 22nd, 2004, 5:31 am #2

Amazing input on that post, Tanya. Thanks very much from me and on behalf of all our visitors to the Cafe. It sounds like you're right in the groove there and we appreciate being included in on the loop.
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Rick
Rick

April 22nd, 2004, 3:23 pm #3

Instead of trying to create original material for Alcor News, why not just upload pdf's or files from the employees to the board, after the board meeting? Approved minutes could be done that way too. Alcor News would then reflect exactly what's being reported to the board, and the task would be straightforward and not require more original and taxing input from you. What's wrong with this idea?
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Joined: April 19th, 2004, 8:15 pm

April 23rd, 2004, 9:21 pm #4

It's been weeks since I stopped by, and scrolling back, there are numerous items to which I want to respond.

On Alcor News, it has obviously not been published on a regular schedule lately, and that is entirely my fault. Mike Perry provides some content, light editing, and mails the newsletter personally. He is always swift to carry out his tasks. I, on the other hand, am not. Right now, I have many responsibilities, some of which are a little more urgent than informing the membership of the latest news. I'm one of the biggest fans there is of dissemination of information, so please don't take that as a lack of regard for distributing the newsletter.

The original plan was for Charles to continue producing Alcor News, interviewing the staff and documenting issues during the month; but that plan fell by the wayside for various reasons. I wish I had more of his punctuality, and I will try a little harder to make it so.

When I do draft the newsletter, I have a tendency to recycle material from my monthly Board report and add any items relating to other staff members' areas and developing news. April's issue was delayed because of things like cases, and I still only had about an hour to put it together before leaving town again. Hence, the rough edges on some of the sections.

To get to a particular, it was not my intention to be deliberately obscure on the topic of whole-body vitrification. My goal was mostly to let people know that:
  • We're working on it.
  • We have a preliminary design for the changes needed in the operating theater.
  • We'll be producing drawings and formal design specs shortly.
It's my personal belief that even if vitrification designs are perfected -- both for neuro and whole-body -- there are additional problems associated with deployment. If you want acroynms to use in the meantime, I've been using ITNS and ITBS to distinguish between the projects (Intermediate Temperature Neuro (and whole Body) Storage. Admittedly a shortcut, they represent both the changes in the cryopreservation prep and in the storage systems.

I think that in order to offer this, Alcor will need to change their fee structure significantly, and that would price us further out of the market. One possible solution is to offer tiered options for preservation. This might not be a bad thing, as we could conceivably start as low as patient care+cooling. I'm not a huge advocate of the straight freeze, but an array of options starting there and ending in perfected vitrification might not be a bad thing.

Our preliminary calculations indicate that storage costs alone will be 2 to 3 times higher for those patients. The simplicity of the existing system will also be destroyed. No more thermos analogies. Using individual storage containers with heaters and controllers and fans means a long list of new potential failure points. Though there are certainly ways we can network controllers, one of the primary intentions of intermediate temperature storage is to allow every patient to be stored at their ideal temperature.

We're having to consider sacrificing the proposed independent pod system and choosing a single storage temperature for all patients to make redundancy less of a worry. Given the cracking data and current preservation methods, that temperature would have to be about -115 degrees C to prevent macroscopic fractures. That is just too warm. I'd also like to see the ideal storage temperature get down to -140 degrees C, since we still have time-to-probable-revival to consider.... Assume for a moment that we perfect every aspect of this equation, that we can offer perfect preservation today, people still die not from the freezing process, but cancer, HIV, and old age. We won't want to wake anyone up until that damage can be prevented and reversed. Those research projects are going to take more time. Four or five decades is probably a pessimistic estimate of how long it will take, but the patients should be stored at a temperature that allows for the worst case scenarios. I don't believe -115 is cold enough for that. (See Hugh Hixon's old article on How Cold is Cold Enough?"

Changes the operating theater for whole-bodies is well-understood process. We just need to prototype until we settle on a complete design. The design we have already looks to meet all our needs, but only building and testing will tell. Few designs require no tweaking, but I expect that only two prototypes will be needed. The second should be the one we deploy for patients.

I fully intend to keep pushing this development forward. Despite the large reservations I have about the current state of the art, I desperately want vitrification perfected before I need it myself. And the sooner we get it done, the more people benefit. Some of these people we're preserving I really want awakened, so I'll just have to yell until we have that cure for cancer as well.

... I had more, but this'll probably do for a start.
informative post.

One of the first things I did in deciding to refamiliarize myself with state-of-the-art in cryonics, was to dig up that old Hugh Dixon article. I disagree pretty strongly with Hugh’s benchmark--Using 12 hours warm ischemia to determine a suitable storage temperature. That is way too liberal for me: To be on the safe side I use 2 hours as the time interval where biochemical change has not yet left us with really significant problems to overcome (in reconstructing the original information). Thus, I certainly agree with you that discovering the means to utilize lower storage temperatures is an absolute top priority. The last time I played around with the calculations, I did think that –140 seemed sufficient; It will be fantastic news when the day comes that vitrified patients can be stabilized in that temp. region without numerous fractures. Of course, I would like to find a means of going all the way to –196! But that is probably asking much of the laws of chemistry and physics.

Your brief discussion of the time intervals we may need was interesting. You mentioned 4 or 5 decades, I believe as a possible (pessimistic) time interval before the acheivement of cures for some of our worst diseases, and for old age itself. I suspect many of the disease cures will indeed come earlier Old age, I suspect will be later. Plus, I believe that applying what we learn about KEEPING people young will take longer still to apply to the already aged. Uncertainties there, as well as uncertainies in the timescale for nanotechnology development (and its subsequent further refinement to low-temperature biological environments) make me desire to see a storage temperature that will allow viability extending into the hundreds of years range. That brings up is my other point of disagreement with Dixon: He sets 100 years as the max time needed, and I strongly disagree. Aside from the factors I touched on above, there is also the possibility that our civilization suffers some stops and starts—setbacks that knock society back a step or 2. Dixon implies that this is an either/or proposition: either civilization has survived and we succeed within 100 years, or civilization is so devastated that we fail, end of story. But of course intermediate situations are possible. And they could change a 100 year period to success to 200 years, etc. I think vitrification is the most likely and certain road to success, as you do. But of course we all hope that traditional cryoprotectant freezes will be revived in short order after Vitros are. Who knows. It could be that “Vitros” and “Traditionals” are both cured and revived in 75 years (or for that matter straight freezes, but I doubt it). Or Vitros could take 75 years, and Traditionals 200 years. It really does not matter for Traditionals: If we can revive them at all, it hardly matter whether it takes 100 years, 1,000 or 10,000. Provided we can keep them in suspension, they will still retain their basic viability for millenia. But here is my conundrum: Suppose it takes 200 years to revive a Traditional OR a Vitro, regardless? We make guesses, but history shows that our ability to predict anything accurately breaks down as we get past about the 50-year horizon. And although we love to point out the negative predictions that proved false, it works in both directions (+ and -) It would be the height of irony if CI’s and Alcor’s traditional cryoprotectant freezes were being revived in 200 years, while Vitros were one-by-one being found to be unviable. Oh well, I suppose all you can do in the end is follow the best available course of action given practical considerations. And that may or may not be an optimum storage temperature that allows a timeline factoring in negative scenarios like mine.

There is still probably much we don’t know beyond the raw numbers in Dixon’s calculations. For instance, Suda had a cat who showed EEG activity after 7.25 years, I believe at –20 C. Has anyone ever looked at what this means according to the “Dixon curve”. I did last month. According to Hugh’s numbers, 7.25 years is equal to 184 days at normal temperature. (7.25 years = 2,646 days, then divide the days by Hugh’e ratio factor of 14.83 for –20 C). Somehow want to tell me how a disembodied brain with no new nutrients introduced survives that? Well, perhaps HD’s numbers dealt only with ongoing chemical reactions, while the reactions involving cell metabolism/energy expenditure simply shut down at –20 C. Whatever, it is still strange.

Again, thanks for the information. Are issues of this type discussed in the Alcor news, or any research reports I could find online?
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Anonymous
Anonymous

April 24th, 2004, 3:28 am #5

It's been weeks since I stopped by, and scrolling back, there are numerous items to which I want to respond.

On Alcor News, it has obviously not been published on a regular schedule lately, and that is entirely my fault. Mike Perry provides some content, light editing, and mails the newsletter personally. He is always swift to carry out his tasks. I, on the other hand, am not. Right now, I have many responsibilities, some of which are a little more urgent than informing the membership of the latest news. I'm one of the biggest fans there is of dissemination of information, so please don't take that as a lack of regard for distributing the newsletter.

The original plan was for Charles to continue producing Alcor News, interviewing the staff and documenting issues during the month; but that plan fell by the wayside for various reasons. I wish I had more of his punctuality, and I will try a little harder to make it so.

When I do draft the newsletter, I have a tendency to recycle material from my monthly Board report and add any items relating to other staff members' areas and developing news. April's issue was delayed because of things like cases, and I still only had about an hour to put it together before leaving town again. Hence, the rough edges on some of the sections.

To get to a particular, it was not my intention to be deliberately obscure on the topic of whole-body vitrification. My goal was mostly to let people know that:
  • We're working on it.
  • We have a preliminary design for the changes needed in the operating theater.
  • We'll be producing drawings and formal design specs shortly.
It's my personal belief that even if vitrification designs are perfected -- both for neuro and whole-body -- there are additional problems associated with deployment. If you want acroynms to use in the meantime, I've been using ITNS and ITBS to distinguish between the projects (Intermediate Temperature Neuro (and whole Body) Storage. Admittedly a shortcut, they represent both the changes in the cryopreservation prep and in the storage systems.

I think that in order to offer this, Alcor will need to change their fee structure significantly, and that would price us further out of the market. One possible solution is to offer tiered options for preservation. This might not be a bad thing, as we could conceivably start as low as patient care+cooling. I'm not a huge advocate of the straight freeze, but an array of options starting there and ending in perfected vitrification might not be a bad thing.

Our preliminary calculations indicate that storage costs alone will be 2 to 3 times higher for those patients. The simplicity of the existing system will also be destroyed. No more thermos analogies. Using individual storage containers with heaters and controllers and fans means a long list of new potential failure points. Though there are certainly ways we can network controllers, one of the primary intentions of intermediate temperature storage is to allow every patient to be stored at their ideal temperature.

We're having to consider sacrificing the proposed independent pod system and choosing a single storage temperature for all patients to make redundancy less of a worry. Given the cracking data and current preservation methods, that temperature would have to be about -115 degrees C to prevent macroscopic fractures. That is just too warm. I'd also like to see the ideal storage temperature get down to -140 degrees C, since we still have time-to-probable-revival to consider.... Assume for a moment that we perfect every aspect of this equation, that we can offer perfect preservation today, people still die not from the freezing process, but cancer, HIV, and old age. We won't want to wake anyone up until that damage can be prevented and reversed. Those research projects are going to take more time. Four or five decades is probably a pessimistic estimate of how long it will take, but the patients should be stored at a temperature that allows for the worst case scenarios. I don't believe -115 is cold enough for that. (See Hugh Hixon's old article on How Cold is Cold Enough?"

Changes the operating theater for whole-bodies is well-understood process. We just need to prototype until we settle on a complete design. The design we have already looks to meet all our needs, but only building and testing will tell. Few designs require no tweaking, but I expect that only two prototypes will be needed. The second should be the one we deploy for patients.

I fully intend to keep pushing this development forward. Despite the large reservations I have about the current state of the art, I desperately want vitrification perfected before I need it myself. And the sooner we get it done, the more people benefit. Some of these people we're preserving I really want awakened, so I'll just have to yell until we have that cure for cancer as well.

... I had more, but this'll probably do for a start.
a little on the specific scenarios that might unfold, as you work to implement ITNS and ITBS? For instance, suppose I joined Alcor this year, with the expectation of paying $50,000 for a neurosuspension. 4 years later, specific ITNS and ITBS systems have move from the R&D stage through testing to implementation. It becomes necessary to raise fees for "top-tier" suspensions, up to $250,000 for whole body and $120,000 for neuros. I expect that you might allow me to keep my existing contract, and get a neurovitrification with storage at LN2 temperature for the agreed 50K. But if I want to 'upgrade' to controlled ITNS at -140 C, then I will have to upgrade my insurance coverage to the required $120,000. Does that sound like a realistic scenario?
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Joined: April 19th, 2004, 8:15 pm

April 24th, 2004, 3:38 am #6

(Funny, Rick I intended to login and type the field last, and did not even realize my post could go through without my being prompted to finish typing in my name. Now I understand how all the 'anonymous' posts can occur. I thought it was people actively typing in that their name was anonymous....I see it is a default function.

And come to think of it I typed in some misgivings about the Ted Williams situation earlier this week--which you did a great job of explaining. It came out as 'anonymous' and I actually thought you might have deleted my name to keep me from getting in trouble or something . What must have happened is I just neglected to type in my name without realizing it. I'm used to another type forum where you can't post period, without logging in)
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Tanya
Tanya

April 26th, 2004, 7:50 pm #7

informative post.

One of the first things I did in deciding to refamiliarize myself with state-of-the-art in cryonics, was to dig up that old Hugh Dixon article. I disagree pretty strongly with Hugh’s benchmark--Using 12 hours warm ischemia to determine a suitable storage temperature. That is way too liberal for me: To be on the safe side I use 2 hours as the time interval where biochemical change has not yet left us with really significant problems to overcome (in reconstructing the original information). Thus, I certainly agree with you that discovering the means to utilize lower storage temperatures is an absolute top priority. The last time I played around with the calculations, I did think that –140 seemed sufficient; It will be fantastic news when the day comes that vitrified patients can be stabilized in that temp. region without numerous fractures. Of course, I would like to find a means of going all the way to –196! But that is probably asking much of the laws of chemistry and physics.

Your brief discussion of the time intervals we may need was interesting. You mentioned 4 or 5 decades, I believe as a possible (pessimistic) time interval before the acheivement of cures for some of our worst diseases, and for old age itself. I suspect many of the disease cures will indeed come earlier Old age, I suspect will be later. Plus, I believe that applying what we learn about KEEPING people young will take longer still to apply to the already aged. Uncertainties there, as well as uncertainies in the timescale for nanotechnology development (and its subsequent further refinement to low-temperature biological environments) make me desire to see a storage temperature that will allow viability extending into the hundreds of years range. That brings up is my other point of disagreement with Dixon: He sets 100 years as the max time needed, and I strongly disagree. Aside from the factors I touched on above, there is also the possibility that our civilization suffers some stops and starts—setbacks that knock society back a step or 2. Dixon implies that this is an either/or proposition: either civilization has survived and we succeed within 100 years, or civilization is so devastated that we fail, end of story. But of course intermediate situations are possible. And they could change a 100 year period to success to 200 years, etc. I think vitrification is the most likely and certain road to success, as you do. But of course we all hope that traditional cryoprotectant freezes will be revived in short order after Vitros are. Who knows. It could be that “Vitros” and “Traditionals” are both cured and revived in 75 years (or for that matter straight freezes, but I doubt it). Or Vitros could take 75 years, and Traditionals 200 years. It really does not matter for Traditionals: If we can revive them at all, it hardly matter whether it takes 100 years, 1,000 or 10,000. Provided we can keep them in suspension, they will still retain their basic viability for millenia. But here is my conundrum: Suppose it takes 200 years to revive a Traditional OR a Vitro, regardless? We make guesses, but history shows that our ability to predict anything accurately breaks down as we get past about the 50-year horizon. And although we love to point out the negative predictions that proved false, it works in both directions (+ and -) It would be the height of irony if CI’s and Alcor’s traditional cryoprotectant freezes were being revived in 200 years, while Vitros were one-by-one being found to be unviable. Oh well, I suppose all you can do in the end is follow the best available course of action given practical considerations. And that may or may not be an optimum storage temperature that allows a timeline factoring in negative scenarios like mine.

There is still probably much we don’t know beyond the raw numbers in Dixon’s calculations. For instance, Suda had a cat who showed EEG activity after 7.25 years, I believe at –20 C. Has anyone ever looked at what this means according to the “Dixon curve”. I did last month. According to Hugh’s numbers, 7.25 years is equal to 184 days at normal temperature. (7.25 years = 2,646 days, then divide the days by Hugh’e ratio factor of 14.83 for –20 C). Somehow want to tell me how a disembodied brain with no new nutrients introduced survives that? Well, perhaps HD’s numbers dealt only with ongoing chemical reactions, while the reactions involving cell metabolism/energy expenditure simply shut down at –20 C. Whatever, it is still strange.

Again, thanks for the information. Are issues of this type discussed in the Alcor news, or any research reports I could find online?
It's true that if you look closely at Hugh's calculations, you'll find he took the conservative approach. He has been asked to revisit these calculations, bringing them up to date with current data and to introduce a couple of variables that were missing. Overall, this should make the timescales a little longer. Twelve hours is also not going to be the benchmark. Though it may not be quite two hours, it will certainly be shorter.

The real purpose of this information is to gauge the amount of ischemic injury imposed by the dying process, the application of stabilization protocols, and cooling. Once a patient reaches -196 degrees C, the theory is that they can be stored nearly indefinitely, as the molecular activity at that temperature is insignificant. It's true that it may take significantly longer than 50 years to revive all the patients, but those stored in LN2 should have that time.

As far as funding and pricing schema are concerned, I do think it'll be possible to set up for the vitrification perfusion and liquid nitrogen storage as separate from the full vitrification protocol. I'd very much like to see the existing options remain and have vitrification with intermediate temperature storage be added on to the available protocols. That said, I'm not a member of the Board, and this is only my personal preference. They will have the final say.
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Joined: April 19th, 2004, 8:15 pm

April 26th, 2004, 9:32 pm #8

....And BTW I revisited those Dixon figures once more. -140 does indeed seem like a great goal to shoot for. It might not be enough for those who can't get prompt treatment after death. But I don't know that those people would be candidates for vitrification anyway....seems as though I read that vascular considerations mandate pretty quick treatment following the pronouncement of death for vitrification to be applicable(?). For the person who is fortunate enough to begin suspension immediately after cessation of vital functions, vitrification and -140 would seem to offer the several centuries timeline that I was advocating for in another post, WRT my more pessimistic scenarios.

The main downside I guess is that ITS--at least as viewed through the prism of 2004--is more complicated to maintain and could leave the suspendee more vulnerable to social/economic upheavals.
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