Quackwatch

Quackwatch

Anonymous
Anonymous

March 16th, 2004, 4:32 am #1

Interesting web page that was just forwarded to me.

http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEdu ... onics.html


Is Cryonics Feasible?
Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Cryonics is defined by its proponents as "the freezing of humans as shortly as possible after death with the hope of eventual return to life."Proponents claim that it is possible to preserve "with reasonable fidelity" the basic biologic components of the brain and that future technology will be able to repair brain damage caused by "imperfect preservation, premortal disease, and postmortem changes." [1] The current cost ranges from about $28,000 for preservation of just the brain within the head to more than $120,000 for whole-body freezing and perpetual maintenance in liquid nitrogen. The Cryonics Institute states:

As soon as possible after legal death, a member patient is prepared and cooled to a temperature where physical decay essentially stops, and is then maintained indefinitely in cryostasis. When and if future medical technology allows, our member patients will be healed and revived, and awaken to extended life in youthful good health.

Bacterial decay may stop, but that is not enough to make recovery possible. As noted by Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine:

Cryonicists believe that people can be frozen immediately after death and reanimated later when the cure for what ailed them is found. To see the flaw in this system, thaw out a can of frozen strawberries. During freezing, the water within each cell expands, crystallizes, and ruptures the cell membranes. When defrosted, all the intracellular goo oozes out, turning your strawberries into runny mush. This is your brain on cryonics [2].

National Council Against Health Fraud president William T. Jarvis, Ph.D., calls cryonics "quackery's last shot at you." In an interview he said:

Cryonic technology has not been demonstrated to work in laboratory animals. Even if the rest of a person's body could be revived after hundreds of years, the brain could not. Brain cells deteriorate within minutes after death, and any still viable when the body is frozen would be burst by the freezing process. Cryonics might be a suitable subject for scientific research, but marketing an unproven method to the public is quackery [3].

References
1.The cryobiological case for cryonics. Undated paper distributed in 1989 by Alcor Life Extension Corporation, Riverside, Calif.
2.Shermer M. Nano nonsense and cryonics. Scientific American
3.Jarvis WT. Quotation in Butler K. A Consumer's Guide to "Alternative" Medicine. Amherst, N.Y., 1992, Prometheus Books.

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Anony
Anony

March 16th, 2004, 4:39 am #2

Mr. Shermer's strawberry metaphor is not apt. If it were, it would preclude organ preservation that is already being done. Vitrification (which is done to the brain during a cryopreservation) does not cause the cells to be broken by ice crystal, which is what causes the strawberries to run.

I want to hear more things like this. I want to hear established scientists explain why they don't think cryonics can ever work. I want to, because if it can't work, and someone can prove it, I want to stop investing money in it. But every case I have read (EVERY single one) makes basic factual errors like Shermer has, or their argument doesn't address the science of it (like William T. Jarvis' argument). There is no article by an informed scientist that argues that cryonics will not work.
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Rick
Rick

March 16th, 2004, 4:57 am #3

Cryonics is the science of preserving brain and CNS tissue in the hope that memory and personality are embedded in it and can be revived. Cryonics obviously "works" to the extent that we have obviously maintained 100+ "cryopatients" whose tissue is somewhat preserved. So to say cryonics doesn't "work" is a misunderstanding of "cryonics". What Shermer meant to say-- and didn't say because he's an ignoramus in this area-- is that "suspended animation may not be possible" or that "suspended animation is not possible". Cryonics is an attempt to establish "part I" of the suspended animation process-- the "suspended" part. The reanimation part can only be attempted in the future.
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Anony
Anony

March 16th, 2004, 5:25 am #4

Interesting web page that was just forwarded to me.

http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEdu ... onics.html


Is Cryonics Feasible?
Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Cryonics is defined by its proponents as "the freezing of humans as shortly as possible after death with the hope of eventual return to life."Proponents claim that it is possible to preserve "with reasonable fidelity" the basic biologic components of the brain and that future technology will be able to repair brain damage caused by "imperfect preservation, premortal disease, and postmortem changes." [1] The current cost ranges from about $28,000 for preservation of just the brain within the head to more than $120,000 for whole-body freezing and perpetual maintenance in liquid nitrogen. The Cryonics Institute states:

As soon as possible after legal death, a member patient is prepared and cooled to a temperature where physical decay essentially stops, and is then maintained indefinitely in cryostasis. When and if future medical technology allows, our member patients will be healed and revived, and awaken to extended life in youthful good health.

Bacterial decay may stop, but that is not enough to make recovery possible. As noted by Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine:

Cryonicists believe that people can be frozen immediately after death and reanimated later when the cure for what ailed them is found. To see the flaw in this system, thaw out a can of frozen strawberries. During freezing, the water within each cell expands, crystallizes, and ruptures the cell membranes. When defrosted, all the intracellular goo oozes out, turning your strawberries into runny mush. This is your brain on cryonics [2].

National Council Against Health Fraud president William T. Jarvis, Ph.D., calls cryonics "quackery's last shot at you." In an interview he said:

Cryonic technology has not been demonstrated to work in laboratory animals. Even if the rest of a person's body could be revived after hundreds of years, the brain could not. Brain cells deteriorate within minutes after death, and any still viable when the body is frozen would be burst by the freezing process. Cryonics might be a suitable subject for scientific research, but marketing an unproven method to the public is quackery [3].

References
1.The cryobiological case for cryonics. Undated paper distributed in 1989 by Alcor Life Extension Corporation, Riverside, Calif.
2.Shermer M. Nano nonsense and cryonics. Scientific American
3.Jarvis WT. Quotation in Butler K. A Consumer's Guide to "Alternative" Medicine. Amherst, N.Y., 1992, Prometheus Books.
<< Cryonic technology has not been demonstrated to work in laboratory animals >>

Except for lobsters and salmon?

Lobsters revived after kept frozen at -40 C. Article says it's done with Salmon too.

I know I'm not a lobster, but it's a start.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=s ... lobsters_2

(I posted this as it's own topic but it's more appropriate as a response to this).
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 16th, 2004, 5:35 am #5

Mr. Shermer's strawberry metaphor is not apt. If it were, it would preclude organ preservation that is already being done. Vitrification (which is done to the brain during a cryopreservation) does not cause the cells to be broken by ice crystal, which is what causes the strawberries to run.

I want to hear more things like this. I want to hear established scientists explain why they don't think cryonics can ever work. I want to, because if it can't work, and someone can prove it, I want to stop investing money in it. But every case I have read (EVERY single one) makes basic factual errors like Shermer has, or their argument doesn't address the science of it (like William T. Jarvis' argument). There is no article by an informed scientist that argues that cryonics will not work.
That does not make any sense. Cryo-preservation is accomplished on vascular organs (kidney, liver, etc, etc). The brian is not vascular. Have you ever heard of the blood brian barrier (BBB)??? Whatever voodoo solution Alcor is using, I doubt crosses the BBB. So when you see pictures of organs "vitrified" you will always see vascular organs, never a brain. When Alcor can show a "vitrified" brain, than I will be a believer. Right now, they are making strawberry slurpies.

I want to know with all of this so call research, what University are they working with? I challenge you to name just one. You can't, cause no University is going to put their good name on the line for a bunch of snake oil salesmen. Like it or not these are the facts!
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 16th, 2004, 5:36 am #6

<< Cryonic technology has not been demonstrated to work in laboratory animals >>

Except for lobsters and salmon?

Lobsters revived after kept frozen at -40 C. Article says it's done with Salmon too.

I know I'm not a lobster, but it's a start.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=s ... lobsters_2

(I posted this as it's own topic but it's more appropriate as a response to this).
Lobster are NOT VASCULAR
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Maniac
Maniac

March 16th, 2004, 5:48 am #7

That does not make any sense. Cryo-preservation is accomplished on vascular organs (kidney, liver, etc, etc). The brian is not vascular. Have you ever heard of the blood brian barrier (BBB)??? Whatever voodoo solution Alcor is using, I doubt crosses the BBB. So when you see pictures of organs "vitrified" you will always see vascular organs, never a brain. When Alcor can show a "vitrified" brain, than I will be a believer. Right now, they are making strawberry slurpies.

I want to know with all of this so call research, what University are they working with? I challenge you to name just one. You can't, cause no University is going to put their good name on the line for a bunch of snake oil salesmen. Like it or not these are the facts!
Here are the photos you asked for http://alcor.org/AboutCryonics/index.html

And here are some other articles:
http://www.benbest.com/cryonics/vitrify.html

http://pweb.jps.net/~cryonics/21cm/p3.htm

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Maniac
Maniac

March 16th, 2004, 5:51 am #8

That does not make any sense. Cryo-preservation is accomplished on vascular organs (kidney, liver, etc, etc). The brian is not vascular. Have you ever heard of the blood brian barrier (BBB)??? Whatever voodoo solution Alcor is using, I doubt crosses the BBB. So when you see pictures of organs "vitrified" you will always see vascular organs, never a brain. When Alcor can show a "vitrified" brain, than I will be a believer. Right now, they are making strawberry slurpies.

I want to know with all of this so call research, what University are they working with? I challenge you to name just one. You can't, cause no University is going to put their good name on the line for a bunch of snake oil salesmen. Like it or not these are the facts!
The post I'm responding to said that Alcor's vitrification procedures doen't vitrify the brain.

This is factually incorrect.

If you're unfamiliar or unsure about something, the best thing to do is politely ask a question and research Alcor's website. Answers to most question can be found.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 16th, 2004, 5:54 am #9

That does not make any sense. Cryo-preservation is accomplished on vascular organs (kidney, liver, etc, etc). The brian is not vascular. Have you ever heard of the blood brian barrier (BBB)??? Whatever voodoo solution Alcor is using, I doubt crosses the BBB. So when you see pictures of organs "vitrified" you will always see vascular organs, never a brain. When Alcor can show a "vitrified" brain, than I will be a believer. Right now, they are making strawberry slurpies.

I want to know with all of this so call research, what University are they working with? I challenge you to name just one. You can't, cause no University is going to put their good name on the line for a bunch of snake oil salesmen. Like it or not these are the facts!
In fact, Alcor severs heads specifically to vitifry the brain better. The Cryonics Institute doesn't even sever heads, and it still achieves good vitrification.

And even then, the aspect of reanimation doesn't hinge on totally perfect preservation, just that the information content of the brain doesn't deteroriate too badly; that is, slowing the effects of entropy (ie, freezing).
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Maniac
Maniac

March 16th, 2004, 6:00 am #10

That does not make any sense. Cryo-preservation is accomplished on vascular organs (kidney, liver, etc, etc). The brian is not vascular. Have you ever heard of the blood brian barrier (BBB)??? Whatever voodoo solution Alcor is using, I doubt crosses the BBB. So when you see pictures of organs "vitrified" you will always see vascular organs, never a brain. When Alcor can show a "vitrified" brain, than I will be a believer. Right now, they are making strawberry slurpies.

I want to know with all of this so call research, what University are they working with? I challenge you to name just one. You can't, cause no University is going to put their good name on the line for a bunch of snake oil salesmen. Like it or not these are the facts!
>I want to know with all of this so call
>research, what University are they working with?
>I challenge you to name just one. You can't,
>cause no University is going to put their good
>name on the line for a bunch of snake oil
>salesmen. Like it or not these are the facts!

Here is a presentation on brain vitrification made at Cambridge University:

http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/cambridge.html

I'll try to post more later!
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