Why not Cryonics

Randy Smith cryofan at brokersys.com
Wed Aug 21 17:30:22 EST 1996


In article <9608210756.AA01216 at cryptic.rch.unimelb.edu.au>, 
kerrr at CRYPTIC.RCH.UNIMELB.EDU.AU says...
>
>
>>Cryonics: very basically, at time of legal death, you fill the patient full 
of 
>>cryoprotectant and freeze them in liquidnitrogen for a few hundred years 
>>untill they can be revived. Paid for by life insurance and dues.
>
>thanks for the definition Randy.  it seems that your post has provided the
>seed of a lively discussion.
>
>In my mind, there are several reasons why cryonics is not a go-er.
>1. brain cells die off quite rapidly.

Again, what does " dead" mean? Is dead today dead 400 years hence?

  i know that people have been revived
>from immersion in icy streams and whatever but to do it reproducibly and to

Those people would have been dead 20 years ago.


>be able to offer it as a service is another matter....this is the reason for
>the post, I hear you cry.
>
>lets say that the perservation of intellect was not an issue.
>
>2. cryoprotectant is only semi-efficient. it has to penetrate every tissue
>of the body in a short time to a threshold concentration so that when you
>freeze it, there is no/little formation of ice crystals.
>At this point in time it doesn't carry out its function     why? well, its
>not because they pump it in too slowly, as i have heard that they have
>altered this variable & its not the fix-all that it was hoped it was.

True, with current perservation techniques, cryoprotectant might get to 50% of 
the human brain. But, consider the possibilities of rebuilding damaged brains 
with so-called standard brain components/functions and nanotech. 



>
>different materials you say ?  like what? polyethylene glycol has been
>around for a while and I don't know of anything else.
>Even if you could get it in fast enough and above the threshold, freezing
>artifacts occur, particularly in membranes which some people argue is the
>beginning of life, as with the transporters that keep everything in its
>place and at an agreeable concentration( this is freeze-fracture, the netter
>with the e/m experience is right on here. ) animals are essentially water
>based life forms and even if you REMOVE the water and put it back without
>the freezing, I think that it would be curtains/shows over.
>
>3. Nano-tech fixes.  I think that this is pie-in-sky stuff as you would have
>to characterize all the changes (labourious but in reach)after
>cryoprotecting and freezing before designing the fixes ( the hard
>bit).besides, the nano-tech stuff is in way infancy, nay embryonic state,
>maybe not even gastrulated as yet.  Besides, this is similar to the mind-set
>that touted iatrogenic malaria infections as a cure for the clap.
>personally, i'm not a fan.
>
>however, there is one thing that could be worth studying.  iv'e heard that a
>group in the States has been studying the "freezing" of frogs, which occurs
>in nature.   hah! A model system ! I don't know if their cold-blooded (I
>forget the tech. term) physiology provides them with the flexibility to do
>this and therefore, makes it impossible for warm-bloods to take it on, but
>maybe further study will shed a little light on the mechanism.  then, maybe,
>step up to mice....and republicans ;-)
>any other thoughts ? 
>Richard Kerr.
>The Murdoch Institute,
>R.C.H. Flemington Rd, Parkville, 3052,
>AUSTRALIA.
>kerrr at cryptic.rch.unimelb.edu.au
>Phone (61) 3 9345 5045.
>




More information about the Neur-sci mailing list