A Review of the Alcor-40 Conference

Since we're on the subject of cryonics today, I thought I'd point you to a review of the Alcor-40 conference published in Alcor's house magazine. The conference was held a few months back; you might compare this review with another conference report that was published in October.

This is a fairly long piece, so look through at your own pace:

Alcor-40 Conference Review

In honor of its 40th anniversary, Alcor held its first conference in 5 years on October 19-21, 2012, in Scottsdale, Arizona. The program featured a wide variety of topics for presentation, with themes regarding how to improve the odds of a successful cryopreservation and theories of aging and their implications for stopping or reversing aging (as argued by their primary scientific proponents).


The Chief Scientific Officer of 21st Century Medicine, Inc. (21CM), Greg Fahy, kicked off the event with an overview of the work being carried out at 21CM in his talk "Progress Toward Reversible Cryopreservation of Complex Systems." Because cryonics is reliant upon technologies that do not yet exist, it is sometimes likened to religion. "Unlike religion, cryonics must be based on evidence," Fahy began, emphasizing that reversibility is the key component of successful suspended animation.

Fahy rounded things out with an update on 21CM's "20 year plan." Begun in 2010, their work in whole body vitrification has marched forward with the ultimate goal of reversibility by 2030. Precision perfusion control systems have allowed for unprecedented data collection during whole body vitrification experiments. Currently, the company is focusing on studies of cryoprotectant toxicity to make the next advance toward reversible cryoprotection of the most complex system of all, the whole organism.

The cryonics movement is perhaps the oldest continuous portion of the modern community of advocates and supporters interested in radical life extension and the defeat of aging. This is a community distinguished from all those that came before it by the fact that is members are in a position to actually do something about the issues of death and aging. Technology is far enough along for people to work on preserving the minds of those who die too early, and we now have a shot at building working rejuvenation therapies over the next twenty to thirty years. All it needs is money. Present efforts are foundation work or crude first attempts in comparison to what lies ahead, but they exist, which is more than could be said just a few decades ago.


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