A Look at KrioRus, Alcor, and Cryonics in General

This popular press article takes a look at the Russian cryonics provider KrioRus and the long-standing US provider Alcor. As for many such articles it is perhaps too ready to selectively quote skeptical scientists while ignoring the vocal support of many other scientists. The small cryonics industry provides low-temperature storage of the body and brain on death, using vitrification for avoidance of ice formation and the best possible preservation of fine structure that stores the data of the mind. This is the only possibility at a longer life in the future for those who will age to death prior to the advent of rejuvenation biotechnology, and it is a tragedy that so few people are interested in cryopreservation as an alternative to oblivion and the grave. In a better world, near everyone would be preserved for a future of medical molecular nanotechnology capable of restoring vitrified tissue and regenerative medicine capable of rebuilding a body, and no-one would think it normal to embrace self-destruction rather than hope at the end of life.

In both countries, the cryopreservation process is largely the same. Once a patient is pronounced legally dead, the body must be cooled within the next few hours to start bringing down the body temperature. Most cryonics companies work with standby services whose main purpose is to get the body out of the hospital or morgue as soon as possible to begin the process. Over several hours, the patient's blood is replaced with a cryoprotectant, essentially a chemical anti-freeze that shields tissue from freezing damage. Then the patient is cooled to -196C over the course of several days using nitrogen gas.

Those who elect to sign up seem to fall into two categories. The first consists of people who consider themselves pioneers and would be quite content to come back in the future, knowing no one and nothing of the current culture. The second is of people scared both by the prospect of death and by the finality that comes with saying goodbye to a loved one for ever, a feeling most sceptics would find hard not to empathise with.

Of those two categories, Gary Abramson and Maria Entraigues-Abramson probably fall into the former. A photogenic couple who live in Los Angeles, the two met at a conference devoted to life extension and married not long after. "I had this curiosity since I was a little girl about ageing. I always felt it was something that was not right," Entraigues-Abramson told me. "If you're frozen, you're locked in time," Abramson chimed in. "If you wait 100 years or 1,000 years or however much time it takes for the technology to develop, it doesn't matter. I'm sure it's a split second for your experience. It may be a one in one thousand chance. But the alternative is a 100 per cent guarantee annihilation of your existence." "And if you don't like it in the future, you can always die again if you want to," Entraigues-Abramson said. "You can take a peek and say, 'I like it' or 'I don't. I'd rather be dead. People think cryonics is freaky but lying in the ground and decomposing isn't? What's the difference?"

Link: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/d634e198-a435-11e5-873f-68411a84f346.html

Comments

Hi all,

On the website, a neuroscientist from a university where I live said cryonics are bs :

'' ...Review this year, McGill University neuroscientist Michael Hendricks wrote that any suggestion that cryonics could bring a person back to life was “simply snake oil”. “Reanimation or simulation is an abjectly false hope that is beyond the promise of technology and is certainly impossible with the frozen, dead tissue offered by the ‘cryonics’ industry,” he wrote.''

I don't know much about cryonics and the prospect, as some have said, of freezing is better than nothing/eternal death, despite the, at first, extreme costs, but in long-term eternity of death, little to no cost (paid through life insurance). Nitrogen Vitrification is hazardous terrain (still seens a pure 'terminator' sci-fi), but it has been shown to happen naturally in certain animals, like toads or other hibernating animals during winter who litterally bury themselves in the snow and everything; their livers produce a special vitrifiant that inhibits blood ice crystalisation and tissue damage from ice crystal formation from reduced whole body freezing temperature.

That way they can remain like a frozen ice block for the entire winter and when mild temperature comes at spring time; they litterally 'melt' and they 'reanimate' (not really, more like torpor awakening from winter slumber/metabolism down to near 0%). But, I think that is where the buck stops and there is a difference, as this McGill neurologist says, freezing a 'live' body vs freezing 'dead' body is quite different.
Rejuvenation therapies could, in theory, resuscitate the frozen cadaver, but so far that is not how it would work out (unless the aged/dead body is rejuvenated and as such, could be ReAnimated..a bit like playing like Victor Frankenstein .'' It's Alive! It's Alive!!!!!!'' ). If we extrapolate resuscitation from other experiments with nature we realize that living organisms, frozen 'live/alive', are far easier cryopreservable and resuscitable (obviously).
Like for example, studies have resuscitated and grown ancient seeds from Lotus tree, these seeds were from 500 to 1500 years old; and in laboratory they made viable flowers once cultured; except, there was a constatation - not all of them survive such extremely long torpor/eternal slumber in total anoxia/hermetic protection from oxidation. The most aged one produced flowers that were highly damaged and 'veiny' (like advanced aging), some of them basically did not germinate at all and were dead. Many Centuries of normal background earth radiation daily exposure had accumulated in their DNA despite extreme shielding; showing you could not evade the effects of radiation even after death or being in torpor ametabolic slumber. We can infer that some of these seeds were alread dead/decomposing at first conversation start point centuries ago, some were viable and kept that way; meaning fresher 'live' seeds had much much better chance of making it and germinating thousand years later. And the germination studies of hermetic-preserved ancient DNA seeds showed that exacly.

So in a sense I agree partly with his assertion, but death in itself is not a total finality; especially if the body is cryopreserved at the exact moment of death (respiration arrest, heart and brain electric activity arrest). Cells continue to survive in the body hours after death and later on, the body procedes to putrefaction by loss of immune system : the body gets litterally eaten from inside from 'buffet' door opening from anaerobic tissue eating bacteria overload inside intestinal tissue (producing gas methane and odorous nauseating polyamines (putrescine, cadaverine, spermine and spermidine) from cadaver, hence why undertakers at cemeteries saw coffin lids litterally explode in the air in family crypts from methane pression inside gas pressurized coffins; and then decomposing cadaver would pile in a goo all over; the undertaker having to clean up the mess) and later on other organs. Some of the 'saints' did not decompose inside coffin (not because they were saints with after-death divine power but due to hermetic protetion from rust oxidation decomposition, and a process of 'soaping' waxying that hardens against oxidation and anaerobic flesh-eating bacteria (fatty acidss in the phospholipid membranes become higly saturated upon death (giving a frozen 'wax statue' texture look) because fluid polyunsaturates are lost from membranes, rendering membranes extremely hydrophobic; as such cadavers flesh is 'hard, dried up (loss of hydratation/skin barrier), thinny (collagen loss/crosslinking), shriveled, pruned and like leather, plus waxy (waxy-like saturated fats like palmitic acid (16:0) or stearic acid (18:0), just like in soap, palm oil, beeswax, coconut butter or coca butter; or just regular butter'). Membrane peroxidation drops dramatically as the peroxidation index (PI) drops from total loss of polyunsaturates (the peroxidation causing peroxidation-suscepible fatty acids that produce lipid hydroperoxides (mostly from highest unsaturated 22:6 DHA perodixation) that damage membrane and mitochondrial DNA; and make us age).

Cryonics, because they buy time, have some power. Cryogenizing a dead body, if caught immediately, could possibly be revived later on; it is hard to tell when their may be some problems that will show up - despite freezing at -196 degrees; like long-'after'life earth radiation exposure or simply, finality of organs who cannot recuperate from the excess ECM damage, lipofuscin and other residue; what rejuvenation therapy will be capable of removing these damages in the far future perhaps then, they will have a moon-shot, otherwise it is tempting to conclude the irreversibility of death - frozen 'in/at time', or not.
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Posted by: CANanonymity at December 30th, 2015 12:47 PM

@CANanonymity: That neuroscientist's view was dismantled and refuted pretty quickly by other scientists who know much more about the intersection of cryobiology and neurobiology:

https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/09/neuroscientists-are-also-capable-of-incoherent-arguments-against-cryonics.php

It was dismantled and refuted by other researchers again later in the very same publication in which the initial commentary appeared:

https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/10/on-cryonics-and-preserving-the-mind.php

Which is my complaint - the media is selective about who they quote on this, as for many topics.

Posted by: Reason at December 30th, 2015 1:01 PM

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