X-Message-Number: 10372
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 1998 10:51:13 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #10363 - #10366

To Charles Platt:

If you have never seen Bob Ettinger give citations, then you have not
read his book which does give them. 

Furthermore, hamburger does NOT look on light microscopy anything
like healthy beef muscle tissue. There is considerable disarrangement
with freezing, yes, and much more is visible on electron microscopy,
but comparing such tissue with hamburger still seems extreme.

I say this not because I think the damage with present suspensions is
trivial (it certainly is NOT) but because both your postings on this
subject have been quite unfair and biased themselves. The central 
question (which remains unanswered) about whether or not those suspended
with older --- or even present --- methods will be revivable is that
of preservation of the required information. That information may 
remain despite considerable internal (and external!) disruption of
our neurons and glial cells. It may NOT remain, too. But the simple
fact that on light microscopy such tissues seem (at first) to be OK
tells us something. It is INFORMATION. And if you needed to be suspended
tomorrow, then you are talking as if you'd be just as happy if your
brain were ground into hamburger and THEN frozen. 

Not only that, but many cell structures necessary for the metabolism
of the cell might be destroyed completely without destroying the
information required to recover a patient. I say here, openly, MIGHT;
I do not claim to know just which ones. But we can list those which
may be totally destroyed and are unlikely to affect memory at all:
mitochondria play no role in memory. Some large part of the cytoplasmic
reticulum. Large parts of the cell nucleus and the DNA it contains.
(Random destruction of the DNA would have to leave, collectively but
not individually, enough information reconstruct the genes of the
patient from his/her cells). Lysosomes (their absence may actually
be favorable). The Nissl bodies. Most of the ionic channels through
the outer cell membrane. Large parts of the outer cell membrane,
so long as no actual severing of the neuron occurs. Some unknown 
number of synapses (synapses between two neurons usually are multiple,
unlike the case of electrical circuits). I give these examples not 
because I think we have an unbreakable case that our patients still
survive, but as examples showing how extensive destruction MIGHT be
without affecting ultimate survival of the memories and genes of
someone suspended by present or past methods. The mere fact that
freezing causes terrible destruction means nothing at all unless you
bring in knowledge of just which structures and biochemicals play
a role in the preservation of that person, as a static form of 
information, and which play a role in metabolism (which when not
frozen, of course, preserves the person). 

Just as we know we can dispense with our bodies, if necessary, during
cryonic suspension, we know that we can dispense with lots more. It's
not that such structures play no role at all, but that the necessary

And the proper response of a cryonicist to the state of neurons after
freezing is not shock but cool examination to see what may survive
and in what form. Certainly that is much harder, emotionally, but
how did you feel when neuropreservation (freezing only the head)
was proposed? 

			Best wishes and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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