X-Message-Number: 10724
Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 12:06:57 -0800
From: Jeff Davis <>
Subject: More on Trehalose

Peter Merel wrote:

>On Trehalose:
>I was surprised no one else picked up on this. 

	Just goes to show you, Peter, sometimes you're the guy who not only makes the 
	find, but takes the initiative to bring it to everyone's attention.  After all,
	Doug Skrecky can't do everything.  Kudos.

>From New Scientist magazine,
>November 7:
>"Taking a tip from tiny animals that can live for more than a century, 
>Japanese researchers have invented a new technique for storing human organs 
>for transplant.

	Who could miss the following without having their own heart beat with renewed 

>...the team flushed rat hearts with trehalose solution before 
>packing them in silica gel to remove the water from their cells. The hearts 
>were then immersed in perfluorocarbon, a biologically inert compound, and 
>stored at 4  C in airtight jars. Ten days later, the team took the hearts out 
>of the jars and resuscitated them. Within half an hour, they were beating 

>again. Measurements of their electrical activity suggested that the heart cells
>had survived intact. 
>Seki believes that the trehalose and perfluorocarbon replace the water in the 
>cells, preventing tissue damage.

	Now a rat heart isn't a human body or brain, and 4 degrees C isn't minus 196 
	degrees C, and Seki doesn't speculate on how much water is replaced by the 
	perfluorocarbon, but perhaps it's time revisit the idea, championed by Doug 
	Skrecky, of a role for dessication in the cryonics protcol. 

	Along similar lines, on Oct. 2nd, I sent this to Doug Skrecky:

>October 1994 
>Hayashibara Finds Cheaper Way to Produce Trehalose

>Will License Technology Out to Interested Firms Also Interested in R&D Tie-Ups

>Trehalose is an unusual starch sugar. Compared with other sugars, its features 
are striking.

>Empirical evidence shows that high concentrations of trehalose in the tissues 
of certain insects

>and desert plants allows them to survive in a state of suspended animation 
under conditions of

>water deficiency. Trehalose helps frogs to survive winter in a frozen state and
also helps to
>revive the DNA of salmon sperms from dehydration. 

>Trehalose, which has around half the sweetness of sucrose, is a non-reducing 

>consisting of two characteristically linked dextrose molecules. The market for 
trehalose is

>potentially huge - it can be used as a component of sweeteners, seasonings, 
preserved and

>frozen foods and soft drinks, and as a moisture retainer in cosmetics and 
preservatives in

>pharmaceuticals. Numerous companies worldwide are looking for ways to produce 
>industrially at low cost, but success has been limited to date. 

>Putting its expertise in microorganisms, starch and enzyme technology to work, 

>Biochemical Laboratories, Inc. has developed technology for high-yield 
large-scale production

>of trehalose directly from starch at one-hundredth the cost of existing 
methods. According to the

>firm, it can now produce trehalose for around 400 kg/yen in contrast to the 
existing cost of
>around 40,000 yen/kg 

>Hayashibara discovered two new enzymes in soil-inhabiting microbes. One of the 

>produces the trehalose portion of the final product from starch amylose and the

>dehydrolizes the long chain structure of trehalose into smaller molecules. The 
firm says that use

>of the enzymes allows 80% pure trehalose to be obtained directly from starch 
with close to a
>100% yield. 

>Although Hayashibara has filed patents in 24 countries, the firm plans to 
promote use of the
>technology through tie-ups with interested groups. 
>Dr. Masanori Akiba
>Director, Second Development Laboratory, Development Center, Hayashibara
>Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.:
>Tel: +81-86-224-4311 Ext. 346
>Fax: +81-86-221-6405
>Return to Research
>Return to FoodNet Home Page 

	Since Doug hasn't gotten around to posting it here, allow me.

			Best, Jeff Davis

	   "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
					Ray Charles				

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