X-Message-Number: 13524
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 16:25:01 EDT
Subject: enteric brain etc

Not to make a big deal of it, but two comments on the recent discussion of 
the neuro option:

1. George Smith and Doug Skrecky suggested that brain only cryopreservation, 
with the rest of the body in a casket in the funeral home, with a normal 
appearance to viewers, might reduce the public relations problem. That 
doesn't see to me quite on point. The problem doesn't arise at the viewing or 
not-viewing stage--it arises when the prospective member discusses cryonics 
with his family. If others in the family are repelled by the idea of his head 
being cut off, they may also object to the idea of his brain being scooped 
out, with his face and all the rest discarded. It's "mutilation" and 
"gruesome," however you slice it.

2. In cryonet # 5655, 23 Jan 1996, Peter Merel quoted articles about the 
enteric nervous system. Turns out there is a "brain" in the gut--more neurons 
than in the spinal cord, and many similarities to the brain in the head, 
including a type of memory. Fascinating stuff. While I doubt that anything of 
major importance is outside the head, it does give one pause, and perhaps 
another marginal motivation for whole-body preservation when possible. 

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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