X-Message-Number: 15539
Date: Fri, 02 Feb 2001 21:42:11 -0500
From: Paul Antonik Wakfer <>
Subject: Ammendment to my #15528 & Comments on #15515, 15519, 15521, 15524
References: <>

First, an amendment to my #15528 brought to my attention by one the
involved scientists.

I had written:

>For those who might be concerning about the importance of large
>macroscopic cracks in patients, think of cracking as what happens to
>100s of thousands of persons everyday worldwide on whom surgeons are
>operating. They suffer large macroscopic "splitting" of their flesh
>during the operation. However, this is a relatively minor trauma to the
>body when treated properly and sutured closed and, within a timeframe of
>weeks to months, completely self-repairs.

However, it was called to my attention that while this is a valid
analogy for some tissue outside the brain, it is not valid for nerve
tissue either in or outside the brain and. in fact, surgeons go to great
lengths not to severe nerves. This is because severed nerves do not
self-repair, and more, current medicine does not possess a method to
repair them. However, I think my contention that cracks are far less
worrisome than toxic and ice crystal damage is still valid (and this
evaluation has been accepted by cryonics researchers for decades, I
think), because it is likely that current research into nerve repair
mechanisms will allow full nerve repair far before the time when major
toxic or ice crystal damage can be repaired.
Still is it better not to have any cracking, and with respect to the
relatively small damage done by currently possible low-toxicity
vitrification, avoidance of cracking damage has rightly become a higher
priority. That changed relativity of damage is the reason for the
current push to develop inexpensive and reliable intermediate
temperature storage.

> Message #15515
> From: 
> Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 11:51:41 EST
> Subject: Grimes notes 0201
> A few more notes:
> 1. Grimes asked for delay times, in hours, for CI's last 4 patients. I
> replied, from memory, that of the last three, two died at home under hospice
> care and were processed immediately, while one was not found for more than a
> day.
> Grimes then said, "No you did NOT answer my question. You made a vague
> statement, which told me nothing."
> I leave it to the reader as to whether my answer told "nothing." If further
> clarification is needed, "immediately" means that cool-down was started
> within a couple of minutes.
> Yes, I could ask HQ to look in the files for precise information on all
> patients, but I am not going to do that. If anyone thinks that is being
> unreasonable or secretive, so be it.

Mr Ettinger, I submit that you are here being quite ridiculous! If CI is
not prepared to give the number of hours from declaration of death until
arrival and beginning of cooldown to dry-ice temperature, then neither
CI nor you should be quoting those times for another organization and
attempting to compare CI to them favorably.

> 2. Grimes:
> >Yes I know, you already explained that your mortician puts in the glycerol.
> >What I'm saying is this: Why doesn't your mortician use Viaspan, to protect
> the >organs (such as the brain) while the patient is being transported to the
> lab? >Then put in the glycerol at the lab.
> I think he is suggesting that, in those cases where we have the local
> mortician do washout and perfusion at the local funeral home, Viaspan should
> be added to the mix (prior to shipment to Michigan). The answer is that
> Viaspan has not been tested as part of a perfusate--not by us, at any rate.
> We only use what we have tested.

Mr Ettinger seems to have a hard time getting things straight. No one is
suggesting that Viaspan or any other blood substitute should be *mixed*
with the cryoprotective perfusate. The *entire* point of Viaspan or UW
solution or whatever is to *prevent* toxicity while the patient is held
at relatively high temperatures (ie before cooldown has begun). By
shipping the patient with the toxic cryoprotective perfusate on-board,
not beginning the initial reduction below freezing until he arrives at
the CI facility, and then doing an initial slow cooling to dry-ice
temperature (a region in which cracking cannot possibly occur), CI is
submitting the patient to a very long time during which the toxicity of
the glycerol perfusate is very high. The only sensible way to do a
cryopreservation is to cool as quickly as possible to at least below
-40'C as soon as possible after cryoprotective perfusion is ended. This
rapid cooling (and consequent short toxicity time) is so important that
it was, in the past, preferable to end the perfusion before the desired
concentration was reached, if the ramp was proceeding too slowly for
some reason caused by the condition of the patient. 

> 4. Grimes:
> >> it has been shown that some of our web segments led to misunderstandings.
> >> These have been changed, or are in the process.
> > I saw statements that were WRONG. And now you say "These have been changed,
> or are in the process." Another wonderful evasion!
> No, he did not see statements that were wrong, but a couple of statements
> that could have been unintentionally misleading. The main one concerned
> toxicity of CPAs, where very high toxicity was in historical context. That
> has been changed, and a further re-write is in the making. Once more,
> although much more discussion is called for, these are the main facts as
> relates to current procedures:
> Current Alcor solutions are secret, but Alcor consultants tell us, and we
> believe them, that they are much less toxic (by the criteria used) than the
> previous Alcor standard. We're not sure how they compare with the current CI
> procedures, which now involve a 4-stage stepping of glycerol and a lower
> final concentration of glycerol than the previous Alcor procedure.

I commend CI for its efforts to amend its website and its positive
changes of cryopreservation procedures. For the reasons which I have
described in several messages, much more needs to be done, but CI has
made an important beginning. I look forward to their response in time to
the other necessary changes. Hell, living in Toronto only 4 hours away
from CI, I might even sign up with them someday if they ever get up to
date with their cryopreservation methods.
> 5. Grimes:
> >Which "recently reported compounds" did you try?
> Methoxylated compounds. The ice blocker literature only claimed a small
> percentage of reduction of needed concentration of CPA, so there seemed no
> rush to try that.

Except that such a "small percentage of reduction of needed
concentration" can be the difference between low and high cellular
viability and transplant success as has been demonstrated with rabbit
kidneys and now with hippocampal slice (for K/Na viability only).

> 6. Grimes:
> >> Then there is a torrent of drivel,
> >> Perhaps a new high for both pretentiousness and drivel. [Referring to some
> Wakfer remarks.]
> > Mr. E did not say this to me, but I include it as a reminder of his
> unfailing politeness!
> If any reader is interested enough to review all the back-and-forth, I think
> he will find that I have shown irritation only after provocation. Wakfer has
> used terms like "fraud," "deliberately misleading," "obfuscation," etc.

In the distant past, I may well have used the word "fraud", however, in
this round of discussions I have been very careful to stick to science
and not to impugn anyone's integrity. The only place where I can find
any use of "fraud" is within the following paragraph from my message

>Here Mr Ettinger is confusing science with politics.
>Describing work that is purported to be "scientific" in less than full
>detail may influence novice layman who understand little of the demands
>of real science and may even win their votes and allegiance, but as
>science it is still worthless. Those laymen who are rational will in
>time listen to credible scientists who care enough to point out that
>worthlessness and will vote against the original fraudulent behavior.

These comments are clearly generic in nature (about what rational laymen
will do). If Mr Ettinger wishes to apply the word "fraudulent" to CI's
behavior, then "so be it".
I have searched all my CryoNet messages and I can find no usage of the
phrase "deliberately misleading". I think Mr Ettinger is confusing me
with Jeff Grimes who did use that phrase a couple of times.

As for "obfuscation" (which means "to confuse" or "to make unclear"), it
is pretty clear on objective grounds that when Mr Ettinger brings in
completely irrelevant examples, that is exactly what he is doing.

> As far as the overall atmosphere is concerned, I don't think it's a case of
> Bolsheviks and Menshiviks. The squabbles on Cryonet are not representative.
> Most members don't even subscribe to Cryonet, and those that do mostly remain
> silent, just as few newspaper readers write letters to the editor.

With this I don't disagree, far too many people sit on the fence and do
nothing. However, that says little about the importance of the subject
matter which we are discussing. After all most people are also quite
willing to do nothing and to simply die, while we are not.

> Message #15519
> From: 
> Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 13:22:34 EST
> Subject: Wakfer notes
> A few points:
> Wakfer:
> >Frankly, I don't know what kind of "professional" biologist would
> >attempt to experiment with sheep heads obtained from a slaughterhouse!
> The professional cryobiologists were Dr. Pichugin and associates, as Wakfer
> very well knows, and they did it because we asked them to and paid them to do
> it.

And, I expect, because they were living in the Ukraine and were
desperate for any source of money.

> Wakfer:
> >medical research never does experiments on
> >cadavers, the results of which are meant to apply to live persons.
> Medical research sometimes uses cadaver tissue, including frozen brain
> tissue, to compare with other specimens. In fact, frozen/fixed tissue from
> cadavers is sometimes used as the standard of "normal," although generally
> not at the ultrastructure level.

I am perfectly familiar with the pathological use of human cadavers, but
this is little related to experimentation on live animals for purposes
of application to keeping human's alive. Mr Ettinger's out-of-context
quote has distorted my statement which in full read:

"Since no exact control and prescription of the handling of experimental
subjects from life to end processing is possible, no true science is
possible either. You will find damned few biology experiments in 
peer-reviewed publications which involves analysis of life, which begin
with dead animals, and most certainly none which begin with animals
procured from slaughterhouses. This is because the full procedure and
timing of all handling from live animal to final processing is critical
in order to get repeatable, and therefore meaningful results. For
example, expect for pathology work, which is not for similar purposes to
what we are discussing here, medical research never does experiments on
cadavers, the results of which are meant to apply to live persons."

> Wakfer:
> >   differences are bound to happen in a "fringe" area such
> >as cryonics which by its nature attracts independent minds. IMO, it is
> >far better to have this than a bunch of unquestioning yes-men who have
> >little indepth understanding gathered around the revered founder.
> Yes-men? I have often been overruled by a majority of our Board. Rather, I
> have sometimes been overruled. Most often it doesn't get to the point of a
> formal vote, but my suggestions have often been shot down. Our (CI's) people
> are just as "independent" as anyone else's, but more cooperative and less
> abrasive.

Again, I make a general statement and Mr Ettinger makes an assumption
that it applies to him and CI (there is another organization with its
"founder" back in charge). "If the shoe fits, wear it."
Anyway, my comments pertained to issues of science not to management.

> Wakfer:
> >how stable are CI perfusates? How long are they stored with
> morticians before replacement?
> They are very stable, and have been tested after one and two years by a
> commercial lab for possible growth of microorganisms, with clean results.
> CIHQ currently has no old perfusate. Only Albin has a relatively old one, and
> that will soon be replaced by our new set.

Thanks for the straight answers.
> This next is delightful. I had characterized one of his paragraphs as
> tiresome and pretentious. Now Wakfer:
> >It is, of course, an old dodge to denigrate ones critic by impugning his
> >character. If Mr Ettinger is tired ("tiresome") perhaps one of his
> well-known >afternoon naps will help renew him for the challenge of truth and
> exact use of >language.
>The beauty of this is that Wakfer at this point didn't even realize the 
>damage he was doing himself. The average reader is not likely to be favorably 
>impressed by Wakfer's suggestion that I take too many naps. (I'm not sure who 
>told him I take afternoon naps, but it's true.

I was at one of the CI annual meetings in the early 90s which carried on
while you took your afternoon nap.
I did not fault you for doing so at the time, although I did think it
rather peculiar in the middle of an important meeting.
I would not have mentioned it except for your own abusive use of the
word "tiresome".
>Sometimes morning naps too. On 
>the other hand, I often work late at night.)
>More generally, I repeat, any irritation I have shown has followed 
>provocation. Wakfer has repeatedly used terms like "fraud," and "deliberate 
>misrepresentation" and so on, which I have not done.

I have already addressed these false statements by Mr Ettinger above.
"Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much."

>I am still far behind in 
>the insult department, and have a lot of catching up to do, if I feel like it.

Anyone who cares to peruse the current exchange will find that this is
objectively quite false. Shall we make a bet and take a count?

>And I reproduce again the following Wakfer gem, which I characterized as 
>pretentious and tiresome pontificating:
>> There are no accepted views of what preservation "methods" are best for
>> brains, since "best" implies a specific purpose, and the purposes of
>> some uses of brains are not at all the same as other uses. Finally,
>> "best" is by its very nature not an objective of science which is the
>> investigation of reality and the discovery of the facts thereof. "Best"
>> is a purely subjective term of valuation and as such is totally
>> non-scientific. However, even in subjective practical terms, no one in
>> cryobiology or any other branch of science (except perhaps those at INC
>> and 21CM) currently has the purpose of restoring life as their purpose
>> for preserving brains!

My thanks to Mr Ettinger for finally making it clear exactly what he was
calling "pretentious and tiresome pontificating" since before he only
applied that insult (and offensive) to my entire post:

> Wakfer's latest (#15478) is tiresome, pretentious and offensive
> pontificating,

>He later tried to explain and regroup, but I leave the reader to agree or 
>disagree with my characterization.

I leave the reader to decide whether my statements about "best" above
are correctly described by such terms or are instead a sincere attempt
to show that "best" is not the simple thing which Mr Ettinger often
assumes it to be. 

>Now Wakfer's latest:
>>Without any restorations having
>>been done, it is logically impossible to state which current preparation
>>will allow the easiest, most complete, or any recovery at all. There is
>>no possible way to know what is the best procedure at the present time.
>>We will only know that at some time in the future. "All the criteria we
>>are able to apply" may in the future be found to be so much nonsense!
>>That having been clearly understood (which Mr Ettinger appears to be
>>incapable of doing), we can then proceed to apply the most reasonable
>>criteria that we can imagine, and we hope will be important for future
>>success in patient restoration.
>The kindest thing one can say about this is that it is poorly expressed. Any 
>ordinary reader, I believe, would construe the first part to mean, in effect, 
>that any old procedure is as good as any other, or as good as no procedure.

Mr Ettinger certainly has strange "beliefs" about the "Any ordinary
reader"s which we have on CryoNet. There is nothing in my first
statements to imply "that any old procedure is as good as any other, or
as good as no procedure" and any sensible reader will not conclude
anything until he has finished reading the paragraph, which by the
nature of paragraphs can correctly and logically modify the previous few

>The second part seems to contradict this, and acknowledge that we can and 
>must use our best guess as to the currently most desirable procedure. 

If it regrettable that Mr Ettinger does not appear to have the
ability to understand that there is no contradiction in what I clearly

>Wakfer, concerning a statement by one of the parties involved that the 53% 
>viability referred to each and every cell:
>>I do not recall where this was stated or by who. Would you please enlighten
>>us with that information in a direct quote?

>Wakfer published it. I leave him the job of looking it up, although if push 
>comes to shove and he denies it I will find and reproduce it. But I remind 
>Wakfer that the scientist doesn't want his name mentioned.

Mr Ettinger will have to produce it (including its identifiable source
since I don't believe that it exists - except as perhaps another
out-of-context quote or distortion in his mind). Please replace the
scientist's name with "Joe Blow" in the quote. 

By now Mr Ettinger has lead me and CryoNet readers far astray from the
main discussion topic of the science of cryonics and its procedures.
Whether that was his intention or not, I will not reply again to such
attempts to obscure the main topic by these unimportant peripheral
criticisms (except for the quote mentioned immediately above).

>Message #15521
>From: "Jeff Grimes" <>
>Subject: Updated CI Page
>Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2001 18:41:59 +0000
>I have revisited the CI web page, in particular the page that previously
> contained the untrue derogatory statements about competitors. The URL of
> this page is: http://www.cryonics.org/comparisons.html#emergency
>The most damaging statement has now been removed, but the text on the page
> is still contrived to create a very misleading impression. Now that I have
> learned more about this subject, I am slightly shocked by the sales
> tactics being used. The page is very long so I will only quote one piece:
>"Also, and more importantly, the cryoprotectants used in vitrification
>(and in freezing) are toxic, depending on
>concentration and rate and temperature of introduction."
>This is misleading for several reasons.
>1. ALL cryoprotectants are toxic, aren't they?

Yup! If CI is going to so criticize the toxicity of all cryoprotectants,
them maybe they should return to straight freezing. If fact, we don't
know for sure that such would not be easier to repair in the future than
every other method used so far.

>2. The 75% solution glycerol used by CI is a vitrification solution,
> according to Douglas Skrecky here on CryoNet.
>3. Therefore CI is making it sound as if its competitors are using
> more dangerous techniques, when in fact CI itself is
>using a solution that is more toxic than anyone else's.

>"Thus, vitrification kills cells: with older methods of vitrification
>it poisoned and injured them to the point of actually
>disintegrating cell membranes in some cases.

But it is not stated that, in fact, no such "older methods of
vitrification" were ever applied to patients.

>Indeed, the damage done by vitrification has in the past been so immense


> and so much worse than conventional suspension treatments that,
> on balance, every last cryonics organization has throughout
> cryonics history, until very recently, opted for the less destructive
> option of conventional glycerol suspension and
> cooling and liquid nitrogen storage."

Finally at the end it comes out that CI is criticizing something which
never existed!

>The change here is the introduction of the term "older methods."
>But still the text suggests that vitrification is BAD BAD BAD.
> And I would say, if "older methods" are not being used any
> more, why mention them now? Presumably, to scare people.

It is even worse than that. By CI's own admission, these "older methods"
were never used in cryonics (or actually for any practical purpose) but
were only the subject of scientific investigatory experiments! 

>I can't say that this is very reassuring about CI. Why would
> an organization bend the truth so much, and try to scare
>people by creating a bad image of its competitors?

Why indeed? Especially about something which doesn't and never did

>Message #15524
>Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 22:54:39 EST
>Subject: distant mortician preparation
>I think I forgot to answer a question about patient washout and perfusion by 
>a local mortician at a distance--the advisability of doing that and allowing 
>toxic effects of the CPA to accumulate while the patient is being shipped.

It is good to see that Mr Ettinger does really appear to understand the

>One alternative, to have the local just do washout and then ship the patient 
>to Michigan for perfusion, is something on which we don't have any clear 

A large amount of data was acquired and published (but not peer-reviewed
- it was refused by "Cryobiology") on this for whole bodies, during the
decade 1985-1995 first by Cryovita Laboratories and then by 21CM/BPI.
This has also been the subject of dozens of peer-reviewed literature
papers about organ preservation for transplantation. I cannot really
understand how CIs scientists have missed all of this information.

> Our sheep head work indicated that promptness of washout and perfusion 
>is more important, within limits, than some of the details of perfusion. Of 
>course, there are many variables, and the experience of our Michigan people 
>could in some cases offset any time advantage in having newly enlisted local 
>morticians do it. It's worth another look, and we'll figure out a priority 
>for it.

Good. Have a look at the peer-reviewed literature on organ preservation
while you are at it, and read all the published reports from Cryovita
Laboratories and 21CM/BPI.

-- Paul --

The Institute for Neural Cryobiology - http://neurocryo.org
A California charitable corporation funding research to
perfect cryopreservation of central nervous system tissue
for neuroscience research & medical repair of the brain.
Voice-mail: 416-968-6291  Fax: 559-663-5511

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