X-Message-Number: 16078
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 08:08:45 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #16070 - #16077

Hi everyone!

Yes, OK, someone has treated human cells so that they survive for
long periods because they are dried out. Someday we may see that done
with whole brains, but it's still important to work on much closer
technology, the methods for storage worked out by Greg Fahy ... some
version of vitrification. It will do us no good if dry storage is
developed 100 years in the future, and something closer deserves
much more attention.

As for the "measure of log human history", which Mike Perry likes,
I will say a little bit too: first, it's much less obvious that 
everyone will someday come back, even after billions of years.
For that to happen a lot of assumptions must hold, and some of them
now look very weak. As for methods of storage, yes, again, we may
well someday be stored solely as the structure of our brain, which
isn't the same as a brain at all. That structure could be stored
in a computer or some descendant of computers, or in any other way
which preserved it. 

However this form of storage currently remains purely theoretical...
perhaps more theoretical than storing a brain dried out. Why more?
Because we'd still have to learn a lot about the structure of brains
on levels above those of single synapses but several orders below
those of current X-rays or other methods. Dried brains, however,
though they have lots of problems of implementation, could conceivably
work OK even if we don't yet know so much about the structure of 

Both of these methods may someday have a use. However for now it 
looks to me that the very first thing we should try to do is to
work out how to vitrify brains. And if the Cryonics Institute has
its own methods, they deserve work too (it will be interesting to
see what happens when Pichugin starts working with CI). It looks to
me to be the only methods which have any chance of working within
the lifespans of anyone reading this message ... even if they're
in their teens.

		Best wishes and long long life,

			Thomas Donaldson

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