X-Message-Number: 16820
From: "Trygve Bauge" <>
References: <>
Subject: Survey: Brain storage (in smaller dewars/freezers) yes or no?
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 17:46:54 +0200

D. den Otter has some interesting thoughts the gist of which are that it
might be easier to store brains than heads and full bodies. He sent this
article to me, but has since posted large parts of it to the European
Cryonics list.

I will add that it might be easier to get government acceptance for a brain
than for storing heads and whole bodies.

Still it is a question as to whether cryonisists would go for brain storage
or not:
many people I know, tend to be quite attached to their bodies,
and want to freeze the whole body at all costs, or at least their head,
leaving brain storage just as an option if or when oneself, a relative or
client can't afford anything more.

On the other hand brain storage might be the way to go for many of the
cryonic requests that can't afford anything more, and that otherwise would
not lead to suspensions.
It might also be an inexpensive way of starting a facility,
E.g. by offering to store the brains of people that are turned down by other
cryonics groups. Of course one would have to get the message out, so to get
to these brains before these turn into soup. But if people who can't afford
anything more would know about such an option, and if the other cryonics
groups would refer people and post mortem requests to it, then it might lead
to quite a few suspensions.

Contra indication is:
In cases where a person has been dead for several days, it might be easier
to just freeze the whole head than to try to extract the brain.

Thus let me ask all that read this:
Would you be inclined to sign up for brain storage yes or no?

a) As the primary option (e.g. to afford better suspension and instead save
on storage cost.)
b) As the alternative or minimum solution, (if for some reason you can't
afford anything more).
c) Not at all. (Maybe you are one of those that say: "If I can't store my
whole body, I will rather rot!", or maybe you are afraid of cold temperature
and don't want any kind of suspension?)


Trygve Bauge

 "D. den Otter" <> wrote the following:

 I know you're busy, so I don't expect a reply right
 away or anything. I just wanted to note that maybe the
 bigfoot dewar (which you're considering for storage)
 isn't the best possible choice, especially in this
 particular case. Bigfoot dewars are cumbersome,
 relatively expensive (strong dollar, inherently
 expensive model), fragile (one good dent and they're
 practically useless), and have to be imported all the
 way from the US (more added costs and delays).

 I think that electric cryogenic freezers (see previous
 post) or locally bought smaller dewars would be a
 better idea. The boiloff in smaller dewars can be
 somewhat compensated with better insulation and by
 using a closed system, where LN2 is automatically
 added from the supply tank(s) to the storage unit by
 means of a simple lever system. Such systems can be
 either bought off-the-shelf, or could be designed by
 some people I know. It's safer, too.
 Electric refrigeration with LN2 backup would probably
 be better, though (incidentally, electric freezers are
 said to have superior preservation capabilities, much
 better than LN2).

 Also it is important, in my opinion, to keep things as
 simple (=cheap!) as possible. Just very basic
 perfusion protocols or even just straight freezing.
 Otherwise you could become almost as expensive as
 regular cryonics organizations (certainly CI), without
 having the track record, stability and other
 advantages of a large(r) organization. Local storage
 only makes sense if it costs significantly less than
 storage in the US.

 Storing just brains instead of heads or whole bodies
 could also be an advantage: first of all it would
 allow you to use the dewar space much more
 effectively, being able to store, say, 20 instead of 4
 "people", and splitting the costs and risks
 accordingly. We won't need those bodies anyway in the
 future. Brains are better than heads because people
 will have significantly less psychological problems
 with them, and you can easier say that you're using
 them for "research" (we have a "brain bank" here in
 the Netherlands, for example, which stores parts of
 brains for all kinds of scientific purposes). Storing
 brains has something inherently scientific about it,
 which could be an advantage.

 Also, you could just have the brain removed in a local
 mortuary, and then give the rest of the body a "decent
 burial" (no doubt more acceptable for non-cryo
 relatives). The brain could then be shipped in a much
 smaller, cheaper, easier to handle etc. container to
 Norway, where it would be stored.

 Just some thoughts...

 Dalibor den Otter

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