X-Message-Number: 20086
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Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 13:13:36 -0400

This is old, but don't remember having seen it before...
From the July 12, 2002 print edition	
Cryo-debate opens lid on freezing process
Craig Anderson The Business Journal 

Charles Beresford says most people are surprised to learn that he does not keep 
dead bodies in his freezer. 

Beresford, president of Scottsdale-based Cryogenics International, has received 
a barrage of telephone calls from journalists and other inquisitors in the wake 
of news reports that baseball legend Ted Williams has been cryogenically frozen 
in Scottsdale. 

But Cryogenics International isn't responsible for freezing Williams -- or 
anyone else, for that matter. The company uses a patented cryogenic process to 
treat tools, engine parts and many other common items to make them perform 
better and last longer. It also sells the equipment used in the cryogenic 

"You can use cold temperatures for things other than turning people into 
Popsicles," Beresford said. 

One reason for the confusion is that many people don't know the difference 
between cryogenics and cryonics, he said. Cryogenics is a general term referring
to the science of working with extremely cold temperatures. Cryonics refers 
specifically to the practice of freezing human bodies in the hope of someday 
thawing them out and reviving them once the necessary technology has been 

Beresford said the methods used by cryonics firms are much cruder than the 
process he uses. He has developed a patented, computer-controlled system that 
monitors and adjusts temperatures to provide slow and controlled cooling. It 
takes eight to 12 hours to cool the materials, and they are kept at a 
temperature of minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours before being thawed out
in an equally controlled manner. 

The cooling process slows down the individual molecules that make up all matter,
thereby causing them to line up in more organized patterns. This increases 
strength and durability of the material and removes structural flaws. Even when 
thawed, the materials retain their more organized structure, Beresford said. 
"The pressure of being cold squeezes out imperfections." 

The primary function of cryonics, on the other hand, is to efficiently store 
bodies at extremely cold temperatures for long periods of time, Beresford said.

One problem with the procedure is that it sucks moisture out of human tissues, 
often causing cracks in the frozen bodies, he said. Another is that freezing 
tends to rupture individual cells, causing essential chemicals to become 

Beresford said even if technology is developed that can repair each individual 
cell, the chemical displacement in the brain would effectively "erase" it like a
reformatted hard drive. 

"You'd wake up as an (adult) child," he said. "You wouldn't even be able to 
speak. Your memory, personality, every essence of you would be gone." 

Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the nonprofit group in Scottsdale that has 
reportedly frozen and is storing Williams' body, explains on its Web site there 
is "no guarantee cryonic suspension ever will allow for future revival." Still 
the company asserts that the continuing development of nanotechnology and 
cloning techniques make revival a growing possibility, and that there is nothing
to lose by being placed in cryonic suspension, since bodies already must be 
legally dead before they can undergo the process. 

Alcor officials are not talking to the media and could not be reached for 

Beresford said unlike cryonics firms, his company can guarantee results -- in 
the form of tools and equipment lasting two to four times longer than normal. 
The process also improves the sound quality of stereo components, musical 
instruments and CDs or DVDs, he added. 

Anyone can have possessions cryogenically treated. Cryogenics International 
charges by the pound, anywhere from $1 to $9 per pound, depending on the size of
the order. It also offers fixed rates for CDs ($2 each), rifle barrels ($45) 
and many other items. 

Beresford said the cryogenics industry has been growing steadily since the 
company was founded in 1986. Still, there are many misperceptions about what 
cryogenics is all about. 

"Nine out of 10 people are going to think we're freezing people," he says. 
"That's cryonics, not cryogenics." 

  2002 American City Business Journals Inc.


Robin HL

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