X-Message-Number: 2674
Date: Sun, 03 Apr 94 12:03:13 EDT
Subject: CRYONICS Foreign Research

Concerning Thomas Donaldson's recent message about the need for research into
brain damage and means of preventing or repairing it:

First, Thomas seems to assume that brains, unless vitrified, necessarily
crack when frozen, probably based on reports from Alcor, now years old. But
procedures similar to those used by  the Cryonics Institute, applied to sheep
heads, have shown no cracks in the brains on the naked eye level; and good
reperfusion (with colored water), with no leakage from the vasculature,
after rewarming from liquid nitrogen temperature. 

We (Cryonics Institute and Immortalist Society) have reached an agreement
with scientists in the Ukraine--a cryobiologist  and an electron
microscopist--to repeat our work and extend it , including  evaluation with
the light microscope and electron microscope. We hope after that to go on and
begin to do the many other things that obviously need doing, including the
new ideas that will inevitably arise. (Further details have appeared  and
will appear in THE IMMORTALIST.) 

We all know that research in the U.S.--of the kind we need--has languished
for several reasons, including expense and the anti-cryonics climate in the
cryobiological establishment in the western countries. Money is still tight
in cryonics--but the next best thing to getting more money is finding cheaper
services, and we have done that.  The idea of profiting from someone else's
misfortune may be unpleasant, but we are helping the Ukrainian scientists by
employing them. I understand that a researcher in the Ukraine at present--if
he retains his employment at all--may receive only $15 a month, which is not
enough to buy food.  (In relatively rich Russia, a researcher may receive
$100 a month.) We can pay them much less than the work would cost here, and
still substantially improve their circumstances.

Unless the chaotic conditions in the former USSR cause unforeseen problems,
we should know fairly soon whether this effort will succeed.  If it does, I
would encourage members of all organizations to support it,  for example
through tax-deductible donations to the Immortalist Society, 24443 Roanoke,
Oak Park MI 48237 (memo "research fund"). The Immortalist Society and the
Cryonics Institute will publish all results and share them with anyone
interested, and will consider all proposals for specific research projects. 

Long life--

Robert Ettinger

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