X-Message-Number: 2808
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 1994 14:16:56 MST
From: "Richard Schroeppel" <>
Subject: CRYONICS Research Objectives

Ralph Merkle's recent message #2790 "Cryonics and Future Medical Technology"
discusses the problem of persuading people that cryonics is a reasonable
approach.  He says

  Clearly, we would like to minimize damage while at the same time maximizing 
  the abilities of future medical technology.  We would like suspension 
  technologies that would let us simply warm the patient up, and repair 
  technologies that can revive a patient after substantial delay, ischemia, 
  and freezing injury.  For various reasons, it is my opinion that to gain 

  substantial acceptance of cryonics in the technical and medical communities it
    will be necessary to both show that suspension damage can and is being 
  minimized, and also to show that future medical technologies will be able to 
  reverse substantially greater injuries than typically occur in a suspension.

This suggests some near-term research objectives, for those with suitable

1)  Working on reviving individual cells from frozen test animals.
    Different kinds, eventually working up to neural tissue cells.
    When the next human neuro-conversion occurs, revive some of
    the body cells, including peripheral nerve cells.  (This elides
    over important problems, such as reviving a tissue or organ
    rather than just cells.)

2)  Culture some of these revived cells.

3)  Extract DNA or nuclei from frozen or revived cells, and clone
    a new animal.  Or show that some genes from the DNA are present
    in a chimera.

4)  Sequence some of the extracted DNA.

Each of these projects is somewhat of a "showboat" rather than solid
research aimed directly at revival of a patient.  But each of them
has potential to persuade people that a scientific objection has been
overcome, and that advances are being made.  They can be presented
as "one small step, lots of work still to do" without over-claiming.
They have the character of demonstrations, rather than pure research;
but the point of demonstrations is to persuade.

Rich Schroeppel   

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