X-Message-Number: 3378
Date: 02 Nov 94 21:53:21 EST
From: Mike Darwin <>
Subject: CRYONICS High Pressures

For some reason this didn't post yesterday, so I'll try again!

Ben Best writes:

> Paul Wakfer told me that he and Mike
>Darwin simply dismissed the idea as "impractical". 

I do not know if Paul Wakfer really said this.  One thing is for sure: I haven't
even REMOTELY discussed the recent ideas on the net about high pressure with

Paul, or anyone else, for that matter.  I've been far too busy dealing with dogs
(the kind that lick your hands and wag their tails), rabbits and pigs.

If Paul did make such a remark about my opinions then, for the 'nth thime (where
Paul is concerned) I would point out that Paul Wakfer doesn't speak for me.  I
speak for me. Period.
The issues involved in super high pressures are complex, beyond my area of
knowledge and expertise, and I believe I've said this before.  Greg Fahy is an
expert on baro-injury and I can tell you that cryoprotectants help protect
against baro injury - a little.

What little I do know:

No, things (cells) aren't squished at super high pressures.  But all sorts of
other things DO undergo shape (proteins, membrane constituents, etc.) changes,
phase changes etc.  The kind of pressures contemplated here (it would be my
UNeducated guess) would make chemical fixation seem like a piece of cake by

Ben  gives a mistaken impression about why cells are "compressed" between ice
chaneels during normal freezing.  The cells are dehydrated and they are
dehydrated not because ice takes up more volume than water, but because as the
water crystalizes it freezes out as PURE water and that OSMOTICALLY EXTRACTS

water from the cells ('cause the ionic content of the extracellular milieu rises
as the water is extracted from solution by ice.

Finally, Ben, look, there are a thousand strategies for preserving biological
information from blasting X-rays at them and making holorams to pickleing them,
to who knows what.  About most of these things I am, Like you, IGNORANT.  This
however, does not make me a fool.  Nor does rushing off to investigate each of
these things and comment on them and say what I think or think don't think make
me wise or prudent.

I've said this before:  if you don't get a happy chorus of responses don't be
disappointed or (as I interpret it) vaguely blaming.  I've got my plate full
right now and I am doing what I want to do.  You think these ideas are so great

-- YOU go out and learn the reams of theoretical data to decide if they are even

passably practical and THEN go do some experiments and find out.  That's the way
science gets done.  

I whine but I also work.  And I put my money where my mouth is -- and years of
my life.  You go do the same.  Please don't expect the rest of us who have

chosen a research path we believe is viable to drop everything to comment on the

latest from speculationland.  You go to work every day at a nice steady job that
pays you nice predictable wages.  Lucky you.  Some of us don't have that luxury
and those of who are DOING research get irritated when postings like Ben's show
up; as if we're supposed to jump to attention.

As an aside to Brian Wowk: IMHO it would have been a far better thing for you to
do to work on your OWN research rather than to spend time dealing with someone
else's apparently: a) nutty, b) impractical, and c) irrelevant in real time,
schemes from fruitcake land.

You can all tell I'm in a nice mood.  Don't take any of this personally, but it
has been a long hard day and I have several more staring me in the face. :)

Mike Darwin

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=3378