X-Message-Number: 3381
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS: CRYONICS under pressure
From:  (Ben Best)
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 1994 01:24:00 -0500

   I'm glad to see that my third posting on High Pressure Cryonics
finally elicited some comments. My first posting acknowledged Dr. Fahy's
work -- I was making no claims of originality. Even so, the High
Pressure techniques that Greg Fahy attempted were very limited and
he did not experiment with all the variables I would have liked him
to. Evidently, his cryoprotectant work proved fruitful enough that
he could set High Pressure techniques aside.

   But if Dr. Fahy's cryoprotectant formula is so superior to glycerol,
why can cryonicists CURRENTLY and in GOOD CONSCIENCE continue to use
glycerol for cryopreservations? Would Dr. Fahy not sell or rent rights
to use of his solution by cryonicists?

   Although the use of High Pressure in cryobiology is not new, I
believe that the use of VERY High Pressure, as suggested by Nikolas
Georg Hergenhahn is entirely novel. I acknowledge that having manageable
equipment to apply High Pressure to a whole body or even just a head
seems daunting, but I'd like to see what some competent engineers could
come up with. In fact, Hergenhahn believes he could perform such
experiments himself -- and apparently intends to (although he would
appreciate financial support). He cites the fact that 100,000
atmospheres are currently being used for the artificial synthesis of

   I'm glad to hear that Robert Ettinger would include High Pressure
techniques in his research plan. Personally, I don't think he should
concern himself too much with the re-warming stage. Although
viability is desireable, elimination of structural damage is a far
more significant step in my view. And future science will
definitely be needed for repairing the deceased elderly anyway.

   Brian Wowk raises the *possibility* that protein denaturation
may be occurring in commercial divers at 2,000 feet. But why can
sperm whales regularly dive to depths of 3,700 feet? What of the
fish that live at 37,000 feet on the bottom of the Mariana trench?
Could the case of the divers simply be something like "the bends"
(ie, the release of pressure, not the application of pressure, may
be the problem)?  It is *possible* that Very High Pressure could be
destructive, but it is also *possible* that it is nowhere nearly as
damaging as we think -- or as damaging as the alternatives. Even if
protein denaturation does occur with High Pressure, this must be
weighted against the *known* toxicity of cryoprotectants and the *known*
devestation due to freezing damage.

   I am saying that I would like experiments to be performed with High
Pressure and with Very High Pressure. I hope Brian is not saying that
experiments should *not* be performed because it is *possible* they
will not be fruitful.

     Of course, if the Millenium has come and suspended animation of the
brain is virtually guaranteed with cryoprotectant solution alone, I will
be as glad as anyone.

                    -- Ben Best ()

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