X-Message-Number: 4475
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 1995 16:51:40 -0400
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS bpi report

Thanks to Darwin, Russell, Wood & Wood  and BioPreservation for the valuable
report on dogs thawed after storage at about -80'C to    - 90'C. (CryoNet #
4468, 4473) Some remarks:

1. Obviously, everyone will be interested in results after warming from
liquid nitrogen temperature, -196'C. We hope they will be as good. Past
experience suggests the lower temperatures are more damaging during cool-down
and warm-up, although less damaging during storage. The Ukrainian work with
rabbit brain pieces may also soon shed light on any differences between
results at - 90'C and -196'C; they are hoping the bioelectric results after
rewarming from  the lower temperature will be as good as from the higher

2. The CI sheep head evaluations are far from complete. Much still needs to
be done to separate actual damage from artifacts, thawing damage from
freezing damage,  and to assign causes of damage to the various aspects of
the protocol.

3. Much also remains to be done to assign credit or blame to various aspects
of the BPI/Alcor procedure. Darwin et al suggest that the main improvement in
recent procedure was a higher concentration of glycerol. For reasons I won't
repeat here, I have long thought it likely that some other aspects of the
protocol, including some of the  expensive ones, have marginal importance at

If it turns out that some of the expensive aspects are indeed important for
good results, CI in due course will offer those, either as options or
possibly as standard, depending on the degree of importance.

4.  The Ukrainian researchers, Yuri Pichugin and Gennadi Zhegunov, working
with CI and IS will be asked to apply BPI methods--so far as practicable, and
as the schedule permits--to human brain slices. This may give us some
indication of any successes or failures specific to the different species,
and may also throw some light on effects
of post mortem delays and various causes of death.

5.  In the introduction to the BPI report, Charles Platt says something about
CI minimizing all medical procedures and using morticians with non-medical
equipment. This is vague and pejorative (in effect, if not in intent) and not
an appropriate characterization. 

First, CI tries to minimize (or eliminate) ALL procedures that are not
justified by the results. 

Second, whether personnel are "medical" depends on definitions. In terms of
formal education and training in anatomy and surgery, morticians are better
qualified than some key members of the BPI team--which of course does not
mean they are better qualified for the job at hand, nor does it mean
morticians are necessarily unqualified, or cannot easily become qualified. We
think morticians (at the very least, selected morticians) can be trained to
do any specific job that surgeons do--do it just as well and MUCH more

Third, the term "medical equipment" can also cut both ways, or be
meaningless. Many "surgical" instruments could not be distinguished from
"mortuary" instruments without looking at the label--or the invoice. There is
also the matter of legality; strict reading of the law might prevent many
devices or pharmaceuticals from being used without a prescription by a
physician for a purpose approved by the FDA. In MIchigan--and doubtless in
other states--there is also a law forbidding anyone other than a licensed
mortician from cutting or injecting a dead person--the only exceptions being
for autopsies, approved research, and medical schools. 

6. If I remember correctly, Biotime's Paul Segall, Hal Sternberg, Harold
Waitz et al reportedly got good results after warming hamsters from liquid
nitrogen temperature. Lack of detailed information has been attributed at
least in part to propietary interests, but now I understand that Hextend (TM)
has received patent protection, so maybe we can anticipate more details

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=4475