X-Message-Number: 4492
From: Brian Wowk <>
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 13:01:17 -0500
Subject: Neuropreservation

Jim Davidson writes:

> The physical trauma of decapitation is inconsequential compared to
> that of low temperature?  That seems optimistic at best.

	Not at all.  We are a helluva lot closer technologically to
being able to grow anencephalic clones and surgically transplant heads
(ignoring the spinal repair problem) than we are to repairing the
extensive microscopic damage caused by freezing.  In fact, in post
mortem examinations of some whole body cryonics patients converted
to neuro ten years ago, it was revealed that they has suffered
numerous *macroscopic fractures* of most organs of the body,
*including the spine*.  In other words, all cryonics patients today
(neuro or whole body) are already not only decapitated (spines
transected) but badly cut up generally.

	I write this not to discourage people from signing up, but
to remind them that even whole-body cryopreservation today is
predicated on the eventual development of *very* advanced technologies.
The technologies to repair the above injuries are clearly foreseeable
in prinicple, but the reality in still a long way off.  There is no
doubt in my mind (having spent much time thinking about this) that
by the time technology exists to recover today's cryonics patients,
whether they are whole body or neuro will make virtually no difference
to the difficultly of the repair task: Revival of these patients will
be the most awesome technological tour de force in the history of
humanity in either case.

	Although I believe that the revival of today's whole bodies
or neuros will be an equally difficult repair task, that is not to
say that no information is being lost when you go neuro.  Even today,
I believe that whole body preservation is worth considering for
anyone who possess specialized motor skills that they regard to be
an important part of their identitfy.  In other words, while going
whole body or neuro will probably not make much different in terms
of the difficultly of reviving you, it may make a difference in
terms of how you feel when you are revived.

	Also, I would encourage anyone who is young today to purpose
enough life insurance to pay for whole body preservation.  As a young
person, I believe that my chances *today* are better if I go neuro
(more $ per kilo to keep my storage going), but as technology
improves, whole body preservation will eventually become superior.
This will happen when, as Jim would say, decapitation becomes a
significant injury in relation to the rest of the cyropreservation
process.  That day is still a long way off.

	Finally, let me end on an optimistic note.  The recent results
by Mike Darwin, Steve Harris, Sandra Russell and their associates at
BioPreservation shows that the *ultrastructural* preservation achieved
in today's cryonics patients may be better than anyone dared dream
a few years ago.  This is very exciting, and should motivate us all
the more to build strong cryonics organizations and push research
forward until the many remaining serious problems are all dealth

----Brian Wowk

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