X-Message-Number: 4493
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Re: CryoNet #4488 - #4490
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 13:57:57 -0700 (PDT)

Hi again!

To Mr. Davidson: 

Unfortunately the recent emphasis on Nanotechnology has dropped from discussion
many topics extremely relevant to what you say. For instance, in terms of 
providing a head with a body, there's a lot of reason to believe that with a
fully developed (!) theory of growth and development that will prove to be an
easy task. (Growth and development deals with the issue of just how a whole 
animal or plant is created from the genes and a single cell. Whenever someone
prattles to you about the genetic revolution, remember that we still don't 
understand, and still lack the ability to control, growth and development, 
without which the DNA is meaningless). A full control of growth and development
would go much farther than just controlling aging; it would make it a common
easy task to regrow a body from a head.

Furthermore, a second important issue that has dropped out of discussion is the
work (going on RIGHT NOW) towards finding ways to mitigate, delay, reverse,
and generally fix the damage caused by periods of ischemia, hypoxia, etc with
little or no circulation. This damage does occur to our brains, and may well
(given the problems of getting to a patient in time) happen to many cryonics

patients. One of the more outstanding instances of this work was a 
demonstrationby KA Hossmann and S Sato (published in SCIENCE 169(375) 1970) that
brains of
cats and monkeys could be revived if deprived of blood and kept at normal 
temperatures for up to one hour. This was an experiment under controlled 

conditions, and clinical conditions are never so controlled. As I understand it,
with expert attention, it has been possible to bring people back completely 
after 15 minutes (3 times the old 5 minute limit). A lot of work still goes on
to lengthen that period.

Neither of these subjects (and I have only touched on them here!) deserve to be
ignored, as seems to have happened not only on the Net but in cryonics
literature since that time. Both are critical to our hopes for revival,
Nanotechnology or not. After all, nanotechnology of any kind is only a way to
manipulate things. If we don't know what we're doing in the first place, it
provides us with lots of ways to do lots of damage. Not only that, but work on
both development and revival from "death" suggest (and I believe would suggest 
to anyone who reads more into both subjects) that a LOT of repair can be best
done by these means.

As for survival of reflexes etc, you may well be right. The spinal cord and 
nerve collections just above it do play many significant roles. I will say,
though, that if I can regrow my spinal cord (and of course the rest of my 
body) I will NOT be in the position of a paraplegic. It would be more that I
would have to relearn some body skills which I knew before.. Whether our brain
memories would help that I don't know, but after all, we'll already have to
learn a good deal. If people don't type anymore but do something else, then we
will have to learn new reflexes and skills, too. I also think that in present
conditions preservation as a neuropreservation patient is much safer: Dora 
Kent would be gone now if she had wanted to take her body along.

You may choose differently, and there IS some good reason on your side. I have 
decided to be a neuro because I have decided that any extra learning I might
have to do would not be a heavy extra burden.

To Doug Platt:

I'm not so sure that people aren't interested. I know I was VERY interested
in Mike's report, and wrote an email to him right after reading it. I will
say, though, that I have no actual evidence that I'm not unusual that way.
And yes, I think there are cryonicists who treat it as the same kind of 
consoling fantasy that others treat religion. I sincerely hope they don't
actually get in the way of the rest of us. May be net actually helps by
providing an outlet for such reactions.

			Best and long long life,

			Thomas Donaldson

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