X-Message-Number: 6000
From:  (Brian Wowk)
Newsgroups: sci.life-extension,sci.cryonics
Date: 28 Mar 96 07:17:15 GMT
Message-ID: <>
References: <>

In <> Roger Fylling <> writes:

>For all people out there who thinks they can use cryogenics to 
>increase their life-span by being defrosted at some later date, I
>have the following thoughts:
>The brain is such a fragile organ, that it would probably be the 1:st 
>organ in your body that would be destroyed if you tried to alter its
>temprature. I don't think it would last more than an hour on ice, tops.

	Not even close.  Entire poeple (not just brains) have been
recovered after more than one hour of hypothermic circulatory arrest.
Cooling people to 18'C and stopping their hearts for almost an
hour is now done routinely for certain types of neurosurgery.
Blood substitution is required to go to lower temperatures, and
special solutions for this purpose will soon be undergoing clinical
trials in humans.  One such solution, developed by Biotime, Inc.,
has allowed primates to be recovered after 3 hours of circulatory
arrest at 4'C.  Another solution, developed by 21st Century Medicine,
has allowed dogs to be recovered after 5 hours of circulatory arrest
near freezing.

	Surgeons during the next decade will routinely
be able to "shut people down" for hours at time and perform complex
operations in a bloodless field.  (And for all the naysayers who
say cryonics is a worthless pursuit, I note that both of the above
companies and their blood substitute products are direct spin-offs
of research conducted by hardcore "body freezing" cryonics scientists
during the 1980s.)

	Getting back to the question of isolated brains, what is
the longest time that an *isolated brain* can be kept on ice and remain
viable?  EEG studies by Suda a quarter century ago show that brains
perfused with cryoprotectant and frozen to -30'C remain perfectly
viable when thawed 5 days later.  If partial viability counts, then
the longest time a brain has ever been frozen and then revived

	Now that I've rebutted your bogus disparagement of cryonics,
it's my turn to disparage your idea.  Keeping isolated brains (or heads)
alive by artificially perfusing them with blood is a useless idea
for radical life extension.  First of all, doing so will not cure
or prevent

* brain cancer

* stroke

* degenerative brain disease (yes, brains do age by themselves).

Second, to pull this off, you must simultaneously pefect the following
devices at a minimum:

* artificial heart

* artificial lung

* artificial liver

* artificial kidney

	Of these devices, only the artificial kidney (dialysis machine)
now works for longer than a few days.  Chronic use versions of the
other devices are still decades in the future, and the way they will
probably be manufactured is by just reprogramming the body to grow
new natural organs.

	Lastly, suppose for the sake of argument you could artificially
support a brain with present technology.  How much would it cost?
Looking at contemporary ICUs as a guide, expect to pay $5000 to $10000
PER DAY.  Not many people could afford immortality at that price, even
if it was physically possible.

	Far better to pay $0.30 a day to keep your brain frozen until
genetic engineers figure out how to regrow the rest of you.  If you
want to live a REALLY long time, I'm afraid cryonics is the only
game in town. 
 Brian Wowk          CryoCare Foundation               1-800-TOP-CARE
 President           Your Gateway to the Future        

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