X-Message-Number: 6703
From: Brian Wowk <>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 23:21:07 -0500
Subject: Research Perspectives

In <4u4cuh$>  writes:

>The organizations also now include a few VERY wealthy
>individuals, and it is probably only a matter of time before one or more
>loosens up the purse strings to improve his chances.  

	Why not encourage them to do so now?

>They (cryobiologists) will come back when
>they again smell money, and they will smell the money when either (a) we fund
>research in a significant way...

	Exactly what is being proposed.

>In other words, once more, the cryonics movement does NOT necessarily depend
>for its growth on our own funding for early success in suspended animation. 

	But it certainly will grow faster and more reliably with early
success in suspended animation.	

>Brian has actually said on Cryonet, as I recall, that CryoCare is not much
>interested in increasing its patient population now, but in recruiting young
>and healthy members who will pay dues for many years and help fund research
>for eventual fully perfected methods.

	Absolutely true.   

>If that is really CryoCare's position,
>then there is a degree of divergence of interest between CryoCare and people
>with short life expectancies.

	On the contrary.  Pushing for *early* success in suspended animation
is of greatest benefit to those with short life expectancies.  

>Again: In my opinion it is a bad idea--as well as an erroneous one--to say or
>suggest that, without fully perfected suspended animation, cryonics patients
>have little chance. This is NOT to say we should be complacent, and Cryonics
>Institute for one is constantly probing and pushing for improvement in all
>aspects of operation; but a balance must be struck, and I think the
>Prometheus promoters are far from balance.

	I think 70% research, and 30% operations is a reasonable balance
of resources within the cryonics community.  This is what Prometheus
will achieve.  Right now it's <5% research, which is indefensible.  	
How can scientists (especially cryobiologists) be expected to take
cryonics seriously with such a negligible focus on research?
It's downright embarrassing.

>1. Give a half million each to 20 cryobiologists, instead of $10 million to
>one principal investigator. Their official attitude is likely to change
>rather quickly, and that alone could hasten the positive change in public

	The Prometheus Project will certainly be in the market to hire
cryobiologists and neurobiologists, and possibly even contract out work.
But the effort must be coordinated-- not a "scattergun" approach.
This is not the "War on Cancer"; we are not so lost about what to
do that money must be scattered to the four winds for decades to
find a solution.  Organ cryopreservation is now an advanced enough
science that companies have been formed to bring products to market.   
In the 1990s organ cryopreservation is applied science.  It's past
the point of stumbling around on grants hoping to find clues, and
that's why the Project is imperative.  

>Finally, is it really true that vitrification is clearly the most promising
>route? Rabbit kidney slices (not yet whole kidneys) have recovered function
>after vitrification at cryogenic temperatures, by various anatomical and
>physiological observations. On the other hand, Pichugin's rabbit brain
>pieces, rewarmed from liquid nitrogen (not vitrified) showed spontaneous and
>evoked organized bioelectric activity in networks of neurons.

	There is no comparision.  BEA notwithstanding, brains preserved with
current methods are an ultrastructural mess compared to vitrified kidneys.
Other cryoprotectant ideas (such as Visser's) may become available
within the next year, but the "design space" of glycerol is clearly 
Brian Wowk          CryoCare Foundation               1-800-TOP-CARE
President           Human Cryopreservation Services   

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