X-Message-Number: 6784
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Re: Vitrification and the Effects of Prometheus
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 16:01:37 -0700 (PDT)

Hi again!

   Bob does give a good reading of the article. And yes, the article aimed
   to be a summary of work on vitrification rather than a complete account;
   it's hardly surprising that it does not give every single fact and figure

   My own reason for believing that it suggests that Prometheus will be 
   successful is this: the key issue in the article is its ideas as to why
   vitrification (or freezing) fail to work on organs. This came down, in 
   Fahy's experiments, to two issues: the damage caused by freezing itself,
   and the damage caused by "cold injury". Reading the article it was clear
   that "cold injury" almost certainly resulted from too high a concentration
   of cryoprotectant; after all, by taking an organ down to a much lower
   temperature, and THEN increasing the concentration, that "cold injury"
   seems to have been minimized (remember that chemical reactions, including
   any with the cryoprotectant itself, go more slowly the colder they are).

   Yes, it may turn out to true that other factors also play a role. The
   only point I can make about that is that so far such other factors have
   not appeared. 

   The main problem Fahy has in preserving kidneys is that of finding a  way
   to thaw them very rapidly. This is doable but expensive, at present,
   requiring some specialized equipment. It's also a physical engineering 
   problem rather than a strictly biological one. I find that ver optimistic;
   we know lots more about physics than we know about the biochemistry and 
   workings of living cells --- even now. (Not that our ignorance will be
   Could something still go wrong? Without trying it we will never know. 
   However it looks to me much better than fusion, for instance (which 
   required us to learn a heck of a lot about magntohydrothermodynamics which
   we did not know at its start). As with the Apollo project, we know how
   to build the apparatus required, we just (presently) lack the money to
   do so. We have cryoprotects which will vitrify, and good ideas about
   how to introduce them into brains with minimal damage.
   And I will make another point too: whatever it does, Prometheus will very
   much increase the sophistication of our own preservation procedures. And
   as we know or should know, "successful suspensions" are matters of deree;
   we should be able to learn how to cause significantly less damage than we
   do now, regardless of whether or not Prometheus becomes an "official"
2. We should not assume that Prometheus will have big effects on our acceptance
   among those who prestly have no interest at all in cryonic suspension for
   themselves or their relatives. It should affect the opinions of those who
   interested but still (for some reason) hold back; even to be seen to be
   doing active research is a very positive thing. If that research is 
   successful, even better. Even if you aren't signed up, if you are interested
   in someday doing so the ability of onicists to MINIMIZE if not eliminate
   damage to your brain should interest you a very great deal.

   As for those who do hold back, the abilities of cryonics societies cannot
   be the only explanatiPaul Wakfer himselfsaid that until he started to
   live in CA he felt reluctant, simply because the facilities to suspend him
   if he needed it were far from where he lived. (He might, as I did, try to
   awaken interest among others nearby, but that is very slow work and not
   at all the most rewarding activity one can do with one's time!).

   The best justification for Prometheus, and one which should be central in
   everything we say about it, is its prospects for greatly increasing the 
   security of our suspension and minimizing the damage to our brain --- 
   maybe even to ZEnd yes, that is strong justification for anyone who
   ever wants to be suspended. 

			Best and long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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