X-Message-Number: 8349
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 12:17:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Virodene

On Thu, 26 Jun 1997, CryoNet wrote:

> Many accepted medications have very serious side effects; the question is
> risk/benefit. Charles knows all this.

Of course. But "Virodene" is not an accepted medicine, and the wild claims
for it, which were made irresponsibly and recklessly, have not been
substantiated. Once again I remind you that Olga (quoted uncritically by
you) said that DMF has proved to be noncarcinogenic "in primates." So,
where is the study proving this? I suggest that there is no study.
Therefore, why should I believe ANYTHING that this woman says?  Naturally
I am extremely skeptical (as anyone should be), having seen her lab
technique first-hand (sloppy is a kind word for it), having listened
to her claims for DMF as a cryoprotectant, and having seen with my own 
eyes the condition of four separate rat hearts dissected after an attempt 
was made to cryopreserve them with DMF. Plainly and simply, it didn't 

You say the facts will emerge "in due course." What on earth does this
mean? Is she still planning to publish her paper on DMF as a
cryoprotectant? Is she going to publish a paper on Virodene? Your faith in
this woman reminds me of the degree of trust you showed in the 1960s when
entrepreneurs sent you artist's impressions of "cryotoriums" supposedly
being built somewhere in the midWest, and you reiterated these claims on
the Johnny Carson show. Later it turned out that there were no
cryotoriums, just people trying to make some money. Saul Kent and Curtis
Henderson had to go driving across American, checking first-hand, to
debunk some of this wishful thinking. What will it take to debunk Olga

> The facts about Virodene will emerge in due course. Meanwhile, one can choose
> whether to hope it succeeds or hope it fails. We know who hopes it fails.

You know nothing of the kind. I have friends who are dying of AIDS. It is
inexcusable to suggest that I would hope a purported AIDS cure turns out
to be a failure. Quite the contrary; I would like to believe, very much,
that Visser has stumbled on something useful. This is possible, since
idiot-savants do sometimes blunder into useful areas. But I see absolutely
no hope or evidence for DMF curing anything. And I absolutely abhor the
practice of spreading false hope. 


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