X-Message-Number: 9445
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 19:29:14 -0700 (MST)
From: Fred Chamberlain <>
Subject: Re: Visser Rat Hearts - To Set The Record Straight.

Date:   April 10, 1998
From:  Fred Chamberlain
Re:      Message #9432 by Robert Ettinger

Under the topic:


One of Bob Ettinger's statements reads as follows:

> As to whether our (and Alcor's) support
> for Mrs. Visser was "reckless," yet
> again, I don't think so, based on what
> we knew at the time. It remains true
> that recovering beating rat hearts from
> immersion in liquid nitrogen was demonstrated
> and unprecedented. It may well turn out to
> have been a dead end, but the end is not yet.
> We still have further research planned.

Alcor totally discontinued pursuit of the Visser approach over a year ago.
However, the above statement, "It remains true that recovering beating rat
hearts from immersion in liquid nitrogen was demonstrated and
unprecedented," requires comment. 

Video documentation revealed, at the time of the demonstrations in February,
1997 (as I have reported on CryoNet before), that the top, shrounded part of
a heart claimed to have been fully solidified in liquid nitrogen emerged
from the exposure (half immersion) in a visibly "wet" condition.

There was a "frost zone" with a sharp boundary zone about half way up the
shroud (cloth wrapping of the heart), above which the glistening "wet"
appearance of the shroud was identical to the appearance *before* immersion.
While there was no thermocouple in this shroud, so one cannot say that the
temperature of that part of the shroud was above the freezing point of the
cryoprotective solution, appearance clearly indicates that the cold vapor
rising from the polyurethane cup used to contain the liquid nitrogen, along
with any low temperatures which might be attributed to the interior, did not
even "frost" the outer surface of the shroud above the boundary (half way up
the shroud.).  This was "rat heart number three" on Friday afternoon prior
to the 1997 Alcor Cryonics Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, the case which
has been so emphatically described as evidence of a positive achievement.

Based on six months of managing, observing and participating in the effort
to "make a Visser heart beat", I finally concluded (after the failed
demonstrations which took place at the conference) that no further effort
whatever was justified to pursue a technique which showed so little promise.
As of this time, this is still my conclusion as to the worth of further
effort in that direction.

I am reluctant to take your time to even read this brief account of a
contrary opinion as to the value of the Visser approach, but I cannot in
good conscience remain silent, in the context of allegations that something
with any well documented scientific validity was achieved.  I apologize for
introducing negative visions where high hopes were or still are held for a
"breakthrough", but we must not kid ourselves, when all the evidence
suggests that nothing of the kind exists, particularly where truly promising
alternatives are under intensive investigation..

The work at 21st Century Medicine, Inc. (21st CM) is thoroughly documented
and its experiments are conducted in a rigorous, "data acquisition
intensive" manner which is dramatically different from the manner in which
the Visser approach demonstrations were attempted.  Just as I observed the
Visser attempts, so also I have personally observed, on repeated
experiments, what goes on at 21st CM.  There is a "night and day" difference
in general scientific attitude, in careful and systematic exploration of
alternatives, and in rigorous documentation of protocols to be used and
results obtained.  Each of Mike Darwin's cerebral resuscitation experiments
is followed up, if it fails, with a thorough evaluation of possible causes
for the failure, and the results are systematically integrated into future
trials.  In the many experiments which *have* succeeded, follow up and
further evaluation (as reported at the 1998 conference on 4/4/98) continues
for *months*, to detect long term damage effects which might not be visible
over a shorter period of observation.  The same quality of scientific rigor
is applied to (21st CM's) research in cryobiology and rapid cooldown, as
reported by Greg Fahy, and Brian Wowk,  at the same conference.

I do not have time to enter into multiple interchanges on CryoNet, with Bob
Ettinger or others, where the purpose is to argue about the existence or
non-existence of scientific promise as regards the Visser approach.  For
those who have scientific backgrounds, who might wish to further question me
on these points, Alcor's toll free line is 800-367-2228 and I would be glad
to spend a few minutes on the phone with you, giving you any other insights
I might have on these questions.

Again, I am sorry to have to introduce any sort of negativism, but such is
necessary in the interests of accurately reporting scientific observations.

Boundless Life,

Fred Chamberlain, President/CEO ()
Alcor Life Extension Foundation
Non-profit; Cryonic Suspension Memberships since 1972.
400+ Members, 35 in suspension as of April, 1998
7895 E. Acoma Dr., Suite 110, Scottsdale AZ 85260-6916
Phone (602) 922-9013  (800) 367-2228   FAX (602) 922-9027
 for general requests

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