Alcor 50th Anniversary Birthday Party

Join us in New York City to celebrate 50 years of Alcor preserving minds and saving lives.

The Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the premier cryonics provider in the world, was incorporated in California in 1972 by Fred and Linda Chamberlain. There are currently 184 cryopreserved patients and 1379 members.

Celebrate with us on February 23, 2022, from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM at The Sanctuary at Roosevelt Island . Cocktail hour is from 6:00 – 7:00 PM and food afterwards. Register for the party for free. Light fare will be provided. Drinks are available at the cash bar.

Register here

Facebook event page here

Speakers will include:

Patrick Harris – Welcome and Announcements

Alcor President and CEO Patrick Harris kicks off the meeting with some exciting new announcements for the next 50 years!

Aschwin de Wolf – Cryonics: An Introduction for Skeptics

Since extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, skepticism and cryonics advocacy would appear to be incompatible. This presentation will turn this argument on its head by presenting the case that our current thinking about what constitutes “death” is increasingly at odds with what we know about the neuro-anatomical basis of identity and memory. Placing terminally ill patients in long-term cryostasis with the prospect of future revival is not a low-probability gamble but the prudent thing to do.

Max More – Responding to Anti-Longevity Objections

Have you been frustrated in discussing cryonics or life extension? Perhaps you were trying to explain your cryonics arrangements. Inevitably that will lead to the question: “But why would you want to live longer?” You gave perfectly sensible and persuasive reasons. You were baffled at the response. For every reason you cite your conversation partner had an immediate and apparently reflexive counterargument. If you’ve had this kind of conversation more than a couple of times, you may have noticed a pattern in the resistance.

Reason (CEO of “Repair Biotechnologies”) – The State of Rejuvenation: Are We All Still Getting Cryopreserved?

Predictions are hard, especially when concerning the future. But people keep asking for them. Particularly this one: are any of us going to beat the curve to achieve actuarial escape velocity, jumping just in time from primitive rejuvenation therapies to incrementally better rejuvenation therapies, thereby living long enough to reach the era of ageless individuals, maintained by advanced medical technology and periodic repair of the causes of aging? It is good to have goals. Are they realistic goals?

Natasha Vita-More – C. elegans Cryopreservation: Conclusory Findings & Unexpected Outcomes

Published research demonstrated the primary goal in testing persistence of long-term memory of C. elegans during the cryopreservation process. Relatedly, an unexpected secondary outcome was observed. This presentation covers a fertile, egg-carrying nematode whose embryos remained intact throughout this cryopreservation process and its revival, egg-laying, hatching, and the emergence of observably healthy young C. elegans.

Emil Kendziorra – A New Approach to Communication and Marketing Medical Biostasis

Medical biostasis is far from a new topic. Celebrating this very event is a testament to this. While member growth has been relatively stable over the last years, the topic is still very much a niche. New approaches to communication and marketing are required to ensure increased funding for research, improve long-term stability, and even further and foster acceptance. We’ll present what we learned from two large-scale sentiment studies and our hands-on experience.

Summary of Biostasis 2021

Zurich, Switzerland (October 22-24)

By Taya Maki

Présidente de la Société Cryonics de France

I had the pleasure of attending the Biostasis 2021 event held in Zurich Switzerland late October, 2021. Tomorrow Biostasis is a new European organization which, coupled with the European Biostasis Foundation, is building a cryonics storage facility in Switzerland and offering affordable plans for younger cryonicists.  This is very exciting for us here in Europe!  Biostasis is their annual event and I must say it was very well organized and enjoyable.

Looking back on the cryonics symposium in Dresden in 2014 and hearing people speak of a potential facility in Europe, I am happy to say that it is actually happening! I love the fact that this field is always evolving and bringing in new interest and research to help bring it into the mainstream (even though we still have a ways to go). Though I haven’t yet been able to create much change here in France because I have had 2 children since 2015, I think that Tomorrow Biostasis will help bring cryonics to a new audience in Europe and help fuel research and development through new membership funding.  

Emil Kenzidorra is the CEO of Tomorrow Biostasis along with Fernando Azevedo Pinheiro and they are motivated to make cryonics available to a wider public. During his presentation, Emil detailed his plans for the future of Tomorrow with a goal to eventually bring down the cost of cryopreservation through membership, a first reponse app as well as long term research and development at the new facility.  They have also built an ambulance for standby and transport.  Tomorrow Biostasis has a team in Berlin working on many different aspects which include member communication, contracts and medical standby.  The European Biostasis Foundation (EBF) encompasses the storage facility as well as research and development.  Overall very promising and exciting developments happening in such a short time (and during a pandemic)!

The presentations during the weekend were well varied and I enjoyed the fact that there were many international speakers and participants.  This gave me the opportunity to meet many new faces in the community, as well as revisit some friends from past events. Ben Best is one of the first cryonicists I met over 10 years ago and though he wasn’t speaking at this event, he was of course there asking questions and taking photos.  

Some of the highlights during the presentations on Friday were: learning from Peter Tsolakides that there is a cryonics storage facility almost ready to open in Australia next year, Aaron Drake showing an in depth look at the advanced technology and progress in China, and Dr. Ramon Risco’s encouraging research on the potential of ultrasound to minimize ice damage during fast rewarming of tissue.  I was also interested to hear Jordi Sandalinas’ talk about the Europan Cryonics Law Institute with a goal of creating legal standards across Europe.  Depite the huge scope of this type of project, this is something that could greatly help the legal position here in France.

After lunch, Jacob Hoekstra gave a great presentation on how to improve the public image and practicality of biostasis as well as the current capabilities of the Biostasis Sciences Foundation, which is based in Amsterdam.  Jacob spoke about using the word biostasis instead of cryonics which can give the practice a more mainstream acceptance by including general medical benefits such as organ donation and research. He also suggested the importance of including more medical professionals as well as providing emotional support for patient’s families.  His organization has designed and built a dry ice shipping box as well as an amazing ambulance.  Seriously, this ambulance is incredible; it has full standby capabilities and incorporates state-of-the-art medical equipment.  Jacob is happy to share technology and plan standby training events in his offices in Amsterdam (yes please!).  He has been a great resource for me to help organize things here in France, and is willing to come to other European countries in his ambulance when needed.  

Michael Benjamin shared the preliminary results from Alcor’s Meta-data analysis project which was quite interesting. Max More then spoke about Alcor’s current projects and goals.  It is always enjoyable hearing Max speak, and there are many great things happening at Alcor including the upcoming celebration of its 50 year anniversary!  They currently have some interesting upcoming research projects and Max emphasized the importance of having case reports to analyze the success of a cryopreservation.  He then summarized the media coverage of which he has been a part, and said that overall the outcome has been very positive.  

The first day closed with a panel discussion with Max Marty and Daniel Walters who created a cryonics platform on Discord as well as a podcast.  They spoke about the importance of creating a sense of community among cryonicists and trying to convince ‘cryocrastinators’ to sign up.

After enjoying some social time in the scenic heart of Zurich, we were ready for another day full of interesting presentations. Dr. Roman Bauer spoke of computational approaches using simulations of cryonics.  José Luis Cordeliero gave a summary of the situation in Spain and said that he has helped recently pass a euthanasia law.  He also mentioned that cryonics is the ‘Plan B’ in case longevity technology is not achieved in our lifetime. With his infectious ‘joie de vivre’ and positivity, José also said that now is the best time to be alive and that we will achieve immortality in 20 years, a very optimistic outlook.  I was happy to receive a copy of his book ‘The Death of Death’ in French, thank you José!  He is still looking for an English publisher.

David Wood gave an engaging presentation via Zoom about anticipating problems and finding ways to make cryonics research and practice more successful.  He spoke about research breakthroughs, productive partnerships and a philosophy breakthrough with some convincing arguments.  He also mentioned the restructuring of agriculture, a topic which I think will be rather important in the future.

Dr. João Pedro de Magalhães spoke about some medical advances in geroscience and how they could help advance cryonics.  Rafael Hostettler, the creator of Robodies (humanoid robotic avatars) spoke about long term wealth management while in cryostasis, and what can be considered valuable over long time periods.  Eric Vogt, of ICE, spoke about the importance of standby procedures to insure the best possible cryopreservation.  Using field cryoprotection takes away the urgency for transport, and this would improve the outcome of many cases.  Robert McIntyre shared his research on brain preservation and stated that aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation is the best possible option we currently have.  He suggested that death with dignity could help alleviate pre-mortem brain damage.

Aschwin finished the day with a presentation about improving case outcomes. He suggested using S-MIX (standardized measure of ischemic exposure), CT scans, and having a quality control person to debrief after each case.  We are far from having ideal preservation outcomes but the use of these tools, as well as having good cryonics first response, will change this for the better. The 3 C’s of cryonics first response; 1. Circulation, 2. Cooling, 3. Citrate (anti-coagulant).  Aschwin said that if we can increase the use of field cryoprection this will eliminate transport damage, akin to what Eric Vogt had mentioned earlier.  

I was lucky enough to get a ride in Jacob’s ambulance a few times; not only well equipped but also comfortable!  We had the opportunity to tour the new EBF facility, still in construction, which will store future Tomorrow Biostasis patients.  It is well located and designed, with a research lab and event space on the main floor and the storage area on the first floor, partially underground.  It is projected to be operational at the begining of 2022.

I really enjoyed Biostasis 2021.  The organization was excellent, with a well-planned schedule allowing ample break time to discuss and mingle with the other attendees.  I feel some of the greatest value of attending such events is the opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals.  I always enjoy learning some of the latest research developments from some of the top researchers in cryonics today.  

I have rekindled the French organization and will eventually formalize a local standby team in my area of southern France.  I know this will be possible with the partnership and support of other European groups like Tomorrow and BSF.  I am also creating a to-do list for French cryonicists and have been compiling my research involving French law and the history of cryonics in France. 

I also think that creating some art/music/dance about cryonics and longevity would be interesting to reach a broader public.  Even though I have my hands full as a mother, school director, dance teacher, and body artist, I am happy to be a part of the public outreach for cryonics, and if anyone is interested in becoming involved in the Société Cryonics de France or collaborating in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me at: .  

Here’s to a long life living to the fullest!

First International Cryonics First Response Meeting

The First International Cryonics First Response Meeting will be held on October 16, 2021, in Gothenburg, Sweden. The objective of this meeting is to introduce attendees to the basics of cryonics first response. The goal of cryonics first response is to perform a set of basic cryonics stabilization procedures to reduce damage to a cryonics patient after circulatory arrest. Like first response in mainstream medicine, these procedures do not involve advanced medical skills and can be taught to interested volunteers. Understanding the theoretical and practical aspects of first response is important for responding effectively to cryonics members in a critical condition who live in areas where there is no professional cryonics infrastructure. Cryonics first response procedures are also important when local volunteers can get access to a patient before a professional standby, stabilization and transport (SST) organization can arrive at the patient’s location. In this course we introduce the theoretical basis of cryonics response, discuss the effectiveness of different kinds of stabilization procedures, discuss patient transport and shipping options, and allow participants to review and practice with equipment and supplies necessary to effectively conduct basic stabilization procedures. On Saturday evening, there will be a social dinner for all participants.

When? Saturday, October 16, 2021, from 10.00 to 19.00.
Where? Södra Allégatan 4, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Participants are encouraged to register with the Swedish Cryonics Association by sending an e-mail to Fabian Norlin, . We recommend staying at the Hotel Poseidon ( which is located nearby. Those who prefer a budget alternative may consider staying at “Goteborgs Mini-Hotel Hostel” at Tredje Långgatan 31.

If you stay also for Sunday, October 17, you are welcome to join us for a tour of the city.

Before making your travel arrangements, please make sure that you can procure all the necessary travel and health documents for your trip. If you are not traveling on a direct flight, please also consult and follow any applicable regulations of the transit country.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Gothenburg! 

Elon Musk on Cryonics

In this 2020 Ask My Anything Video, Elon Musk is asked about cryonics. In a nutshell, Elon answers that if the brain is frozen quickly after death, then it would be possible to extract enough information to revive the person. While the brain is a stunning organ, it is still a material entity and its original state could be inferred from the damaged state, according to Musk.

He also appears to refer to rat studies in which learned behavior (such as navigating a maze) can be inferred from the brain after freezing. It is not completely clear which studies Musk is referring to here.

Pichugin and Fahy have demonstrated recovery of potassium/sodium ratio’s after vitrification of hippocampal rat brain slices. This work has been further extended at 21st Century Medicine, who, in 2007, reported maintenance of long-term potentiation (LTP) in vitrified rabbit brain slices. The most impressive demonstration of preservation of whole-brain viability was reportedly achieved by Isamu Suda in 1996 and 1974 who recovered organized electrical activity (i.e., EEG) in cat brains after freezing with low glycerol concentrations and prolonged refrigerator storage. To this date, this research has not been duplicated but whole-brain recovery research is currently conducted by research companies such as Advanced Neural Biosciences and 21st Century Medicine.

Although recovery of whole-brain viability after cryopreservation (vitrification) would further bolster the science and practice of cryonics, this achievement is not necessary for cryonics to succeed. If the fine structure of the brain is adequately preserved, or at least in a state from which the original state can be inferred through deep learning (i.e., reconstructive connectomics), revival of the original individual should be possible in principle.

Funeral Director Participation in Cryonics

Originally published in Cryonics magazine, 1st Quarter, 2020

Joseph Klockgether’s 1970 address about the potential collaboration between funeral directors and cryonics organizations is a product of its time in terms of optimism about the growth of cryonics, but remarkably up-to-date in terms of what funeral directors can do to assist in a successful human cryopreservation.

Funeral Director assistance in cryonics can come roughly in three forms:

1. Ad-hoc utilization of cooperating funeral directors to assist in procedural, logistical, and regulatory aspects of a cryonics case. Often these funeral homes are identified after contacting several of them in the course of managing a cryonics case.

2. Repeated cooperation with a known funeral director. In such cases, a cooperating and dependable funeral director was identified prior or during a case and this relationship is continued in future cases.

3. The cryonics organization has a close relationship with a funeral director. In the most favorable situation, the funeral director is strongly supportive of cryonics or even has cryonics arrangements himself. The funeral director (or his staff) attends cryonics meetings and training and actively collaborates to optimize his role in a cryonics case.

Funeral director cooperation of the first kind cannot always be avoided but basically reflects poor planning of the cryonics organization or regional group. Or perhaps one might say that it reflects a lack of interest of the cryonics organization to encourage local groups or individuals to establish enduring and productive relationships with local funeral directors. In cases of ad-hoc or sporadic contact, a funeral director cannot be expected to correctly comply with any kind of cryonics logistical or shipping procedures unfamiliar to him. This is not a fault of the funeral director; it is simply unrealistic for a new funeral home to properly educate themselves about cryonics procedures and shipping instructions. Such circumstances call for detailed documentation, good communication, and having (local) people onsite to ensure compliance with cryonics organization directions.

If a funeral director is well known to the cryonics organization, such requirements can be somewhat relaxed but having people onsite and providing photographic evidence of proper compliance and local verification remains a must.

If a cryonics organization has a strong, enduring, relationship with a funeral director (or the funeral director is a cryonicist himself) the kind of scrutiny that would be proper would be similar to the kind of scrutiny that would be recommended for cooperating with existing SST (Standby, Stabilization and Transport) organizations.

Three issues that need considerable attention in cooperating with funeral directors are (1) transport from the hospital (or hospice) to the funeral home (2) surgical assistance (3) shipping of the patient. There is such a vast difference between comprehensive cryonics stabilization procedures (rapid cooling, cardiopulmonary support, and medications administration) that basic patient pick-up and transport would only be an option in case the cryonics organization (or its contractors) cannot arrive in time and local assistance is not available. The only exception to this rule is where a funeral home is an active, well-staffed, component of existing SST operations (a rarity). A similar argument applies to surgical assistance. If no appropriate medical staff can be deployed in time, a funeral director can be asked to assist in establishing vascular access under the supervision of the cryonics organization and on-site team members. This would usually entail neck vessel or femoral surgery to assist in washout or field cryoprotection.

One of the most important and sensitive topics is the assistance of a funeral director in cooling and shipping. These tasks often seem so intuitively simple that there is a tendency to trust funeral directors to comply with the cryonics organization’s directions. Unfortunately, cryonics organizations have learned the hard way that verbal directions or even detailed written instructions are not sufficient to ensure compliance. As much as there are overlapping areas of interest of funeral directors and cryonics organizations, funeral directors are usually not in the business of applying rapid (emergency) procedures. One issue of particular concern is a misunderstanding of ice packing instructions (too little, too late, water ice vs dry ice) and long-distance shipping requirements (insulation, leaking prevention, replenishing the ice used during the cooling process prior to shipping). Local assistance, oversight, and photographic documentation prior to authorization shipment are essential to avoid disastrous outcomes (warming or thawing of the patient).

The observations above may make it seem that the productive relationship between funeral directors and cryonics organizations is more akin to getting out of each other’s way than the magnificent cooperation envisioned in the Klockgether article. Given the low popularity of cryonics it is not likely that any funeral home can expect to substantially grow its operations and profits in dealing with cryonics organizations. Carefully nurturing enduring (local) cooperation between cryonics organizations and cryonics providers remains important, however, and avoiding last-minute, ad-hoc utilization of funeral directors should be a last resort. In smaller countries having an actively interested and proactive funeral director can be key for delivering cryonics services in particular.

What if senolytics fail?

There is a school of thought within the life extension movement that favors prioritizing the promotion of cryonics over anti-aging efforts. There are a number of arguments for this. A technical argument has been put forward in Thomas Donaldson’s seminal article “Why Cryonics Will Probably Help You More Than Anti-aging.”

The most rigorous test to determine whether an anti-aging therapy works entails giving it to a group of people and determining whether these people live longer (without any detrimental side-effects). The timescales entailed do not permit rapid progress in a field. Aiming for outright rejuvenation might be a better strategy because it allows for more short-term objective metrics to be used. Some of these metrics are common sense (athletic performance, skin appearance, cognitive tests etc.), others are more controversial (biochemical “biomarkers” of aging).

Wherever one comes down in this debate, it cannot be denied that cryobiological research can be pursued in a more precise, time-efficient manner. For example, if you want to determine whether a vitrification solution resists freezing when it is cooled to cryogenic temperatures, you need no more than a day to perform the experiment and document the results. This vitrification solution can then be introduced to an organ to determine whether the organ can be vitrified and recovered without ice formation.

This is not just conjecture. Since the mid-20th century a small number of dedicated cryobiologists have solved the problem of designing cryoprotectants that do not freeze at realistic cooling- and warming rates. Major progress has been made in mitigating toxicity and chilling injury of those cryoprotectants as well. It is important to keep this in mind when cryonics advocates are taken to task for not making as much progress as the people in the anti-aging field.

Another advantage of the field of cryobiology is that most of its findings are observed in all popular mammalian animal models. Phenomena such as cryoprotectant toxicity and cryoprotectant-induced brain shrinking are observed in both small- and large animal models. In aging research, however, the important role of evolution and genetics makes translating results from small animal models to humans a lot trickier. After all, an evolutionary perspective on aging needs to explain different lifespans in different animals and species (and even within). An intervention that prolongs the life in a small animal may only have minor health benefits in humans (like caloric restriction).

On a conceptual level the major figures in the life extension advocacy field cannot even agree on what aging is (put Aubrey de Grey, Michael Rose, and Joshua Mitteldorf in one room and see the sparks fly!) and the field is not immune to succumbing to one fad after another (while believing that this time it is for real). Part of this problem is related to the lack of objective, short-term measures to determine the effectiveness of an anti-aging treatment in humans. If it would be possible to asses the effectiveness of an anti-aging therapy in a quick and unambiguous manner, one theory of aging might be more easily favored over another.

Recent developments in the field of biomarkers of aging and “aging clocks” have given hope to those who believe that it now will be easier and time-efficient to determine the effectiveness of an anti-aging intervention. As of writing, there are several different biomarkers of aging and there is no consensus if these measures capture all the important aspects of aging. In fact, whether one clock is favored over another is itself reflective of one’s perspective on what aging is, which brings us back to the fundamental disagreements over aging that continue to divide biogerontologists. One thing that these biomarkers of aging will not be able to tell is whether an intervention is effective and safe in the long run. Or whether the maximum human life span would be altered by a specific intervention.

It cannot be emphasized enough that, as of writing, there is not one single anti-aging biotechnology that has been demonstrated to produce extension of the maximum human lifespan, let alone unambiguous evidence of rejuvenation. This should have a sobering effect on dispassionate observers of the field but it is no exaggeration to claim that many movers and shakers in the field are are not dispassionate and actually prone to embracing the next big thing, which often generates (predictable) cycles of great enthusiasm and disillusion.

The current big thing in the anti-aging field is the identification and validation of senolytics. Since the clearing of senescent cells is one of the pillars of the SENS program, the success of this approach will have important consequences for the “aging as damage accumulation” school of aging. Billions are flowing into this field in the anticipation of successful biomedical applications. So far, the results in small animal models look modestly encouraging and human trials have shown mixed results. The failure of a major phase II study for knee osteoarthritis is not encouraging and no doubt supporters will claim that systemic administration of senolytics is the way to go. Or that this is the wrong kind of senolytic. Or that the dosage and administration frequency is not right. Or that senolytics are necessary but not sufficient to produce meaningful anti-aging results etc. Not to speak of the possibility that senescent cells can also play a positive role (like the much dreaded “free radicals” of older anti-aging efforts).

At some point it would behoove the life extension community to seek a better balance between the funding of anti-aging therapies and the funding of (applied) cryonics research. Many wealthy people prefer to fund anti-aging research because it captures their hope that they do not have to die at all. Anti-aging therapies also offer a more attractive investment potential, which is often mistaken as the field being further advanced than biopreservation technologies. And let us not ignore the obvious point that that for many very old people the rejuvenation approach will not come in time.

Given enough time, all people will suffer a fatal accident, major trauma, or a type of (infectious) disease for which there is no treatment available (yet). For this reason alone, a comprehensive life extension plan should include arrangements for biopreservation to survive long-term.

What if senolytics fail? I suspect this will produce a major disillusion of the growing anti-aging biotechnology field and the SENS program in particular. A prudent approach would be to work from the premise that many of these therapies won’t work, or only have modest effects, and also invest in an evidence-based cryonics infrastructure so that, in principle, all people can access rejuvenation technologies regardless of health condition or age. One of the attractive features of medical timetravel is that it can transport today’s people to a time when rejuvenation biotechnologies are fact, not hope.

[In part 2 of this series, we will delve deeper into the field of biogerontology, its complexities, and how to prevent wasteful research spending….]

Biostasis 2020

The Biostasis conference series, hosted by the European Biostasis Foundation (EBF), a Basel-based non-profit foundation, is focused on biostasis, cryobiology and cryopreservation.

The conference brings the leading scientists, providers, startups and foundations together. Usually the conference is hosted in Zurich, Switzerland but in 2020 we will host it online.. It will cover relevant topics from A to Z, from basic and applied research to marketing, ethics, service providers, and new approaches.

Among others, speakers will be: Grey Fahy, Aschwin de Wolf, Robert McIntyre, Max More, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes, Adam Higgins, … and many more

Due to a larger contribution, 250 tickets to Biostasis2020  are available for free.

Get one while the free tickets last

Cryopreservation With Dignity

It is evident that controlling your time of death can greatly improve the conditions and outcomes of a cryonics procedure. The biggest advantage is that it categorically eliminates the possibility of an unattended death which can produce extensive periods of ischemia, the risk of a destructive autopsy, culminating in a “straight freeze” (cryopreservation without cryoprotection). At the very least, it mostly eliminates the prolonged adverse dying phase often associated with terminally ill patients.

These reasons, and a commitment to self-determination, cause many cryonics advocates to support the “right to die” and (state) legislation to make this option legally available to terminally ill persons. A small subset of cryonics advocates, however, have felt uncomfortable with the support for a sociopolitical movement aimed at securing the “right to die” because they understand that the majority of people seeking this right suffer from medical conditions that can be treated by more advanced medical procedures in the future and would be better served by a life-saving procedure such as cryopreservation instead.

Not withstanding these finer ethical points, utilizing medical aid in dying to secure a more timely and well-managed cryopreservation is a sensible pragmatic choice for terminally ill people with cryonics arrangements. But it should be emphasized that in such scenarios the aim is not to terminate life but to induce metabolic arrest for more advanced medical treatment in the future. This stands in stark contrast to the reasons why most people currently take advantage of such laws. As an evidence-based life-saving procedure, cryonics would benefit from distinct legal protections that provide people the option to choose cryonics as an elective medical procedure

We need a different ethical and legal framework to prevent that cryonics continues to be practiced as a chaotic form of emergency medicine. Philosophers Francesca Minerva & Anders Sandberg have made the case for “cryothanasia” (a term coined in 2015 by Ole Martin Moen) and argue that, as a procedure aimed at saving lives, many of the objections to euthanasia would not apply to cryothanasia.

There is a tendency among some cryonics advocates to overestimate the beneficial effects of controlling the timing of their cryopreservation. Unless choosing the time of your death is followed by rapid standby, stabilization, and field cryoprotection, minimizing distance and transport time to the cryonics facility might still provide a better outcome for most cryonics members.

Cryonics organizations and their members should exercise restraint in political advocacy for right to die laws and focus on creating a favorable legal climate to practice cryonics as an experimental medical procedure instead. There are many people fighting for the right to die, but there are not many people fighting for the right to life extension, which would entail the right to be cryopreserved through professionally-managed hospital-based procedure.

“Suspended Animation” in the Popular Press

Reports in the popular press that “humans have been placed in suspended animation for the first time” have been widely circulated by advocates of cryonics. The UK tabloid Daily Star even talks of a “space travel barrier removed as docs freeze and revive human for first time.”

The actual procedure does not involve freezing (or subzero preservation) and the use of induced hypothermia for medical treatment is much older than these stories indicate. A noted scientist in the field of low temperature medicine comments:

“The news story is announcing human clinical trials of an idea called Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation (EPR) that’s been in preclinical development for more than 20 years.

The purpose is to buy time to surgically fix people who’ve “bled to death” (bled out to cardiac arrest), reperfuse them with warm blood, and then restart their heart.  Without cooling and repair of the cause of the fatal bleed before attempting the restart the heart, it’s usually impossible to resuscitate people who show up in emergency rooms in cardiac arrest from blood loss.  

Cooling and reviving people from long periods of stopped blood circulation (“suspended animation”) is not new in medicine.  Some surgical patients are intentionally placed in circulatory arrest for periods as long as one hour at temperatures as cold as +18 degC for certain surgeries in a procedure called Deep Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest (DHCA).

The coldest body temperature ever used in medicine dates back to 1955 when Suad Niazi at the University of Minnesota cooled a woman to only +9 degC in cadiac arrest for 45 minutes in an attempt to treat her cancer.  She successfully recovered (but was not cured of cancer).  Niazi even did it without cardiopulmonary bypass or blood substitutes.

In the early days of DHCA, surgeons such as Christian Baarnard also used temperatures as low as +10 degC.  The claim that accidental hypothermia victim Anna Bagenholm set a low temperature survival record by recovering from a temperature of +14 degC is inaccurate, although perhaps perpetuated because her case was so dramatic and uncontrolled compared to planned medical procedures.  At the time of writing, the lowest body temperature survived by a human in the medical literature appears to be Niazi’s 1955 cancer patient at +9 degC.

If the EPR human clinical trials are as successful as preclinical work suggests they could be, it’s possible that patients might be revived after longer periods of stopped blood circulation than previously demonstrated, perhaps as long as two hours.”

For more information on Alcor’s pioneering low temperature blood substitution experiments, follow this link:

Additional reading on the sloppy use of the phrase “suspended animation” here:

1st Alcor New York Science Symposium

Cryonics returns to its New York roots on November 23 when Alcor New York organizes its first Alcor New York Symposium. Attend the most ambitious cryonics event in NYC in decades and learn about brain cryopreservation, molecular repair, and rejuvenation biotechnologies.

This symposium will feature 3 presentations by staff of Advanced Neural Biosciences about its neural cryobiology, revival, and deep learning research.

There are only a few tickets left. Register using the link below:

Speakers announced so far:

Dr. Pedro Magalhaes – Will We Cure Aging in My Lifetime?

People have always sought eternal life and everlasting youth. Recent technological breakthroughs, and our growing understanding of ageing, have given strength to the idea that a cure for human ageing can eventually be developed. Hundreds of genes are now known to regulate ageing in model organisms and can increase longevity by up to 10 fold and retard the process of ageing as a whole in animals. In addition, a large number of potential longevity-extending drugs already exist. Studies of species with exceptional longevity or disease resistance, like naked mole rats that are resistant to cancer or bowhead whales that live over 200 years, may also help treat and prevent human diseases. Here, I will discuss recent advances in longevity science and human applications on the horizon. The scientific prospects of eradicating human ageing within the foreseeable future will also be discussed.

Dr. Regina R. Monaco – Low-Dose Pharmacological Interventions to Facilitate Healthy Aging – Reduction of Cancer Risk

As we grow in our understanding of aging as a series of biochemical pathways and systems undergoing programmed entropic degradations, which may be reversed, re-entrained, stabilized, minimized, maximized, turned off or on, or otherwise healthfully intervened in, we gain more and more tools to assist this process to maintain a healthful equilibrium. One important intervention to extend healthy life span is to use pharmaceuticals or neutraceuticals to reduce your probability of having cancer.

In this talk I present and discuss several low dose pharmacological interventions which have been shown to have strong ant-cancer properties, we well as some other benefits such as reduction of chronic inflammation. I will review the mechanisims and anti-cancer benefits of low-dose therapy of the pharmaceuticals metformin, naltrexone, aspirin, and for women, tamoxifen (breast cancer). I will also discuss benefits of targeting and inducing apoptosis (killing) to remove a percentage of senescent cells using rapamycin, and neutraceuticals fisetin, and quercitin, with or without dasatinab.

Ben Best – NAD+ Restoration and Senolytic Therapy

Ben Best has subjected himself to two age reversal therapies: (1) senolytic therapy (therapy to eliminate senescent cells using dasatinib and quercetin) and (2) NAD+ infusions (to restore NAD+ to youthful levels). He has also attended several conferences dealing with these subjects as well as studied and written about them, the results of which he will provide in his presentation.

Chana Phaedra – An Introduction to Brain Preservation Optimization

Vitrification has the advantage that it does not need different cryoprotectant protocols for different cell- and tissue types. Vitrification of the brain does presents two distinct challenges: low tolerance to ischemia and poor blood-brain barrier permeability of cryoprotectants. In this presentation I will review the history of brain cryopreservation, the status of brain cryopreservation research, and future directions.

Aschwin de Wolf – Revival of “Straight Frozen” Patients

Freezing of the brain without cryoprotectant (a “straight freeze”) is considered the worst cryopreservation scenario but there is a paucity of ultrastructural evidence how the straight frozen brain actually looks like. Aschwin de Wolf will review electron micrographs of the straight frozen brain (under a variety of conditions) and will discuss how “medical cryobots” will prepare the brain for molecular repair and infer the original non-frozen state from the damaged state.

Michael Benjamin – Alcor Meta-Analysis

Several attempts have been made to create quantitative case outcome methodologies in cryonics. Advanced Neural Biosciences has embarked on a comprehensive meta-analysis of all Alcor patient cases, an endeavor whose goal is to develop, experimentally validate, and refine a quantitative cryopreservation evaluation methodology. Michael will be presenting some preliminary statistics gathered during Phase 1 of the study so far.

Dr. Ralf Spindler – Functional evaluation of brain preservation protocols

Currently, reversible vitrification of whole brains is limited by neurotoxicity of the very concentrated vitrification solutions involved. Here, an automated assay is described which has proven to quantify synaptic connections in live-cell neuronal networks by a high-content confocal imaging method. Since it is known that synaptodentritic damage, especially the decrease in number of synaptic connections, correlates with cognitive decline the assay could be used to evaluate brain preservation protocols.

Dr. Roman Bauer – Computational Biology Methods for Tissue Cryopreservation

In contrast to most other biomedical fields, tissue cryopreservation has remained relatively untouched by computational techniques. State-of-the-art cryopreservation still predominantly relies on trial-and-error and large numbers of experiments for the determination of protocol parameters. Roman Bauer will review milestones in computational and mathematical work towards better cryopreservation protocols, and will discuss how he sees future automated cryopreservation technologies maximize post-thaw tissue quality.

Dr. Emil Kendziorra – Professionalization and Scaling of Medical Biostasis

With only a few thousand members world-wide, medical biostasis has stayed a very small field, albeit being around for decades. In Europe the topic has been even more niche. The EBF (European Biostasis Foundation) based in Switzerland, has recently set out to fundamentally change this situation with four main areas of activity – sign up / stand-by, storage, research and long-term asset management. Emil Kendziorra will present the core activities to professionalize medical biostasis and scale the field.

Dr. Robin Hanson – Hidden Motives Help Explain Why Cryonics Isn’t Popular

The usual pro-cryonics argument frames it as medicine, to be evaluated in terms of its technical ability to prolong life. However, though they are unaware of it, for most people medicine is more about showing that they care than about prolonging life. Robin Hanson reviews the evidence that many big areas of life are driven by hidden motives quite different from what people usually say, and then tries to apply this insight to help us understand why so few people actually choose cryonics.