ISSN 0964-5659

Longevity Report 40

Volume 5 no 40. First published August 1993. ISSN 0964-5659.

Mood and Micronutrients Douglas Skrecky

Are the Permafrost Patients Dead? - A Reply Douglas Skrecky

Is Time Money? Yvan Bozzonetti

Prostates and Papayas Douglas Skrecky

Letters: Conifers, computers, brain supplements, Periastron, Apogee, nanotechnology, intertia/apathy

Doctor Patient Relationships in Modern Society Dr Keith Monnington

Venturists Plan Major Drive Against Superstition. John de Rivaz

Who'll Scrub my Back? Chrissie Loveday

An Ideal Trust John de Rivaz

A Cryonics Lecture to Funeral Directors Brian Blair-Giles

Mood & Micronutrients

by Douglas Skrecky

Supplementation with vitamin C reduces the biochemical response to stress - at least in chickens.1 Megadose vitamin C either by itself or in combination with EDTA helps human manic-depressive patients to feel better, although the improvement seen with vitamin C, even when in combination with EDTA is not as robust as that obtained with standard lithium treatment.2,3 Unfortunately there is as yet no direct evidence that vitamin C can affect mood in sane subjects. If it did this might help to account for the popularity of vitamin C supplements. However vitamin C tissue saturation is obtained with a rather meagre daily ration of 130 mg and a supplement of just 80 mg/day has been found to reduce cold symptoms as much as megadoses do.4 [see editorial comment.]

The dose/response curve for vitamin C alterations in mood is as yet unknown, but probably plateaus before megadoses are reached.

Megadoses of vitamin B3 in either its niacin or nicotinamide form has been used successfully for treating schizophrenia.5 Megadoses of vitamin B5 help to relieve depressive symptoms somewhat in some arthritic patients.6 Daily supplementation with 150 mg vitamin B6 has little effect on the mood of women suffering from premenstrual syndrome.7 Great improvements have been obtained when 0.2 mg/day of folic acid is given to lithium treated depressed patients who have low plasma folate.8 Depressed patients tend to have lowered plasma B12 levels and injections of very large megadoses of B12 seemed to have had a remarkable beneficial effect in one preliminary report.9,10 However this effect of megadose B12 might be just counteracting multiple nutritional deficiencies. Supplementation with just 10 mg each of B1, B2 and B6 causes plasma B12 levels to increase and further slightly improves the mood of depressed patients who are already on antidepressant drug therapy.11

A 0.1 mg/day selenium supplement improves mood, even in individuals who consume more than the 0.07 mg RDA.12 Thus the RDA for selenium set by the FDA is clearly deficient. Plasma magnesium levels are reduced in depressed individuals and a 256 mg/day supplement of magnesium (as the chloride) improves mood in about a third of those given it.13, 14 Further experiments with animals found that large supplements of magnesium in the form of monomagnesium-L-aspartate hydrochloride greatly increase the resistance of rats to immobilization stress and reduce fatalities in pigs subjected to transportation related stress.15 Other magnesium salts such as the chloride were found to be relatively ineffective, probably due to their reduced bioavailablity. Monomagnesium-L-aspartate hydrochloride has recently been found to be somewhat more effective than lithium in the treatment of manic-depressive psychosis.16 As lithium can substitute for magnesium in many reactions this raises the possibility that the benefits of lithium therapy might be due to the correction of a magnesium deficiency.

If one wishes to try supplementation the wisest choice may be a multivitamin-multimineral pill containing near RDA amounts of all vitamins as well as the minerals selenium and magnesium. The available research does not yet justify large dose supplementation of any micronutrient although the results with monomagnesium-L-aspartate hydrochloride must be judged intriguing.

References

1 Vitamin C Amelioration of the Adrenal Stress Response in Boiler Chickens Being Prepared For Slaughter 569-574 Vol.94A No.4 1989 Comprehensive Biochemical Physiology

2 The Therapeutic Effect of Ascorbic Acid and EDTA in Manic-Depressive Psychosis: Double-Blind Comparisons With Standard Treatments 533-539 Vol.14 1984 Psychological Medicine

3 Vanadium: A Possible Aetiological Factor in Manic Depressive Illness 249-256 Vol.11 1981 Psychological Medicine

4 The Effects of Ascorbic Acid and Flavonoids on the Occurrence of Symptoms Normally Associated With the Common Cold 1686-1690 1979 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

5 Massive Niacin Treatment in Schizophrenia: Review of a Nine Year Study 316-320 Vol.1 1962 The Lancet

6 Calcium Pantothenate in Arthritic Conditions 208-211 Vol.224 1980 The Practitioner

7 The Effects of Vitamin B6 Supplementation on Premenstrual Symptoms 145-149 Vol.70 No.2 1987 Obstetrics and Gynecology

8 Folic Acid Enhances Lithium Prophylaxis 9-13 Vol.10 1986 Journal of Affective Disorders

9 Neuropsychiatric Disorders Caused by Cobalamin Deficiency in the Absence of Anemia or Macrosytosis 1720-1728 Vol.318 1988 New England Journal of Medicine

10 Subtle Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Psychiatry: A Largely Unnoticed but Devastating Relationship? 131-140 Vol.34 1991 Medical Hypotheses

11 Brief Communication: Vitamin B1, B2 and B6 Augmentation of Tricyclic Antidepressant Treatment in Geriatric Depression With Cognitive Dysfunction 159-163 Vol.11 No.2 1992 Journal of the American College of Nutrition

12 The Impact of Selenium Supplementation on Mood 1092-1098 Vol.29 1991 Biological Psychiatry

13 Magnesium, Schizophrenia and Manic-Depressive Disease 79-81 Vol.23 1990 Neuropsychobiology

14 Unrecognised Magnesium Deficiency Masquerades as Diverse Symptoms: Evaluation of an Oral Magnesium Challenge Test 117-125 Vol.11 No.3 1991 International Clinical Nutritional Review

15 Prevention of Stress Induced Damage in Experimental Animals and Livestock by Monomagnesium-L-Aspartate Hydrochloride 34-39 Vol.6 1987 Magnesium

16 A Pilot Study of Magnesium Aspartate Hydrochloride (Magnesiocard) as a Mood Stabilizer for Rapid Cycling Bipolar Affective Disorder Patients 171-180 Vol.14 1990 Progress Neuro-Psycholpharmacol & Biological Psychiatry

Editorial Comment.

The reference to this statement is from a paper written in 1979. I have not seen this paper, but I am aware that many studies in that era that oppose megadosing with vitamins were either flawed or were funded by authorities trying to stamp out the concept. If this paper was written recently I would have taken more notice of it. A common flaw in early experiments was to dissolve vitamins in experimental animals' drinking water. The vitamins oxidised and decomposed during the day, and therefore the animals did not get the full benefits except from their first drink.

An friend's experience may reinforce this idea: she had a craving for oranges when severely depressed, and would eat nothing else. Maybe her body was telling her she needed vitamin C?

Are the Permafrost Patients Dead?: A Reply

by Douglas Skrecky

I would like to thank Klaus Reinhard for providing the information in the article Are the Permafrost Patients Dead? that some of the permafrost patients were protected by metal caskets. Certainly this is a step in the right direction and in combination with adequate fixation might give these patients a minimal chance for some sort of revival1. The fate of permafrost patients does depend however on the permanency of the permafrost in an age of global warming. In northern Europe up to 300 freeze/thaw cycles can occur in a given year and according to experts in the field this can reduce non-air entrained high strength concrete to rubble inside a decade. This same cumulative freeze/thaw damage applied to fixed tissue would likely eliminate any possibility of revival in just a few years, never mind a few centuries.

I would like to emphasize in any case that freezing itself is not sufficient to provide a basis for revival as the deterioration of tissues at high sub-zero temperatures occurs at such a rate so as to preclude any chance for revival. Klaus makes mention of the survival of some bacteria obtained from victims of the Franklin expedition. However a microscopic survey of tissues obtained from the frozen corpse of Petty Officer John Torrington from the Franklin Expedition showed complete loss of cellular detail in all tissues, while all that was left of the brain itself was a yellow granular fluid2. The fate of permafrost patients hangs on the very slim thread of chemical fixation.

There is no need for this sorry state of affairs to continue to remain in effect since complete desiccation is not particularly difficult to achieve. For instance partial dehydration can easily be accomplished even without the use of a fan. Perfusing the (fixed) patient with a saturated solution of sucrose will eventually drive out up to about 50% of the water since a saturated sugar solution is 50% sucrose3. What about the remaining moisture? We could borrow a strategy used by the manufacturers of military rations. Complete dehydration of rations is time consuming and expensive so canned foods are partially dehydrated instead and stored with an in package desiccant such as calcium oxide to gradually remove all of the remaining moisture. This simple strategy could also be used to dramatically improve the chances for revival of permafrost stored patients.

Notes and references:

1 A helpful addition would be antioxidants to inhibit free radical damage. See: Oxidative Stability of Restructured Beef Steaks Processed With Oleoresin Rosemary, Tertiary Butylhydroquinine and Sodium Tripolyphosphate 597-600 Vol.56 No.3 1991 Journal of Food Science

2 The Last Franklin Expedition: Report of a Postmortem Examination of a Crew Member 115-117 Vol.135 1986 Canadian Medical Association Journal

3 To prevent osmotic shock start with a dilute solution and add additional sugar gradually till it ceases to dissolve. Adding some raffinose to the solution would also be helpful as this sugar acts to inhibit the crystallisation of sucrose.

Is Time Money?

Yvan Bozzonetti

Assume first you put 1000 pounds on an account with 3% interest rate, outside inflation. With the compound interest law, your capital value will double in something as 23 years. In the current economic world, this assumption may be seen as a very conservative objective.

Now, assume you have plenty of time, say some centuries. You need not to think you will live that duration, some projects may be valuable even if you did not see yourself the outcome. If your investment can wait for 230 years, that is ten doubling periods, it will be multiplied by two at the power ten or 1024, say one thousand. With 230 more years, the spared sum will amount to more than one million times the initial saving.

In the current era, such very long term projects are unknown. That was not always the case in history. Some 230 year ago, the Mornay forest was established in France. Its productivity was planned to start two hundreds years later. The objective was very strategic: The trees from the forest would give the raw material to build the ships of the 20th century roy (king in old French) of France. That naval power was seen as the perfect tool to beat the hereditary foe: the English.

Nobody can know what tomorrow will be made of, but some basic facts remain forever. In the second part of the 20th century there will be a King in France and its main problem will be to kill the King of the United Kingdom. To do that, sail ships will be the first commodity to go through the channel.

Imagine you can go back in time and speak to the French people of that old era; you may say there is a Queen in U.K. not a King, this looks not too strange, then going a step further you start to describe the French political system, there is no more king or kingdom. From that old time, France has discovered other hereditary foes: Germans, Russians ... Alas, in the modern world, you can't count on an enemy. In the world of the finishing 20th century new adversaries arise when suitable weapons appear for them.

If all of that was unfolded 230 years ago, the Mornay forest project would be cancelled, a sad issue in present day viewpoint. The good timber remains a valuable asset, the forest is an ecological reserve, a trap for dust from industrial sources, a protection for underground water and a nice recreation area. In 230 years the world has evolved, not along the lines foreseen at the origin. On the other hand, a valuable basic asset has found new uses and nothing is lost on the economical ground.

The lessons from that story seem straightforward: A basic commodity keeps its value, whatever the uncertainties introduced by long time periods. To get that "time sturdiness", very long term investments with low yearly return are the key to the success.

The political society.

The preceding story may be taken as a chance decision in a political world. Political systems are not attracted by very long term commitments, usually, one year is all they can foresee, at most the horizon is clogged by the next election period. But increasingly, political systems, that is states, become the tip of the iceberg. Speculative economic flux may amount in one or two days to the annual budget of the biggest nations. The largest corporations have a power far more greater than most states with a seat at the general assemblies of the United Nations. Brazil is a dwarf when put side to side with IBM and Spain count for nearly nothing against Dai-Ichi-Kangio, the first Japanese (and world) bank. Unfortunately, that system uses electronics communications and computers to work on smaller and smaller time durations. So, it outperforms the political state system in shortsightedness. Its operations becomes more and more distantly related to the real physical world, where short term shifts are the exception, not the rule.

To go from a politically driven world to a speculative driving force produces two things: a short term larger gain and a long term structural instability. At first, only the larger gain reveals itself, so everybody see the shift as a progress. When catastrophes arise they are put on the account of bad luck, not on the intrinsic properties of the system. Here, catastrophes include uncontrolled bear stock exchange moves as well as ecological disturbance. In each case, it is the lack of linkage between the real world and its economic copy than define the faulty element. When credit and mortgages amount to more than ten times the real physical asset, stability is an utopian objective. If a market allows such things, it is too far from reality to work properly with the physical constraints of the world. That translate into miss-management, spillage, ecological problems and so on.

At the time of writing, French newspapers are full of horror stories about devastating mud flow sweeping towns in the south of France. Large storms are blamed. The reality is not so simple: To gain speculative surfaces in central areas, some rivers have been channelled between high concrete walls. In the country, trees have been cleared to sell wood and build residential area on the former forest. In a storm, tree roots slow down the running water on a hill side and the river in the valley get the water discharge in one or two days. When houses are built, water goes directly from the roof to the sewage system and get its way to the river in some minutes.

True: the houses on the hill are more valued than the forest and in the town the supermarket looks better than the large sandy river bed. Nevertheless, the final result is a hundreds millions destruction and 35 casualties. Do we need to reverse to political environmentalism? The true solution is not at that level; what is called for is a rational, physically constrained economical system.

Today, the problem, at least in ecological terms, starts to be understood in the south of France. What will remain of that understanding twenty years from now? What that sad experiment will teach tomorrow in Brazil, Southern Asia or Italy? I bet the learning effect is near zero. Political and economical systems have no memory, they are time blind.

There is the central problem: distance from the physical laws imply too time forgiveness and finally mere stupidity in the ruling of the society.

The present state.

For most of that century, human society has worked on a false choice: Capitalism or Communism.

In its principles, there is nothing bad with Communism: it suggests putting the work force of many people together to fulfil some objective and then distribute the resulting wealth between all participants. In an economic system, you can contribute to a project in two ways: you give your time, capacity, knowledge and work to the common objective, or you put you money to pay someone elsewhere to do your part of the job. You get the money in working or contributing in some way to another project.

Seen in this way, Communism is nothing more than the recipe applied by all Capitalistic system. You give your money and get some shares. When there are some benefits, you get a part of them proportional to your monetary investment. In that way, basic Communism thrives in the private sector of all free market countries. Historical circumstances have given a well different picture of Communism loaded with political adornments without interest. Most person hate the word "Communism" on a religious basis. That has nothing to do with economical planning, whatever the Muslim opinion who forbid loans with interest.

If basic Communism is not the negation of capitalism, what is that antithesis? Capitalism, to get at the roots of the words, is a economical system based on capital, that is investment. Fundamentally, we can redefine it as time enduring money or work. That looks very good. A time-fitted economy is sustainable by its very definition and must take into account the physical reality of the world. What we see today under the brand name of "capitalism" is far from that ideal system. Speculation (from specular, to see far) sees in fact swiftly but with a very short sight. If we take the basic sense of words, speculators must be long term investors. The reality is at the opposite of that, they invest in nothing real and displace continuously giant sum of money without real physical basis behind to get some foot on hard ground.

Credit is the real negative of capital investment. If credit is exploited to make an investment, the negative effect of credit is counterbalanced by the positive investment, the whole operation is economically neutral, at least in its linear time approximation. If nonlinear effects are taken into account, there is a net gain or loss.

The first nonlinear effect is the so called interest rate. Money is borrowed against a defined price per unit of time, this is the credit interest rate. On the other side, the investment produces some net return after inflation and time depreciation. If that investment rate get larger than the credit rate for a given duration, the operation is beneficial on that period. The sum over all possible periods gives the net return of the global undertaking. There are higher nonlinear effects, when the interest rates are not constant in time or on all possible periods (for example the credit is fully refunded before the end of the productive life of the investment).

Most states, if not all of them use credit to finance day to day expenses. There is no investment and the full operation is a mere anticapitalist process. In that respect, the USA, Italy and Japan governments are the most anticapitalist systems in the world. In these countries, the civilian society remains based on capitalism and, globally, Japan remains a capitalist system. On the other hand, US public deficit "outperforms" the civilian activities and the county is now the largest borrower and anticapitalist society in the world. That is fact, the words of protest are allowed, but change nothing.

A better system?

Can we devise a better system? If yes how to implement it? From the preceding analysis, the answer to the first question is yes. A better system will be a true basic capitalism committed to investment on a very long time basis. That investment will be chosen so that it fits well with physical laws and local space-time state (the reference point of the system). Return will be low but security very great. Time duration is the key word to fit the system to the physical reality.

Today, speculators think in hours or days, politicians in years or legislative periods, individuals sometimes in term of generations; "I do that for my children" ... Thirty years define a good limit for the modern thinking. Now, a tree lives for many centuries, a river watershed evolves in some hundreds of thousands of years as does the global climate. Mountain ranges surge and erode as continents wander in some hundred millions years. Stars and our sun with them, burn their nuclear fuel in some tens of billions of years, at least for dwarf stars as our own. That is the range of the known physical laws; we have a long way to walk on before economy is at the scale of physics science.

Why that disparity between human knowledge? The answer holds in that: Physics is fully cumulative. To practise it needs a long training to learn all that the preceding experimenters have done. Each experiment tests for a misconception, sometime that one reveals a lower bias than the preceding view and becomes the new paradigm in its domain. Each researcher builds on preceding works, in that he never start from scratch. All things behave as if there was experimenters with many centuries life duration. Present day physicists are two hundred years old. All real sciences work that way, biochemists are near one equivalent century old, chemists somewhere between physicists and biochemists.

To have a learning economical system, we first need to define an objective with unbounded, or at least very long time objective. When a physicist devises an experiment to validate a theory, he never bothers about how long the physical laws underlying its validity will hold.

The first criterion will be then to behave as if eternity was at hand. The investor must think in term of unbounded duration. That is the essential part of all the building, everything else follow from it.

For practical purposes, time need to be broken into some duration range. An similar sum of money will be then devoted to each time slice.

The first slice is the computer time of present day speculators, it expands from minutes to days or few months.

A second slice defines the political time duration, from month to year(s). One week and ten years are extreme limits here.

The third period is the family one: From some years to one generation or slightly more, say from five to thirty years.

Beyond that, it is usually only scientists who build today some large facilities with useful life longer than that, for example at the CERN particles' accelerator centre. Urbanists work often with an effect beyond the 30 years limit but without consciousness of what they do. The preceding story of inundation in southern France is a case in point. Space science needs planning for tens of years travels in the solar system, that time span is a major hindering in present day political organization.

A fourth duration goes from 20-30 years to some centuries, it is the Mornay time scale.

Beyond, come the historical domain with millennia extension. It is difficult to go in the geological or astronomical time today. For each period, a fair return must be computed. Industrial obsolescence takes something as five or six years, that implies a raw return near twelve per cent per year. Nothing will be judged interesting in a political time if it cannot get that threshold. Three to five per cent outside inflation is good at a family time scale, this is the typical return of a rented house.

Now, comes the new domain: In Mornay time, one per cent is good, for historical undertaking 0.1 % fits well. What we buy with the reduced return is a sturdy behaviour against catastrophic failures. If 1% is good for Mornay time it is because more profits computed on shorter time don't give as much when extended to that scale, repeated failures reduce the overall result at a lower mark.

How to implant the new system?

It is not an ideology and needs not to convince a large number of people by some faith. The key is to use it and publicise it when it is exploited. Example will speak for itself.

In practical terms, all sum of money will be split into five equal parts, each one attributed to one time period with its programme. If a project needs more money than there is at hand for one period, it can borrow to another period if there are multiple objectives, at least one in each concerned time span. Here I describe a practical possibility spanning three time zones.

Use of fossil fuels build up carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, a way out is to sequester it in long living trees. On isolated islands, lack of space drives most of animal species to extinction. Big grazers give up in all cases and let plants without ecological pressure to grow rapidly or reproduce swiftly. Longevity becomes then a real advantage to become larger than competitors and produce more offsprings. In the Pacific zone, some trees survive for up to five millennia and becomes the ideal carbon reserve for historical time durations. The economical return at the present epoch comes from a carbon tax system to be inserted soon.

At Mornay time, genetic sequencing of long lived species must produce a pool of useful genes for genetic engineering. At family time span, biochemical extracts from the trees may be sold. Political time asks for swift return and expandable commodities. The greenhouse harbouring the young trees may be sold as lots in a leisure camp with thematic activities oriented towards natural medicine.

From that activity encompassing four time domains, two are rooted in what appear distant future in common thought. Today, investment on these periods can fall only in the research area. So, we are left with a project centred on a campground with half its budget in the research domain, a somewhat unusual investment scheme in present day economies.

Nearly everything can be moulded into the new economical system. For example I write a "How to" book on large instruments in amateur astronomy, that needs a lot of test and experiments. My cost for them will be covered by book selling in a political period. The instruments built here may be put on a rent scheme for a family time and information gathered on plasma dynamics inside distant stars may turn to practical usefulness in thermonuclear generators in a Mornay duration.

For anyone, astronomy is a research activity without development side. That is not the case in the new system, even fundamental works have a practical objective, that put them in an utterly new light.

Taking longer time into account, allows too get a better look at many technological issue. The relief brought back, suppress the need to compress any project inside common old time span. If we think in term of some dacrydium tree lifespan, then we must think about what we will do three or four millennia from now. From space projects to mere housing, that will be a revolution of the mind.

Large possibilities.

Twenty years ago, the French telephone service started to distribute free some three millions Minitels (computer terminals giving written information from data banks on a monochrome display). Every time an user connects its Minitel to a service, a tax is perceived. That tax pays for the terminal in some years. The whole operation get its first financial benefit that year. The investment was a long term one, far more longer than first planned. Today, more than ten thousands services are one - the Minitel directory - and it is a large industry in France. The same system was sold in many countries, there the paid terminals never attracted a critical mass of customers to run an information industry.

That example demonstrates the value of long term investment to build a market from nothing. That investment is the catalysis of a starting industry. Now, the consumer electronics world speaks endlessly about new TV systems and norms. The real problem is to produce a market for a new technology. Giving TV sets and pay per view is the best way to create anywhere a powerful industry. The only requirement is to accept long term investments. Who will learn that lesson?

The same may be applied to small electric urban cars and many other unemployment remedies.

Prostates and Papayas

by Douglas Skrecky

Most epidemiologic surveys find either an unchanged or a mildly reduced cancer risk associated with increased dietary beta carotene intake. So it was with some surprise that researchers found an increased risk of prostate cancer correlated with a high carotene consumption in a Hawaii survey! However when a more detailed breakdown by individual high carotene fruits and vegetables was done to clarify matters, an increased cancer risk was found to be associated only with increased papaya consumption. No harmful effects were found for other fruits or vegetables.1 This difference is probably due to the presence of large amounts of the protease papain in the papaya fruit. It has generally been thought that fruits and vegetables at the very least are not harmful to one's health. This may not always be the case and in particular it is probably a good idea not to consume papaya on a regular basis.

1 Vegetable and Fruit Consumption in Relation to Prostate Cancer Risk in Hawaii: A Reevaluation of the Effect of Dietary Beta-Carotene Vol.133 No.3 1991 American Journal of Epidemiology




Letters

From Mr Yvan Bozzonetti

Growing tropical conifers culture from cuttings was unsuccessful. A new trial using root growth promoting hormones will start in the next weeks. The objective is to get the cell culture source for agar gel multiplication of useful plants. Cutting propagation may allow the gain of many years compared to seeding. Some of these trees produce sap derivatives known collectively as copal. Copal was used by ancient Chinese as a mummy conservation agent. In the long run it polymerizes to form amber with protective capabilities going to tens of millions of years. Sixty years ago, copal was collected by tens of thousands of tons to produce paint.

Culture from seeds put in open air in southern France have undergone too a 50% destruction from frost. The site, near the sea, suffers from heavy dew deposit and frosting in winter. Dew protected plants are not damaged. The final choice for extensive field culture must be somewhat farther away from the sea or use very large greenhouses.

There was an intensive investment in computers, including 3 new PC 386DX40 and 486DX33 with 5 supplementary hard disks. Five supplementary screens and high speed modems have been ordered from Taiwanese producers. When completed this system must allow me to tap into scientific data banks filled with genetic information. This is the first step in the common cold vaccine project and some similar undertakings. Two sites will have the same 386 based computer system, one in Paris and another in southern France.

The 486 system will be dedicated to software creation and heavy statistical computing on a set of astronomical experiments on quantum effects. In physics, astronomy is often the poor's laboratory. A better understanding of some issues in quantum physics and its connection to macroscopic domain, may be a key component in a better mastering of cryonics or freeze drying induced damages. Two more 486 computer motherboards were ordered as element of a coming larger project in this domain.

A light quantum detector with its software and specialized electronics interface card to a computer was purchased, a $4,000 expense. A special platform for using it with an array of telescopes is on order, this is a further $2,000 investment. A request for collaborative works on these subjects was launched towards two large international amateur-professional scientific organizations. The first objective is to test the quantum-Euclidean interface as it holds the key for all nonlinear systems able to work on chaos border systems as life. (See also Mr Bozzonetti's articles in Fractal Report - ed.)

Some contacts were made to establish a French based cryonics-freeze drying centre. The objective is to include man, animals from endangered species, and rare plants together with experimental devices to test large time uncertainty in long waves and plasmon physics at a later stage.

A specialist in high temperature superconductors, able to build the required key components, was eventually found.

Another Publications Listings Sheet

We received another small publications listings sheet early in June. Dated April, it contained over 1000 addresses of alternative, underground, occult and magic, sex and rock and roll publications, including personal contacts clubs, with a one or two line editorial comment on each. Life extension and cryonics were well represented, with every publication that I can think of given a mention. In addition, the editor mentioned that cryonics was one of his pet subjects, although he admitted in a letter that he could not afford to subscribe to Longevity Report, and he let a subscription he took out to The Immortalist last only a year. The new listings sheet is called Apogee and costs 5 or $10 mailed anywhere. Write to Dag Haslemo Skogstua 1560 Larkollen Norway.

I hope that this publication is a success and that as a result the editor manages to exchange his typewriter for a word processor that can list publications in alphabetical order!

From a reader who prefers to remain anonymous:

Enclosing a photocopy of Douglas Skrecky's article on Alzheimer's disease and CoQ10, he asked Can you tell me exactly one can do against the decay of grey matter?

Response:

The problem with specifics with regards to reducing or eliminating brain aging is that there are many substances available that show a lot of promise in animal tests. Most experimental animals are considerably shorter lived than humans. But it would take so long to do clinical trials in humans that people alive today would not benefit. And, of course, there is the problem that what helps one person doesn't help another.

Therefore life extenders take certain substances, Deprenyl being the most famous, on the basis that it has proven successful in animal tests and therefore may work on man. Usually they have taken advice from their physician that it will do them no harm. Often the life extension dose is smaller than the dose for treating clinical conditions, therefore the risk of side effects is proportionately reduced. We do have a book Mind Food and Smart Pills that details some of the substances and their effects. But as most are prescription only medicines (POMs), you need the services of a physician to use them unless your country is one that allows import of POMs from abroad for the personal use of the importer.

Incidentally CoQ10 and vitamin B6 mentioned in the article you photocopied are not POMs in the UK, and are often found in multi-vitamin mixtures. I don't know about sodium ferrous sulphate, but I should have thought one should be able to get that also.

Periastron Considers Warming Cryonics Patients by 66Co

Volume 2, no 5 of Periastron starts with news and comment about the benefits and costs of storing cryonics patients at the warmer temperature of -130oC. Mention is made of the new scientific journal, with talk about forming a non-profit corporation. SO it looks as though they plan to ask for donations not investments again. Undoubtedly the reasons for this have been gone into carefully, but I must comment, as I have done before, that those who offer investments, such as Mr Milan Panic (Ribavirin research and development) and Dr Morton Schulman, (Deprenyl development) seem to have got far greater funding as a result. Both these men have expressed anti-death sentiments in their objectives.

However Periastron has some bad news for Dr Schulman in this issue: an article reviewing recent research mentions a Deprenyl study on mild Alzheimer's disease patients undergoing a 15 month double blind program. After two months, no patient showed any sign of improvement. However this does not rule out Deprenyl giving benefits to normal elderly people, and other work mentioned in the review still suggests that it is of benefit.

Other articles covered brains, memory, nanotechnology etc. Again, Dr Donaldson seemed to be the sole writer.

Periastron PO Box 2365, Sunnyvale, California 94087. Subscriptions cost $2.50 per issue. If you pay for many issues in advance, you avoid any possible price rises. If the newsletter does not continue for any reason, unused subscriptions will be refunded with interest!

From Dr Thomas Donaldson

In Longevity Report 39 page 11, you summarized my opinions about nanotechnology in a manner which made me feel that they had been distorted in major ways.

I would not say or claim that nanotechnology is presently only a matter of theory. I believe that the proper meaning of the word nanotechnology (that is, technology involved in manipulating matter on a nano scale) includes biochemistry, large parts of present materials science, supramolocular chemistry, and all of the other connected fields and techniques. In this sense, nanotechnology is rich in real technology and real results. The growing role of biotechnology should convince everyone of that. What I have objected to, not just once, but many times, is the appropriation of this word nanotechnology to mean only that small part of the field engaged by Dr Drexler and his disciples.

Anyone seriously interested in renewal of cryonics patients, not to mention all the many other achievements which mastery of matter on a nanoscale will bring, cuts short their imagination and their understanding if they refuse to cast their attention wider than the fields inhabited by Drexler's disciples. There is a great deal of inventiveness by people originally from many fields. The opinion these scientists and engineers have of the work of Drexler's disciples also ranges widely, from highly favourable to outright contempt. (I recently received a letter of this latter kind from an American researcher in supramolocular chemistry now in Japan. The fact that Drexler has virtually ignored chemistry may play a role in such attitudes.)

Furthermore, my own feelings about Drexler himself differ from my feelings about some of his disciples. Drexler's original book, Engines of Creation, contains his invention of the word nanotechnology, and a summary, lacking in a few respects but generally very well done, of all the work up to that time which had gone on in nanotechnology (defined as the manipulation of matter on nano scales). By inventing this word, Drexler drew attention to a major scientific trend which had been growing, almost invisibly, all around us. This was both important and very useful. This books deserves notice and praise. [Available as the recent paperback edition from Longevity Books for 11.20 post paid. -ed]

As for Nanosystems, [not available from Longevity Books - ed] my review in Cryonics summarised my opinion of it: it suffered from a lack of either actual experimental creation of nanosystems of Drexler's kind, or the full computer simulation of a complete system (instead of the simulation of single parts which it presented instead). Either one would have greatly improved it. Either one would also present considerable problems of expense and time, to which I alluded in my original review. While I sympathise with the problem, sympathy alone does not make me conclude that Nanosystems has provided a good case for the systems Drexler describes. To me the work by supramolocular chemists toward actually building working molecular tools deserve at least equal emphasis. It too has not reached a conclusion. But these chemists are wrestling with the real world, which as always turns out messier than any pure theory.

You may also recall that I made a distinction between Nanotechnology and nanotechnology. Capitalization in the first word alludes to another fault of many of those charmed by Nanotechnology. It takes on, in their minds, many aspects of religion, not science. One major characteristic of such religion is the fundamentally passive attitude of its believers. Nanotechnology will sometime solve all problems, so we need not stir ourselves to work towards any solutions. All will be solved when the Apocalypse of Nanotechnology arrives! (Mike Perry has pointed out that not all Christian thinkers, even early Christian thinkers, took this passive attitude, but the attitude is rife in Christianity regardless.) And of that religious attitude, I doubt that Nanotechnology will even help nanotechnology itself, much less any revivals of cryonics patients.

I hope that in this letter I have explained my own views on the issue of nanotechnology.

[Dr Donaldson is the editor and publisher of Periastron PO Box 2365, Sunnyvale, California 94087. Subscriptions cost $2.50 per issue. If you pay for many issues in advance, you avoid any possible price rises. If the newsletter does not continue for any reason, unused subscriptions will be refunded with interest! -ed]

From Mrs Joy Cass

On Wednesday June 2 (Derby Day) Longevity Report 39 arrived here. Many thanks for posting me the Winner!

I must however take up one point in your misquotation (Page 5, 7th line of 2nd paragraph). "Reduces the patient to nearly total apathy. I wrote Inertia. There is a world of difference between inertia and apathy. The apathetic person is a non-carer - a great personality change for the inert who is admittedly without activity and slow and sluggish. Both states can, of course, be temporary, in as much as they can be permanent. Its interesting, isn't it, how much the drug [Haloperidol] can so powerfully reduce natural reactions? But I don't believe it can change them (like Jekyll and Hyde) in the realm of the spirit of the individual, especially in the context of inert-apathetic. You will understand that I wrote such statements from the point of view of my own experience and lifetime experiences, not from the angle of knowledge of chemistry.* Raw talent, (without the know-how of chemicals and ingredients) can sometimes be of greater advantage to the individual's recovery than the kindly meant medical advice which believes in the chemical rather than the human spirit's ability and faith in the healing process? (Ideally one needs both - and I'm one for experiencing the best of both worlds!) Well, why not? Are all these things not given (I maintain God-given) for the benefit and help to the most amazing product of creation - mankind? It is how the gifts are understood or used that matters. And surely too, the great leveller of happiness is the degree of it all. The "how" related to "how" much often, well, strong, suitable etc., willingly or unwillingly.

It would be a lovely experiment to break down each chemical each thought each good/bad reaction to a common denominator, jiggle them together, finding a willing subject with which or whom to test and see what comes out!! If the intent is for good, it would out-Huxley's Brave New World.

Editorial Note

* This is similar to the argument that the patient doesn't know as much medicine as a doctor or dentist, but he does know more about his/her own body and what it can take in the way of medicine or surgery.

Doctor Patient Relationships

in Modern Society

by Dr Keith Monnington

I would like to elaborate on the comments in Zehse's Cuttings on jobs and doctors records (Longevity Report 39). The comments regarding life insurance and employment medicals are quite correct but these examples are only the tip of the iceberg. Many authorities and other bodies require doctors to provide information obtained in the course of the doctor-patient relationship, information which is then used to decide patient entitlements. In most cases, doctor and patient will be in agreement and there is no problem. However, in some cases, conflict does arise. For example, doctors in many countries are required to certify whether or not patients are fit to drive according to strict guidelines laid down by traffic authorities. People do not like losing driving licences at any time but if a patient also drives for a living the doctor's certificate may cost him his livelihood.

There are numerous other examples. A doctor's certificate can he used to decide if a patient is entitled to time off work, sick pay or a whole variety of social welfare benefits. Such certificates are frequently followed by requests for more detailed medical information.

In Australia, a doctor's certificate is used to determine a patient's entitlement to Worker's Compensation for a work related injury or illness. In New Zealand, doctors have to certify whether or not patients are entitled to claim from the Accident Compensation Commission. Their decision can make a huge difference both to cost and waiting time for tests and treatment. Acceptance of a claim entitles the patient to a subsidy covering most of the cost of physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy, X rays, private specialist treatment and in some cases private hospital treatment.

In both countries, the patient has to sign a form authorising disclosure of medical information and lodgement of a claim may be followed by numerous requests for medical information which is then used to decide the patient's entitlements. In some cases disclosure of the information may hinder rather than help the patient.

A General Practitioner is his patient's doctor of first contact for any perceived medical problem and as such must act as a trusted advisor and advocate. Unfortunately, increasing certification requirements and requests for medical information risk putting the doctor in a position of conflict with this role. It is good to see that some doctors are refusing to comply with unreasonable requests.

Editorial Comment:

A possible solution may be to have separate doctors examine patients for these legal purposes. However it would cost more and still doesn't get over the main problem which is that the patient has to have his body invaded by a person who is looking for things which will harm the wellbeing of the patient, not help him. Whether the doctor is the patient's "own doctor" or not, conflict will exist with the profession's Hippocratic Oath which is about using its skills to help people.

Of course, if such medical examinations were prohibited by law, then any goods or services which are only available to those who are healthy (eg cars, life insurance), or to those who have become ill for specific reason (eg industrial injury) would become more costly (eg insurance) or even more dangerous (eg driving). It is a real dilemma!

Fortunately one can chose whether to buy life insurance, but car ownership is almost mandatory for many people.

Venturists Plan Major Educational Drive

Against Superstition

The Venturists are planning a "mission statement" at their June conference. This is to use the millennial celebrations at the end of the 20th century to promote a new awareness of the opportunities offered to individuals by life extension and cryonics, and to direct people away from conventional religions that purport to offer people life after death. Selected volunteers will receive training during 1998 in history and critique of religion, state of the art knowledge in ageing research and cryobiology, and in public debate and speaking. The project will be underwritten by a donor, and the volunteers will receive living quarters and a stipend so that they can live comfortably. It is anticipated that there will be a great deal of speculation on media talk shows and otherwise on the content of the following millennium, and the Venturists expect to be in great demand for appearances. If they generate enough public support during 1999, they plan to seek further public donations to expand the program into the next century.

Although the details are not at present finalised, they may take the position that it is immoral for the existing religions to offer people life after death as it is mere superstition and could turn people away from what will, by the turn of the millennium, be provable concrete methods of survival. This argument relates to the problem at present faced by medical authorities when religious fundamentalists deny themselves or their families medical treatment on the grounds that God will look after them.

Although I would not argue the point on grounds of logic, I wonder whether it is tactically wise to attack established religions head on like this. These religions are organisations that have endured for centuries by having zero regard for individuals whom they are quite prepared to sacrifice in order to survive. There is no shortage of lunatics around willing to sacrifice themselves in order to wipe out a group as small as the Venturists. I wonder instead whether it may be more sensible to take the viewpoint that Venturism builds on the concepts of preserving life etc that are the cornerstones of many religions.

Instead, it could be argued, for example, that suicide is a sin, or at least very much frowned upon. Most religions require their followers to look after themselves and preserve their lives as much as possible (except when sacrificing it for the cause.) Then one makes the point that we now have the technology to prolong healthy life indefinitely. Not to use this technology would be suicide by omission. By not using life extension, the individual is sinning! Thus the argument that the churches are immoral in presenting people with false hopes about life after death can be converted into the argument that the churches are immoral because they cause their people to commit the sin of suicide by turning them away from life extension and cryonics.

The latter argument is attacking the churches on their own ground and it avoids the problems that would arise if one attacks the fundamentals of religion. Religions are made stronger by attacks on the basis of their faith. Alright we know that the Jesus/God story is riddled with holes, but does it matter if it gives comfort to some people? What does matter is if the story turns them away from something that may save their lives. The suicide argument allows people to keep the Jesus belief if they want, and still partake of scientific advances of the future that will enable them to live indeterminately long healthy lives.

Who'll Scrub My Back?

by Chrissie Loveday

Introduction by John de Rivaz:

One of the worries of people interested in cryonic suspension is that they will require expensive terminal care in old age. The Care in the Community programme for the disabled is estimated to cost between 50,000 and 75,000 per year per person. Although the UK government provides financial assistance, this is only available if your savings are below a certain figure, at present about 3,000. Therefore if you cannot afford terminal care at this cost, then you need, as you get older, to consider making your cryonics fund irrevocable. Having done this you then have no further control of your first life. So what happens next? Chrissie Loveday works in the Care in the Community programme and her experiences may be of some value in this context:



In April this year, an Act of Parliament introduced Care in the Community. Those dreadful Victorian buildings, filled with long stay patients are to go. Excellent news! Hundreds of old people and mentally ill people, institutionalised for much of their lives, are to have their independence.

The media have put out information in large doses, Press, TV and Radio, telling the tales of freedom. Peoples reactions are varied. Those involved may say that they think it is a brilliant concept .... others nod wisely and say it costs too much ... some say oh yes, that TV programme said it all ... What of the people themselves? Many of them are very scared and don't want the change from the safety and security they have known for a lifetime.

I have been working with some profoundly disabled people, some with no speech, who are hoping to move out to independence. My impression is that the degree of disability makes little difference to how they may cope ... what is important is their mental attitude. For example, Sam. He can't wait to get his own place. He spelt it out on his computer pad, he wants to be on his own ... to decide when he goes to bed and when he wants to eat his meals and what he wants ... not what he is given or told to do. This man has no speech, cannot move himself at all, even needs help to go to the loo. He is unable to dress or feed himself. He has surrounded himself with what technology he can afford and has evolved methods of coping. He knows he will need help, considerable help, but he has mental independence. He wants to be his own person. He can do his own shopping, aided by his electric wheelchair and a copy of a typewriter keyboard on a large piece of board. This is hooked on the back of the chair and he is more than ready to point at it for someone to lift it off to use. I suppose he basically sees the rest of the world as being slightly handicapped because they don't manage to understand him. Says something of all of us perhaps!

I will admit, I was very nervous when asked to run a pilot course and very uncertain about my ability to help at all. I worked hard at communicating on a number of levels and the news that one of my charges had been allocated a flat gave me the incentive to make definite plans. We discussed the client's needs and how she could organise her helpers and she was looking forward to going. She told her Mother. The response was not helpful.

"Don't be silly. It's a ridiculous idea, so just forget it."

My next session was spent mopping up tears and encouraging her not to give up.

I can sympathise with the parents of a disabled adult. A disabled child is perhaps more appealing and help given willingly. But a thirty year old baby is quite another matter. The parents may have coped for a number of years, possibly neglecting other siblings because of the time needed and, unless they know something we don't, are getting older and less able to cope themselves. So, when they finally believe their off-spring is to be cared for in a residential home, hopefully for the rest of their lives, news that they are to be cared for in the community must come as rather a shock. How on earth can they cope? Will they, the parents who have found a new way of living, be suddenly required to start all over again? Incidentally my client is now living "independently", and, in a recent letter, claimed "It was the best thing I have ever done."

It seems a little uncertain who the community is and how they are expected to care. How often do we see people looking the other way? One of my ladies told me of a woman who dragged her child across the road to avoid having to speak or answer the child's questions. Another told me that he was stopped one day by what he described as a crowd of yobs, who asked what he was doing out in the street. He should be locked away somewhere, they said. Being unable to speak, he ignored them and drove on in his chair, saying "Up yours" in his mind.

I have realised that so many of the disabled people I have encountered have all the same problems as the rest of us, plus a whole lot more. It is so important that this is recognised and dealt with. I hope that the "community" can accept what it is being asked to cope with. Perhaps one day disabilities may be cured. Just as we hope to beat the aging process, they must all be hoping for a cure. Perhaps one day, anyone who wanted it, might be offered the chance of cryonic suspension. Once the concept is proved to work, it could be a way for the disabled to escape from the restrictions of their poor bodies. I suppose each person I have worked with has said at sometime, if they could have a wish, it would be to escape from their body.* Till then, we have to work towards the best quality of life possible, for everyone, old or young.

When my clients (horrible word) are given their independence, for some, what is needed is acceptance, others need enormous amounts of help and encouragement. For Robert, he needs to know who will help him to scrub his back!

Editorial note:

* Voluntary, pre-mortem cryonic suspension would offer this. But how can one express this idea without creating images of extermination of the handicapped? And how could the handicapped pay for it as individuals? If the government offered it to anyone who asked, then the cost savings would be enormous. (And one would hear the "Hiels" again.) Using the Cryonics Institute or even an Alcor neurosuspension, the costs would be commensurate with only a year's care in the community. I would expect that a Cryonics Institute suspension would also equate to the costs of care in an institution. Maybe when cryonic revivals are possible then people would accept its use, but once cryonic revivals are possible, then we would also have the technology to repair the handicapped.

An Ideal Trust

by John de Rivaz

Further to Mr Adolpho Picardo's articles in Longevity Report re trusts I have been giving some thought to what form a product would take that would be irresistible to cryonicists.

One needs to remember that there is a dilemma between the financial arrangements required to fund suspension and the likely characteristics of the people who buy the service. If you want cryonic suspension, then you are likely to be the sort of person who

likes to be in control

resents taxation - I have heard it described as a form of slavery by a cryonicist - if you need to work say three months to pay your year's tax penalties, then that is equivalent to working for three months for nothing, which equal three months slavery.

resents government in any form, ie is likely to be a libertarian, either in name or in attitude.

On the other hand the cryonics organisation want you to invest your capital in forms that give other people control and other people substantial fees for managing it, ie a life insurance organisation, and possibly in a manner that maximises taxation. This is probably due to the fact that many Americans are "not investment literate", as detailed by a publication by a leading firm of U.S. Stockbrokers.*

Below I set out an idea for an ideal trust for cryonics purposes. The thought occurs to me that readers could write in to Longevity Report with their ideas, so eventually we get a composite trust that meets all needs.

1. The country of domicile of the trust has no taxation, or at least no taxation of capital (eg gains tax).

2. The trust attracts no professional costs for the day to day running thereof that would not also be attracted by a privately owned portfolio of stocks, (eg brokerage fees.)

2. The trust is run by the grantor during his lifetime, and the grantor has the option to draw a performance related salary for running the trust.1

3. The trust is irrevocable, but the grantor may change the designation of the beneficiary, who has to be a cryonics organisation, either for suspension or reanimation.2

4. The trust could contain a brokerage account of stocks and shares.3

Notes

1. This is to provide an income for people who need an income from their capital. Of course if the person lives in a country that taxes people's income, as most do, then he will suffer income tax. However it could be up to the individual to waive all or part of the income if he wishes. It should be noted that in the UK it is illegal for anyone who is not a professional, eg lawyer, accountant, to receive an income for running trusts. I would be surprised if the USA doesn't have a similar law. But it is presumed that the country of domicile of the trust would not have such restrictive laws, and I feel confident that the UK would not object to an income from abroad for such a purpose.

2. Making the trusts irrevocable may not please some people, but it prevents the funds being taken by reason of incompetence of the individual due to old age or illness or other litigation such as divorce. It also prevents them being subject to death taxation. Limiting the beneficiary should prevent a court awarding the trust to someone other than a cryonics organisation, eg a divorce litigant.

3. Stocks may have a bad name in the USA because of the practice of borrowing money to pay for stocks and for selling short, ie selling stocks you don't own in the hope that they will fall in price so you can buy them in at a lower price after a few days in order to meet your obligations. Both these practices I do not recommend. It was these practices that cause people to go bust when stock markets fall. More modest investment, ie investing with money you own will bring positive results. Although falling markets will result in temporary loss of capital, the effect is transient.

Reference

* Mutual Funds, The "Bank Deposits" of the 1990s George F. Salem, CFA, Prudential Bache Research Weekly 14 December 1992. [1 Seaport Plaza, New York, NY10292, USA]

A Cryonics Lecture to Funeral Directors

by Brian Blair-Giles

(With a summary of the contents, taken from the lecture notes, by John de Rivaz)

Brian Blair-Giles, President of the U.K. World Life Extension, Cryonics and Nanonics Society, delivered a lecture on Cryonics to an audience of around thirty members of the National Selected Morticians European Group meeting at Belton Woods Hotel, Grantham, on the longest day of the year: 21 June 1993. The lecture lasted between 3.45 pm to 5 pm in the Sir Isaac Newton suite to an appreciative and inspired audience.

John de Rivaz writes:

The lecture started with an introduction to life extension, nanonics, permafrost cryonic internment, and vitrification. The benefit to UK cryonicists of the Human Tissue Act 1961 was then presented, followed by a detailing of the procedures recommended to funeral directors who wish to prepare patients for the Cryonics Institute. Mention was made of the fact that Barry Albin of F.A. Albin and Sons, has been appointed a UK agent of the Cryonics Institute.

A detailed account of the services offered by Alcor Inc and Alcor UK followed. Their remote standby and stabilisation and transport routines was included in this section. The reasoning was then given for Alcor's neuro suspension process, which was also described.

Following the section on cryonics, Charles Olson's concepts of chemical fixation were detailed. It was suggested that this would provide real comfort to people unable to afford cryonic suspension as well as providing a new source of income for the embalming profession.

Both cryonics and chemical fixation would require repair machines smaller than cell size, and Brian Blair-Giles has given the term "Nanonics" to mean that branch of nanotechnology that specifically deals with revival of suspended, vitrified or otherwise preserved people. Revival will require funds, and revived people may require funds in order to chose themselves the new lifestyle they prefer. So the Reanimation Foundation news was given.

The lecture concluded with Mr Blair-Giles' estimation of a business plan were his society to offer cryonic suspension and revivals, followed by a brief discussion of the chances of cryonicists remaining preserved until they can be revived, and consideration of population and space colonisation.

I was impressed with the notes, and feel that this must have been a good presentation. Here is the rest of Mr Blair-Giles' article:

I express my thanks to the European Group Secretary, Brian Thornton (of Carr Funeral Services, the host firm), and his interested group for their good hospitality, setting and chauffeuring. They showed me the de Vere's Hotel's grounds including three golf courses and lovely swimming pool, Baroness Margaret Thatcher's birthplace, (now called The Premier Restaurant), and Sir Isaac Newton's statue near Grantham Guild Hall.

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