ISSN 0964-5659

LONGEVITY REPORT 56

Volume 10 no 56. First published September 1996. ISSN 0964-5659.

e-mail: Internet longevityrpt@yahoo.com

Out of the Freezer, Into the Alcohol. Chrissie Loveday

Onward into the Information Age

Specific Decrease in Longevity of Daughters by Old Fathers Leonid A.Gavrilov et al

End Of The AGEs. Yvan Bozzonetti

Book Review: Visualizing Biological Information Dr Gabriel Landini

Life Extension Notes Douglas Skrecky

Deprenyl and Life Extension Douglas Skrecky

Can Computing Devices Beat Physical Laws? Yvan Bozzonetti

What is Chaos Yvan Bozzonetti

Letters

The Prometheus Project Paul Wakfer

Atheists Discuss Death Michael M. Rosenblatt

Divergent Model of Aging? Negligible Senescence in Long-Lived Fishes John C. Guerin

The British Columbia Cemetery and Funeral Services Act Boris P Gimbarzevsky

Investment after Nanotechnology Brad Templeton

Cellular Ageing Oliver Bogler

Storing DNA Samples and Biographical Information Dr Mike Perry



Single copy rate 3.50. Subscription rates four issues of 32 pages:- 20 (15 by Banker's Order UK only). Cheques in British Pounds should be drawn on a UK bank and should be made payable to "Reeves Telecommunications Laboratories" Alternatively, dollar checks for $34 can be accepted if drawn on a U.S. bank and made payable to "J. de Rivaz". Contents are provided for information only, under the right to free speech. Opinions are the authors' own. No professional advice is intended. If you wish others to be legally responsible for your health, life or finances, then please consult a professional regulated according to the laws of your country.





Out of the Freezer, Into the Alcohol.



by Chrissie Loveday



"Human life is mercilessly destroyed".



"Babies are being murdered".



The recent news headlines may seem irrelevant to thoughts of longevity or cryonics but the connection becomes clear when you realise the lives being talked about are those of frozen embryos. The whole topic stirs some reaction in many of us and recent events have given different groups and organisations something of a field day.



The initial debate begins, perhaps, with the rights and wrongs of creating life in test tube. For those who desperately want children and are unable to produce them, it is seen as salvation. The process demands that a number of female eggs are harvested and in vitro fertilisation takes place, producing several fertilised eggs which may be implanted back into the uterus. The surplus may be frozen for possible future use. (The liquid nitrogen connection) It was knowing about this process, which actually played some part in my own willingness to accept the possibilities of cryonic suspension.



The current media interest was kindled by the

five year rule, agreed upon by the participants at the beginning of their treatment, which stated that unclaimed embryos were to be stored for five years only, and then destroyed. The five years was reached in August, 1996 and some two thousand potential human lives were destroyed. There were vigils outside fertility clinics; prayers were said in churches; pro-life groups protested; there were media campaigns; there were debates ... but nothing succeeded. The embryos were allowed to thaw and destroyed by the introduction of a little alcohol. The wickedness of the action was condemned by many. People from all over the country criticised the short time allowed for people to claim their embryos. One case cited was a lady from America, who heard of the imminent destruction of her own embryos and was able to telephone just in the nick of time to prevent their destruction.



Why has their been so much fuss, is my question? At the beginning of the whole process, every couple had to agree to a limited storage period of five years. If five years was insufficient time to decide they wanted another child, a couple merely had to make their wishes known and the storage would continue. If the couple had split up, moved away or anything else, they were obviously not desperate to make another attempt at parenthood. Suggestions that the embryos could be donated for adoption was also rejected. Grieving, would-be adoptive parents made impassioned pleas for a change of heart. But the wicked "powers that be", denied them. If they believed the religious angle, those potential parents should presumably, have accepted that their God did not want them to have children and that attempts to use fertility clinics were going against His will.



My final criticism of the emotional hype, is to look at the actual subject of the controversy. We are talking about four cells, or at most eight cells. They are invisible to the naked eye and even magnified, totally unidentifiable to anyone except experts. How can this possibly be construed as murder? Probably most of those so-called potential lives would have perished anyway, due to the failure rate following implantation. Very many more women miscarry each month, never even realising that a "potential human life has been sacrificed". The rate of abortions in ever increasing in the UK, as people decide they do not want the child. A woman has been offered many thousands of pounds not to have one of a pair of twins aborted ... she felt she could never cope with two babies. Abortion was described by some as an expensive and drastic form of contraception. I might suggest another solution!



I am glad there is research and progress in the use of liquid nitrogen in storage techniques; I am glad some desperate people have been enabled to have children; I am glad some people have donated their frozen eggs for research. I am tired of misplaced emotional campaigns; I am tired of the media trying to find sensationalism where it should never exist. But then, it is August, when the silly season maximises whatever it can get hold of.

Onward into the Information Age



Owing to the contraction of the paper newsletter publishing industry because of the Internet, Longevity Report is to partially merge with The Immortalist. The Immortalist will be publishing most of each issue of Longevity Report as a subset of its own material, in the same way it already publishes ACS News and Views. Longevity Report will still be mailed to readers outside North America and to one or two exchange readers, but US buyers will be encouraged to subscribe to The Immortalist. In addition, the current issue of Longevity Report will be available on the world wide web.

This is on the basis that anyone on the Internet is unlikely to pay for a subscription, and the whole process will generate more interest and articles in the subjects. Subject to time being available I would like to be able to offer all of Longevity Report on CDROM at some time in the future, although this would be a massive project. In the meantime some people may like to subscribe to the paper editions even if they can get it on the web so they can keep them for reference.



UK readers who are also already subscribers to The Immortalist will no longer need to subscribe to Longevity Report from the next volume. Existing subscriptions will still be filled to the December issue. Note that at $25/yr in the USA The Immortalist is cheaper than Longevity Report.



We will also be discontinuing the concept of giving free volumes to authors, as most material now comes from the Internet and such inducements seem unnecessary. However those who wrote in this volume and feel they should be entitled to a free volume are invited to apply at renewal time in December for any complete volume of back issues they may like for themselves or a friend. If you have lost your cumulative contents list, please write for one. In future, authors can receive the issue in which their piece appears if requested. Many people whose work is taken from the Internet may prefer this anyway. (Surface mail only)



A Retrospective on the past volumes:



Longevity Report was started in order to give people in the UK a forum to debate the possibility of having cryonics services here. There were none when Longevity Report was started. Although there still is no storage facility here, there is now a choice of two cryonics organisations who give a suspension service, Cryonics Institute and Alcor UK. After preparation, clients are flown to the US for suspension. Bearing in mind the distances within North America, the length of the flight to the Cryonics Institute's facility is no more than some domestic US clients may face.



An important aspect of cryonics facilities in the UK is the differences of disposable incomes in the UK as compared to the US. The Cryonics Institute, with its fixed and low price is at an obvious advantage, and Longevity Report has always championed the cause of those whose finances were stretched by making cryonics arrangements. It also gave coverage to alternatives such as permafrost and biostasis, although these concepts have largely ceased to be debated now.



Another problem has been the unwillingness of professions in the UK to even consider any unconventional subjects, compared to their US counterparts. Longevity Report has tried to elicit article from people in the professions who may be able to help. My writing of articles in Funeral Service Journal for six years or so has also helped give cryonics sufficient status to be considered more seriously.



Any individual contemplating cryonics for the first time is going to feel very lonely indeed. The fact that there are varied authors in Longevity Report and similar publications must be a help. The newsletter could often be given to others to make a point far more forcefully than if the recipient felt that he was dealing with a single lone lunatic!

Specific Decrease in Longevity of Daughters Conceived by Old Fathers



by Leonid A.Gavrilov, Natalia S.Gavrilova, Vyacheslav N.Kroutko, Galina N.Evdokushkina,Victoria G.Semyonova, Anna L.Gavrilova, Evgeniy V.Lapshin, Natalia N.Evdokushkina,Yulia E.Kushnareva



Center for Longevity Research at A.N.Belozersky Institute, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia (electronic mail: gavrilov@ilr.rc.ac.ru) and Institute for Systems Analysis, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

Paternal age at reproduction is considered to be the main factor determining human spontaneous mutation rate1 and might have long-term effects on the offspring longevity2,3. We report strong inverse relationship between father's age at reproduction and daughter's (not son's) longevity.







The results of long-term follow-up of 8,518 persons from European aristocratic families with known genealogy (taken from more than 120 genealogical publications listed elsewhere3) are presented in the table below right:



Note that daughters born by old fathers loose about 4.4 years of their life and these losses are statistically highly significant (p<0.01, Student test = 3.1), while sons are not significantly effected. Since only daughters inherit paternal X chromosome, this sex-specific decrease in daughters' longevity might indicate that human longevity genes sensitive to mutational load might be located in this chromosome3.



Although a strong inverse relationship has been shown between daughters' longevity and paternal age at reproduction, this does not prove a cause and effect, and other confounding factors (maternal age, in particular) may be involved. Our preliminary studies showed however that maternal age at reproduction was not important in the range of 20-40 years [3]. Larger epidemiological studies are planned and may cast more light on the long-term effects of paternal age at reproduction.



This work was supported by a grant from the European Community (INTAS grant 93-1617).



1. Crow J. How much do we know about spontaneous human mutation rates? Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 1993;21:122-29.

2. Gavrilov L.A., Gavrilova N.S. The Biology of Life Span: A Quantitative Approach. Chur, London: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1991.

3. Gavrilov L.A., Gavrilova N.S., Evdokushkina G.N., et al. Determinants of human longevity: parental age at reproduction and offspring longevity. Longevity Report 1996;10:7-15.



End Of The AGEs.



by Yvan Bozzonetti.



AGEs, or Advanced-Glycation End-products are denaturated proteins linked by sugar molecules. Glucose, the common sugar used in the organism has two stable states and one transition, unstable one.

The six carbon atoms form a distorted ring similar to that picture in the stable forms. Sometime, the ring opens and produces a very reactive form of glucose, able to stick to nearly any nearby protein. After that reaction, the ring can't close anew and the dangling end reacts with another protein forming a bridge between molecules. For long living molecules in the connective part of the body, that process produce after some time a stiff net of entangled, insoluble molecules. In the skin, that translates into wrinkles, inside the body it can turn to kidney failure or any other organ problem. New sugar links can be dissolved by aminoguanidine, but old ones have harder chemical bonds and can't be destroyed so simply.



Now, there is a report in Nature(1)(2) about a product able to break old link in at least 50 percent of the cases. This product, N-phenacythiazolium bromide (PTB) works as well in the test tube as on living animals. No acute toxicity was found.



Amyloid deposits seen in Alzheimer disease seem to be destroyed too. So, PTB could be the first product able to cure Alzheimer. Has anybody any idea on how to get uncommon chemical? PTB could be very interesting!....



There may be other protein link processes(3)(4), so PTB is not the end of the story. Nevertheless, with 50 percent efficiency it looks promising.



Book Review:

VISUALIZING BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Clifford A. Pickover, Editor.

World Scientific, Singapore, 1995.

ISBN 9810214278, hard cover, $64.00

by Dr Gabriel Landini



I must say that this is a fascinating book about a fascinating subject: new ways of representation of symbolic sequences of nucleic acids (DNA, RNA, gene mapping) and proteins. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the molecule that stores the information (called the genetic code) in organisms as a series (sequences) of 4 bases coded A,T,C and G. This information is written with these "characters" forming "words" of 3 letters. The words code for specific amino acids which are, in turn, the building parts of proteins. These information blocks are organised into larger functional units called "genes". Our genetic code consists of 50000 to 100000 genes of 2000 to 2000000 bases each.



Certainly many difficulties arise when all this massive information has to be understood or represented in some way. Visualisation techniques originate to overcome these problems and to allow the disclosure and identification of interesting or useful "patterns" in the sequences.



The book consists of the editor's preface and a collection of 15 contributions written in scientific journal style by experts on the subject. There are two impressive colour plates and many black and white illustrations and diagrams and all the contributions include a "glossary" to clarify some of the scientific terms to the readers The preface is an introduction to visualisation, its objectives and examples. It includes about 10 pages of literature references on computational biology, computers and DNA, genetics and music, genetics and fractals, and visualisation. There is also a comprehensive list of genetic and biological data repositories with Internet addresses, a list of electronic newsgroups (BIOSCI), a list of USENET newsgroups addresses, and other Internet resources of interest.



The chapters deal with a variety of problems such as graphical representations to disclose "patterns", whether a sequence is "random" or not, taxonomical classifications, how to represent the 3-dimensional structure of proteins in two dimensional space and how to quantify similarities between sequences. Some of the contributions go beyond the description of the algorithms and methods and include computer code. For example "A Transforming Function for Generation of Fractal Functions from Nucleotide Sequences by J. Campione-Piccardo has a Pascal implementation of his method of barograms. Gene Music: Tonal Assignments of Bases and Amino Acids by N. Mukata and K. Hayashi is a paper describing DNA to musical notes transform that may help to make sequences more comprehensible. Their chapter includes 3 music scores produced from DNA data and a script for "Hypercard" and "HyperMIDI 2.0" (Macintosh computer). Some of the algorithms to "visualise" the sequences are in principle simple and at the same time very powerful; with some computer skills one may be able to reproduce or implement the methods described. Who is this book for? I think that it will be of interest to a broad range of readers, from biochemists to molecular biologists, computer and computer graphics scientists. It may also appeal to computer enthusiasts as some of the algorithms described may also be applied to other symbolic sequences such as texts or codes. The type of graphic representations shown in the book may not be aesthetically as eye catching as some graphical rendering in the previous titles by Pickover (The Pattern Book or Computers, Pattern, Chaos and Beauty) but we must not forget that the main purpose of the book is to present techniques to make sense out of biological data, while beauty is in the eye of the beholder.



Life Extension Notes



by Douglas Skrecky



Melatonin Update



There has recently been yet another test of the longevity boosting effects of melatonin, this time in the CD rat strain. Either melatonin, the melatonin antagonist ML-23 or their combination was added to the drinking water of 11-13 month old adult rats. After 16 months 43% of untreated control rats still survived, which replicates previous longevity studies for this strain. Of the melatonin treated rats an impressive 87% were still alive, while surprisingly 60% of the ML-23 treated rats survived. The combination of ML-23 and melatonin yielded an 80% survival1.



This trial continues to add to the impressive track record of melatonin, which has increased longevity in all species that it has been tested in thus far. (NZB mice, C3H/He mice, C57BL/6 mice and now CD rats) Deprenyl by comparison has failed in 4 out of 8 strains of rodents it has been tested with.



Melatonin is currently the leading life extension drug. Although it is known that it's life extending benefits are dependant on administration in the evening before sleep, no direct data is available on dose/response effects. However melatonin is known to mildly stimulate growth hormone secretion and as 10 mg orally appears to as effective as 1000 mg, low doses would be all that would be needed to achieve maximal lifespan enhancement if growth hormone stimulation is melatonin's mechanism of action2. A dose/response study of melatonin on rodent lifespan might help to determine its mode of action.



1 Effects of Long-term Administration of Melatonin and a Putative Antagonist on the Ageing Rat 785-788 Vol.6 1995 NeuroReport

2 Melatonin Stimulates Growth Hormone Secretion Through Pathways Other Than the Growth Hormone-releasing Hormone 193-199 Vol.39 1993 Clinical Endocrinology



Anhydrobiosis Versus Cryonics



Perhaps the main objection that one could raise concerning cryonics is its proven track record of unreliability. Many hopes for future revival have been dashed when the body concerned was unceremoniously thawed out and buried instead of being revived. This is still happening today with the most recent failure being a body formerly stored at Alcor. Even cryonics advocates admit that it will be difficult to continue storing frozen bodies in liquid nitrogen for 200 years. If this period of time proves to be insufficient for revival technology to be developed the hopes and dreams of those aspiring to resurrection without the aid of divine intervention would appear to be doomed.



There may be an alternative. Anhydrobiosis or life without water is the only method of preservation suitable for long term biostasis. Plant seeds, the century plant, bacterial spores, brine shrimp eggs, tardigrades and nematodes are all capable of surviving anhydrobiosis without any outside help. As far as can be ascertained, when these are kept bone dry and protected from oxygen they survive indefinitely at room temperature. What is the current record for their longevity? In the case of dried bacteria spores stored in amber revival has been demonstrated after over 25 MILLION YEARS!



Revival and Identification of Bacterial Spores in 25 to 40 Million Year Old Dominican Amber 1060-1064 Vol.268 May 19,1995 Science



A Possible Cure for Graves' Disease?



Hyperthyroid patients suffering from Graves disease often relapse after treatment with drugs to suppress thyroid activity. Low dose thyroxine in conjunction with traditional antithyroid medication offers a potentially revolutionary new treatment option which virtually eliminates the possibility of relapse. After treatment with methimazole relapse rate over 3 years was 34.7%. After treatment with both methimazole and thyroxine relapse rate was reduced to a mere 1.7%.



Administration of Thyroxine in Treated Graves' Disease 947-953 Vol. 324 1991 New England Journal of Medicine



Zinc Versus Herpes Simplex



Zinc ions inhibit replication of the herpes simplex virus by inhibiting viral DNA-polymerase activity. A 0.016% zinc sulphate solution inhibits replication by 95% and a 0.032% solution inhibits by 99.8%. Topical application of 0.025 to 0.25% zinc sulphate solutions on the skin has been found to help clear rashes due to this virus.



Topical Zinc in the Treatment of Herpes Simplex 130-131 February 1986 Cutis



Barbers and Hepatitis C



In Mediterranean countries many patients infected with hepatitis C contact it from as yet unknown sources. In order to help track one of these unknowns 37 Sicilian barbers who shave themselves with their own instruments were tested for hepatitis C antibodies. Of these 14 or 38% tested positive! This compares with 0.9 to 1.5% for the general population.



Does your barber regularly sterilize his instruments?



Shaving as Potential Source of Hepatitis C Virus Infection 658 Vol.345 March 11, 1995 The Lancet



Senility May Not Be Inevitable



Visiting an old age home can be a rather disheartening experience. One might suppose that as one grows older one would also grow wiser if not smarter. The old who inhabit old age homes seem to give the lie to this supposition as they stare endlessly off into their own distant past. However not all meet this fate as they grow older.



The world's currently longest lived human was given a mental status test at the age of 118 and was found to exhibit no evidence of progressive neurological disease. Her name is Jeanne Calmert of Arles, France and currently she is 120 years old and apparently still going strong.



Mental Status Examination of an Exceptional Case of Longevity J.C. Aged 118 Years 229-235 Vol.166 1995 British Journal of Psychiatry



Deprenyl and Life Extension



by Douglas Skrecky



The central deficit which occurs with ageing is increasing dysfunction in hormonal regulation. The cause of this in turn has been hypothesized to be due to reductions in critical neuron populations in select areas of the brain. For the hormone melatonin this has been correlated with cell loss in the pineal gland, while for growth hormone it is cell loss primarily in the hypothalamus.



According to this theory of ageing the life span prolonging effect of caloric restriction, phenaformin, chromium picolinate, acetyl-carnitine and deprenyl can all be attributed to a slowing of neuronal loss in the brain. In the case of deprenyl maximal neuroprotection occurs with just trace quantities and is antagonized by its amphetamine metabolites at higher concentrations. In one experiment maximal neuroprotection was obtained for Sprague-Dawley rats by a dosage of just 0.035 mg/kg/week1. Since deprenyl is rapidly metabolized in rodents it comes as no surprise that when given every 12 hours it offers greater neuroprotection than when given every 48 hours2. Unfortunately no time release tablets of deprenyl are currently available.



There have been a number of tests of deprenyl on survival of short lived animal species, often with excessively large doses. The results are summarized in the following table.



                                              AVERAGE      MAXIMUM     
SPECIES          STARTING  DOSAGE     LIFE
SPAN    LIFE SPAN     REF                     AGE (wk) mg/kg/week  cntl dep
inc% cntl dep inc%  Wistar rats (wimps) 52      0.03 (iv)  102 107 4.4%     
n/a      
3  Syrian hamsters (&) 52      0.35 (food) 90  96 6.6%      n/a       4 
Wistar rats         96      0.75 (iv)   147 191 31%   164 226 38%  5 
Wistar rats (wimps)
24      0.75 (iv)   135 152 13%      n/a       6  Wistar rats (studs) 24    
 0.75 (iv)   151 185 23%      n/a       6  Balb/c-nu mice      88      0.75
(iv       same        
 same      7  OFA-1 mice          36      0.75 (iv)   101 126 25%   133 162
22%  8  Fisher rats         96      0.75 (iv)   112 115 2.8%  132 141 6.8%
9 
Sprague-Dawley rats 76      0.87 (iv)      same           n/a     10 
Fisher rats         72      1.5 (iv)    125 132 5.8%  151 153 1.6%11 
C57BL/6J mice       72     
3.5 (water)    same           n/a     12  C57BL/6J mice       72      7.0
(water)    same           n/a     12  Swiss white mice    52      8.0
(water)    same           n/a  
  13   

Note: (&) 75% survival mark is used for Syrian Hamsters

(wimps) are sexually low performing rodents

(studs) are sexually high performing rodents



In confirmation of the neuroprotective hypothesis of ageing neither any reduction in neuronal loss nor any increase in life span was detected in Sprague-Dawley rats given an excessively large dosage of 0.87 mg/kg/week (iv)10. The negative results with deprenyl placed in the drinking water are no surprise as deprenyl is now known to rapidly degrade to amphetamine and methamphetamine in aqueous solution. Indeed this instability may account for the wide variation in effectiveness of deprenyl in prolonging lifespan in the various experiments even when given via injection. There appears to be no advantage for starting deprenyl treatment earlier in life as the table shows, so it may well be that its benefit occurs only at older ages.



As can also be seen it is the lower dosages of deprenyl that are more likely to be effective in increasing life expectancy or maximum life span. We can summarize the results by grouping dosages of 0.75 mg/kg/week as medium, less than this as low and more than this as high. High dosages never increase maximum life span significantly. Low dosages always increase average life span (maximum life spans not recorded). Medium dosages have variable effects.



How much or how often should humans take deprenyl to obtain maximum neuroprotection and hopefully life span extension? Unfortunately research on either low or frequent doses in humans seems to be non-existent. However deprenyl treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease has been found to be more effective at 70 mg/week dosages than at 280 mg/week so conservative supplementation does seem to be in order. *14 I take 5 mg/week myself.



1 Rescue of Axotomized Immature Rat Facial Motoneurons by R(-)deprenyl: Stereospecificity and Independence From Monoamine Oxidase Inhibition 4042-4053 Vol.13 No.9 1993 The Journal of Neuroscience

2 CNTF or (-)Deprenyl in Immature Rats: Survival of Axotomized Facial Motoneurons and Weight Loss 564-570 Vol.40 1995 Journal of Neuroscience Research

3 Effect of (-)Parafluorodeprenyl on Survival and Copulation in Male Rats 125-129 Vol.79 No.2 1992 Acta Physiologica Hungarica

4 Age-Related Memory Decline and Longevity Under Treatment With Selegiline 2155-2163 Vol.55 No.25/26 1994 Life Sciences

5 Striatal Dopamine, Sexual Activity and Lifespan: Longevity of Rats Treated With (-)Deprenyl 525-531 Vol.45 No.6 1989 Life Sciences

6 Sexually Low Performing Male Rats Die Earlier Than Their High Performing Perrs and (-)Deprenyl Treatment Elininates This Difference Vol.54 No.15 1994 Life Sciences

7 Influence of L-Deprenyl Treatment on Mouse Survival Kinetics 72-78 Annals New York Academy of Sciences

8 Extension of Lifespan in Mice Treated With Dinh Lang (Policias Fruticosum L.) and (-)Deprenyl 119-124 Vol.79 No.2 1992 Acta Physiological Hungarica

9 Maintenance of L-Deprenyl Prolongs Life in Aged Male Rats 415-420 Vol.47 No.5 1990 Life Sciences

10 Influence of Long-term Treatment With L-Deprenyl on the Age-dependant Changes in Rat Brain Microanatomy 113-126 Vol.73 1994 Mechanisms of Ageing and Development

11 Chronic Treatment of (-)Deprenyl Prolongs the Life Span of Male Fischer Rats: Further Evidence 281-288 Vol.52 No.3 1993 Life Sciences

12 Chronic Treatment of Aged Mice With L-Deprenyl Produces Marked Striatal MAO-B Inhibition but no Beneficial Effects on Survival, Motor Performance or Nigral Lipofusion Accumulation 431-440 Vol.14 1993 Neurobiology of Ageing

13 Chronic Effects of Monoamine Oxidase-B Inhibitors on the Behaviour of Aged Mice 739-747 Vol.53 No.9 1993 Life Sciences

14 L-Deprenyl in Alzheimer's Disease 427-433 Vol.44 May 1987 Archives General Psychiatry



Can Computing Devices

Beat Physical Laws?



by Yvan Bozzonetti.



We think of chaos as the sensibility to starting conditions in rather simple physical systems. Chaos creates unpredictability in deterministic systems, it goes hand in hand with fractals and its scale invariance property. Chaos is associated with nonlinear dynamics and because quantum mechanics ( QM ) is linear, there is no quantum chaos, at least in basic QM. Chaos is a "short time" phenomena: At the root of physics, quantum mechanics is the rule and so there is no chaos. Simply, for macroscopic objects such planets or boulders the QM time constant is so large that we can't see quantum effects, our Universe is simply too young!



The incompatibility between chaos and QM seems not too disturbing at first, after all, the Relativity-QM bad fitting is far more worrisome at fundamental level. In fact, as we'll see, the chaos incompatibility extends to Relativity and even classical physics at the point to render it incompatible with itself!



The Relativistic case is rather simple: The problem arises in Relativistic systems with more than one component. Because of the finite celerity of light, we can't work out them as n-points systems simultaneously and instantly interacting. Extended systems transform from one coordinate system to another with derivatives, something unknown in fractals.



Thermodynamics in classical physics encounter the same problem. The practical answer to such problems holds in something as: Well, if derivative is not allowed, use differentials. After all, we know QM solve anything at very small scale. So, file and forget the problem.



Then came the classical physics incompatibility. Everybody start to study it with Newtonian formalism where nearly everything come from the equation: Force = Mass x acceleration. This way of doing things produces very bad and cumbersome calculations for even fairly few interacting objects, so Lagrange was the first to suggest another approach starting with the difference: Kinetic energy minus potential one. This quantity is now called the lagrangian L. Hamilton produced another computing road, starting with the sum : kinetic + potential energy, the Hamiltonian H. Then came Jacobi with its Jacobian J, Poisson with its brackets[] and modern theoreticians turning Hamilton's formalism into four classes H1, H2, H3, H4 of continuous parameters. Poisson's brackets was similarly extended into an infinite set of bracket systems.



You can do classical physics in any formalism of your choice: Newton's N, Lagrange's L, Hamilton's Hx, Jacobi's J or Poisson's []. When Schrödinger read about Planck's work and the new constant of action (energy x time) h, he took classical physics in Jacobian form, put h in it and got its wave equation. Richard Feynman found the new mechanics too cumbersome to learn, so he found simpler to reinvent it with path integrals, a form of lagrangian formalism. Most physicists today learn physics with Hamilton's system so they use H or Hx if the problem needs its own formalism. There has been last year an unified classical-quantum approach based on Poisson's bracket. Depending on the taste of the user and the problem at hand, one formalism or another can be put in use, all of them give the same final result, they are different way to represent the same reality. At least that is the general opinion...



The problem comes from the conversion from one system to another, there derivatives are an essential part of the process and no differential approximation can't be tolerated. Each system: N, L, H, J, [], produce its own world, worst: H and [] are infinite family of systems !



In retrospect, thermodynamics and relativity could be fitted with the same formalism and each form would turn out to be incompatible with each other. Why not then recognize the basic incompatibility of chaos with these physical domains for what it is : A basic property of physics. To take each chaotic reference frame as inconvertible into any other is not worst than the four families of Hx systems.



H. Weyl was the first to point to the possibility of a scale transformation from place to place in space, this was its gauge theory of the Universe. That formalism was then turned into a phase shift in field theories to give birth to modern quantum gauge fields. Taking a step back, we can bring back the initial Weyl's idea and squeeze anything with fractal scale invariance process so that derivatives are resurrected in a chaotic world. Simply, when going from one reference frame to another in Relativity or thermodynamics, we must add a Weil's gauge transform. This is true too in classical domain when turning from L to H or J for example.



Can we compute with chaos ? Most often, physics is concerned with monostable systems. When a system displays two possible stable states, it is said to be bistable, the most basic function of all computing device. Now, monostability and bistability are only the first two steps in an infinite set of 2^N stables systems. A four stable system could process two bits simultaneously for example. When N get the infinity, we have chaos, that is, the possibility to process an infinite number of bits at the same time in the same device. N can be seen as the number of dimensions in a parameter space, Taking a subspace n of N with a finite number of dimensions, we can control the output of a device working on N. That is, we can introduce and extract information in a chaotic computing device. There is some hints about brains would rest on chaos computing for some of their functions.



As superposition of states in quantum computers, chaotic computers could process virtually unlimited amount of information in a small device. The possibility to use Weyl's gauge transform open the way to really astonishing possibilities: For example a Weyl's gauge field can produce a divergence in empty space. A field divergence is a source for that field. For a distant observer, not taking into account the Weyl's gauge property of the field, there would be something springing out of nothing. Eventually, all the field structure of a chaos computer could be moved or duplicated away. Away here, must be understood as at another N level (more than one thinking at a time), at another gauge (more than one function in the same device), at another place (teleperception, teleoperation, teleprocessing), at another spatial scale (micro-macro-actions), at another time (divination?, time travel, back-time actions), at another space-time-quantum variable, nearly whatever it is: Spin for super symmetry, impulsion for teleportation, angular momentum to turn tables or anything else...



What will dominate the world tomorrow? Chaos computers or their foe, quantum devices ? The one as the other can build their Universes and rebuild our own...

That seems impossible, computing is at most a world representation, not the world itself, at least so is the common thinking. The reality may not be so clear cut as I try to show here in the thermodynamics domain. Thermodynamics or statistical physics rests on three laws:

The first law is simply the energy or mass-energy conservation, it is the hardest law to crack.

The second law is about nondecreasing entropy in any transformation, it is often taken as the root of time arrow: at elementary level all physics laws seem able to run towards the past as well as the future, only entropy expansion forbids a backward time.

The third law is the zero level of entropy at a temperature of 0 Kelvin for crystalline matter.

First, I look at the 3rd law and its loopholes. The first comes from spin: even perfectly organized arrays of atoms may have a large disorder or entropy at 0K if their intrinsic angular momentum or spin point in different directions. To get a fusion reaction in a nuke for example, all atoms must be in the same "quantum space" with lined up spins. Cooling is not sufficient to get that and supersonic compression by the X-rays of a fission device is used at this end. Entropy is defined as the log of the number of states allowed to an atom in phase space (The 6 dim. space made from 3 dim "ordinary" space + 3 dim momentum coordinates). When an object is compressed there is less room in ordinary space but because entropy can't be reduced, the number of states or volume can't be diminished. That is, space compression generates momentum coordinates expansion: Atoms move or vibrate faster and temperature goes up. That is true for "slow", ie subsonic compression, for supersonic shrinking, individual atoms can't get from shocks with nearby objects the boost to expand their impulsion domain. At first, it would seems the 3rd law is broken in this case. Curiously, that not happen: atom drawn momentum from spin disorder so that spins get oriented in the same direction ( and are cooled), when at the same time atom heat up to maintain their entropy.



What if you compress at supersonic speed atoms with oriented spins? I don't know about that particular experiment, but the outcome is fairly predictable: We would borrow entropy from another sublevel of matter, the most probable candidate be quarks and gluons inside nucleons. Because gluons create similar gluons continuously, there is an endless entropy spring at this level and we can't go further down.



To save the second law: entropy never decrease, we have destroyed the third the zero level at 0 degree Kelvin. Special Relativity opens another door on entropy laws. Because the celerity of light is finite the six dimensional phase space is limited at a single point. To extend it at a finite volume we must take into account as many 6 dim spaces as there are points in a volume. Because the answer is: there are infinite many points in any finite volume, Relativistic thermodynamics uses infinite dimensional phase spaces. If conditions inside an object turn relativistic, entropy is diluted along infinitely many dimensions; that is, it falls to zero for any subspace with a finite dimensional number. This is the ultimate relativistic fridge. We save here the 3rd law, but what about the second?



Recently, sonoluminescence, light produced by sound waves in liquids, has been ascribed to imbalance in quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field : When gas bubbles produced by cavitation collapse, refraction index in their wall move so fast that classical physics can't keep the rhythm. This is similar to supersonic compression in fusion device. Simply here, entropy don't comes from spins, it spring from uncertainty in the E.M. field.



The general picture we have get summarize as follow: The thermodynamics third law is good only in classical physics domain. If there is relativity (spin, infinite dimensional phase spaces,...) or quantum fields (electromagnetic, gluon colour,...) the entropy ground level at best is displaced or vanish.



All of that is about twist between thermodynamics laws, not about computing, it is here only to recall what we call physics laws is not as clear cut as physics courses would say.



Entropy is often represented as disorder and computation or information as its negative. In a simplest form, introducing computation in a closed system must reduce its entropy. Because computation on quantum or chaotic systems can be done at nearly no energy cost per operation, producing a given amount of computation must not generate its own entropy to compensate. This is a purely theoretical statement with no practical hints about how to implement it on a real system.



Assume we do computations with quantum EM field ( quantum computer), we can cancel all classical entropy, but what about quantum one, the part seen in sonoluminescence ? It dwells on the same ground as the computer and can't be cancelled by it. Here, computing is an entropy shuttle, moving it out of classical domain and into quantum one, it does the reverse of what is seen in sonoluminescence where entropy flows from quantum to classical sector. Special Relativity does a similar job when it dilute classical entropy in infinite dimensional phase space. There is the first intellectual result: Relativity works on classical physics as a computer, there is the possibility to have relativistic computers with tremendous power even if we know nothing today about the technology of such a machine.



One of the first thing we learn in a course on thermodynamics is about reversible (idealised) and irreversible (real) process. To solve thermodynamics problems, irreversible processes are split into "near reversible" ones. With the background we have now at hand, a question arise: Are there really irreversible processes or are they simply reversible one with an entropy input from another space, for example EM quantum field? A clue can be found in textbooks: all processes are reversible (don't expand entropy stock) if they are done on an infinite time span. All finite time duration produce irreversible process. We have seen with sonoluminescence an extreme case: A very fast process extract entropy in the form of thermal photons from quantum electromagnetic fluctuations. Such process have no cut off speed, so all finite duration thermodynamics process will extract entropy from quantum field. This is nothing more than the entropy responsible for irreversibility in finite time experiment. Entropy don't get larger, it flows from quantum to classical world. Now, recall that entropy expansion is responsible for the time arrow. If a computer shuttles entropy back from classical to quantum domain, it can slow down time, freeze it or get its classical part backward.



A gravitational field, in General Relativity slow down time too. If there is a gravitational gradient in a closed system at equilibrium with maximum entropy, the time lag induced by gravitation produces a red shift so that a part of the system looks cooler than another. Some free energy may then be extracted from a closed system at maximum entropy. Gravitation beats the second law to save the first. In classical domain, computing pumping out entropy into quantum fields would looks as a post-Newtonian gravitational field, ie a linearized part of General Relativity. When computing pumps as much entropy that what is created by other thermodynamics processes, we would have the equivalent of a black hole horizon. If we pump even more entropy so that its sum is reduced, then we would have the negative of a black hole (a BH seen from inside) that is a white hole.



The physics of computing is certainly a extraordinary subject with time machines, classical worm-holes, black holes, horizons, systems able to fool all thermodynamics laws in classical Euclidean space, and so on. But what means computing in this context? Here, computing is equivalent to negantropy or information, or organization as opposed to chance or randomness.



To illustrate that, assume we start with a Maxwell's demon. The demon looks at atoms with a statistical distribution of energy in a maximum entropy closed system and sort them out according their momentum. In one bag the demon put hot atoms and in another he pack cold ones. A thermal motor may then be run between the hot bag and the cold one. This contradict the second law of thermodynamics because work is extracted from a system at equilibrium. The answer to the puzzle holds in that: to measure energy in each individual atom, the demon must precisely pay an energy bill equal to what can be extracted from these bags. The second law is rescued! On the other hand, gravitation is smarter than any demon and we have seen it can do the job without initial expanse.



Assume now there is a computer at the demon place. The closed system contains billion of billions of atoms and the computer ascribe a grid node at each atom in a representation of momentum space. The state of a atom at a given instant is correlated with the state of nearby atoms , because there has been some collisions between them. We have so a continuous field of momentum of atoms in the system. Assume we measure pressure at atomic scale on the walls of the system. Pressure is the result of atoms impact on walls, or in another way a measurement of atom impulsion. As in the demon case, that knowledge has an energy price and we must pay for it. Now comes a mathematical theorem stating in brief: In a field with distance inverse square law, the whole field can be computed everywhere if it is known on its boundaries. Now we have to pay an energy bill for one atom in one billion or so and with that we know the energy of each atom so we can sort them out without further measurements.



The real work unfolds that way:

A) make a measurement on some atoms, say one million of them.

B) Drawn a line between each atom pair and compute for each line what must be the momentum distribution for a given law of distance (metric).

C) Take some atoms on each line, say half a dozen and look if they fit into the predicted value of momentum for their position. Surely they do not in the general case because the momentum field is not of the inverse square kind for the adopted metric.

D) adjust the metric to get the answer. Go back to C) and refine the metric, when it is good go to next step.

E) Take each line as the boundary of a surface and compute momentum field for the full surface.

F)Sample some atoms in the surface and look if they fit to the predicted value, if not refine the metric and sample anew.

G)Take surfaces as boundaries of volumes and compute momentum for the full volume, sample some atoms, ...



If we are in a semi relativistic system space may have far more than three dimensions. In the sampling process of atoms, we can look at only one or two momentum coordinates so that computation may proceeds on four or five dimension in phase space. In the full process we may sample some 108 atoms and know about 1024 of them (near a gram of matter). Knowing that and what we want after a given time, we can back compute the wanted state with some corrections so that it fits the real state. Introducing reverse correction in the evolution of the real state, we will bring it to the wanted state. Corrections are punctual input of atoms or energy with a given momentum spectrum.



Assume you want to run an object backwards in time for one century, you start to define its actual state and run it in reversed time. Because atoms are quantum objects there is some uncertainty as what exactly the state at a given epoch was. Now, if your object is a car, two year ago it was not a boat. Knowing a car is a car today and two years ago, you can filter out irrelevant solution for one year ago. If you know your car was a car 120 years ago, you can work out its state one century ago with a good precision. Your 20 years margin gives plenty of time to filter out all probabilities giving anything else that the wanted car.



On a quantum ground, all atoms with identical quantum numbers are indistinguishable, in practice and theory. If you have lost some atoms in your car (iron, carbon...) you can add similar iron, carbon... atoms in any known quantum states and bring them to the state of the missing atoms in due time.



What is yesterday? is it canceled forever or is it buried in quantum entropy? Can we send back newly entered entropy in classical domain to its quantum domain and bring back past? Can we slice out entropy with computing so that we can build virtual Universes, one for each epoch? (second, day, year,...)? Can we build billions of computed Universes, then choose one and seed the past with corrections so that the real world evolve to give a carbon copy of the selected computed world? 1 000 years from now will man would have ever existed or was it a mere quantum probability buried in unclassical entropy?



What is chaos?



by Yvan Bozzonetti.



We think of chaos as the sensibility to starting conditions in rather simple physical systems. Chaos creates unpredictability in deterministic systems, it goes hand in hand with fractals and its scale invariance property. Chaos is associated with nonlinear dynamics and because quantum mechanics ( QM ) is linear, there is no quantum chaos, at least in basic QM. Chaos is a "short time" phenomena: At the root of physics, quantum mechanics is the rule and so there is no chaos. Simply, for macroscopic objects such planets or boulders the QM time constant is so large that we can't see quantum effects, our Universe is simply too young!



The incompatibility between chaos and QM seems not too disturbing at first, after all, the Relativity-QM bad fitting is far more worrisome at fundamental level. In fact, as we'll see, the chaos incompatibility extends to Relativity and even classical physics at the point to render it incompatible with itself!



The Relativistic case is rather simple: The problem arises in Relativistic systems with more than one component. Because of the finite celerity of light, we can't work out them as n-points systems simultaneously and instantly interacting. Extended systems transform from one coordinate system to another with derivatives, something unknown in fractals.



Thermodynamics in classical physics encounter the same problem. The practical answer to such problems holds in something as: Well, if derivative is not allowed, use differentials. After all, we know QM solve anything at very small scale. So, file and forget the problem.



Then came the classical physics incompatibility. Everybody start to study it with Newtonian formalism where nearly everything come from the equation:



Force = Mass x acceleration.



This way of doing things produces very bad and cumbersome calculations for even fairly few interacting objects, so Lagrange was the first to suggest another approach starting with the difference: kinetic energy minus potential one. This quantity is now called the lagrangian L. Hamilton produced another computing road, starting with the sum : kinetic + potential energy, the Hamiltonian H. Then came Jacobi with its Jacobian J, Poisson with its brackets[] and modern theoreticians turning Hamilton's formalism into four classes H1, H2, H3, H4 of continuous parameters. Poisson's brackets was similarly extended into an infinite set of bracket systems.



You can do classical physics in any formalism of your choice: Newton's N, Lagrange's L, Hamilton's Hx, Jacobi's J or Poisson's []. When Schrödinger read about Planck's work and the new constant of action (energy x time) h, he took classical physics in Jacobian form, put h in it and got its wave equation. Richard Feynman found the new mechanics too cumbersome to learn, so he found simpler to reinvent it with path integrals, a form of lagrangian formalism. Most physicists today learn physics with Hamilton's system so they use H or Hx if the problem needs its own formalism. There has been last year an unified classical-quantum approach based on Poisson's bracket. Depending on the taste of the user and the problem at hand, one formalism or another can be put in use, all of them give the same final result, they are different way to represent the same reality. At least that is the general opinion...



The problem comes from the conversion from one system to another, there derivatives are an essential part of the process and no differential approximation can't be tolerated. Each system: N, L, H, J, [], produce its own world, worst: H and [] are infinite family of systems !



In retrospect, thermodynamics and relativity could be fitted with the same formalism and each form would turn out to be incompatible with each other. Why not then recognize the basic incompatibility of chaos with these physical domains for what it is : A basic property of physics. To take each chaotic reference frame as inconvertible into any other is not worst than the four families of Hx systems.



H. Weyl was the first to point to the possibility of a scale transformation from place to place in space, this was its gauge theory of the Universe. That formalism was then turned into a phase shift in field theories to give birth to modern quantum gauge fields. Taking a step back, we can bring back the initial Weyl's idea and squeeze anything with fractal scale invariance process so that derivatives are resurrected in a chaotic world. Simply, when going from one reference frame to another in Relativity or thermodynamics, we must add a Weil's gauge transform. This is true too in classical domain when turning from L to H or J for example.



Can we compute with chaos ? Most often, physics is concerned with monostable systems. When a system displays two possible stable states, it is said to be bistable, the most basic function of all computing device. Now, monostability and bistability are only the first two steps in an infinite set of 2N stable systems. A four stable system could process two bits simultaneously for example. When N get the infinity, we have chaos, that is, the possibility to process an infinite number of bits at the same time in the same device. N can be seen as the number of dimensions in a parameter space, Taking a subspace n of N with a finite number of dimensions, we can control the output of a device working on N. That is, we can introduce and extract information in a chaotic computing device. There is some hints about brains would rest on chaos computing for some of their functions.



As superposition of states in quantum computers, chaotic computers could process virtually unlimited amount of information in a small device. The possibility to use Weyl's gauge transform open the way to really astonishing possibilities: For example a Weyl's gauge field can produce a divergence in empty space. A field divergence is a source for that field. For a distant observer, not taking into account the Weyl's gauge property of the field, there would be something springing out of nothing. Eventually, all the field structure of a chaos computer could be moved or duplicated away. Away here, must be understood as at another N level (more than one thinking at a time), at another gauge (more than one function in the same device), at another place (teleperception, teleoperation, teleprocessing), at another spatial scale (micro-macro-actions), at another time (divination?, time travel, back-time actions), at another space-time-quantum variable, nearly whatever it is: Spin for super symmetry, impulsion for teleportation, angular momentum to turn tables or anything else...



What will dominate the world tomorrow? Chaos computers or their foe, quantum devices? The one as the other can build their Universes and rebuild our own...



Letters



From Mr John Zube,



Thanks for keeping me on your mailing list. I do enjoy reading your Longevity Report, largely because of their broad-mindedness, but I do not share your enthusiasm for Terra Libra. I hold that its pyramid schemes are bound to collapse sooner or later, at the expense of the latest who have joined. If you consider it mainly as a game, O.K. But then I am not a gambler and do not even buy lottery tickets. I'd rather see freedom ideas and action opportunities properly marketed, largely through a special market for ideas and talents. In this respect anarchists and libertarians have neglected opportunities like those provided by Nicholas Albery's Institute for Social Inventions with its last creation, a Global Ideas Bank on the Internet.



I would also like you to consider the text-only CD-ROM publishing options for longevity writings. One or a few such disks could combine most longevity writings, and keep accessible the numerous published and unpublished papers on this subject, which Mike Darwin mentioned to me 6 years ago but never made available for microfiching, either. He helped me with a back set of CRYONICS from ALCOR but then he left this institution and I got no further copies of this journal. They did also offer the free fiche copies I had sent them in exchange at a ridiculously high price, which deters rather than encourages the acceptance of this alternative medium.



If I knew Mike's address, then I would probably write him regarding the microfiching of more scientific papers on life extension, if he would be willing to part with filmable photocopies of them.



I am sending you now only 15 each of the last issues of your journal on 3 different fiche, just fitting into the 125 g. postal rate margin. I see no point in spending more on postage, to send you more, since you do not seem to bother to offer them for sale in your publication. Do you still have all back copies on hand for sale in paper editions?



My son, a practising doctor, warned me about chelation therapy. It can easily go very wrong if not properly limited and supervised. Some of the early news report that I saw on chelation therapy did discuss the elimination of an accumulation of heavy metals in the body, which makes sense to me, but later ones concentrated mainly on eliminating excess calcium. But, according to some reports, many people suffer rather from a shortage than an excess of calcium. The Australian edition of Readers Digest, July 96, contains on pp 42 a featured article by Bill Lawren, Calcium that "Miracle" Mineral. From the sub-headings Lowering Blood Pressure, Preventing Heart Disease, Easing Menstrual Woes, Avoiding Kidney Stones, Fighting Osteoporosis. Like with so many other points and proposals. The full story is not in as yet or not yet publicly reported. In as complicated a chemical machines as the human body, any extra chemical input, intend for one purpose only, can have numerous harmful unforseen consequences. There is not even full agreement on food inputs as yet and on advantages and disadvantages of various diet proposals.



Why did I not sign up for cryonics treatment so far?



1. I do not rate revival chances high so far, especially when no cryonics facility is nearby.

2. Moreover, I neither have the cash nor a life insurance to cover the costs.

3. There are legal barriers which prevent a timely cryonics treatment. I hold that the same amount, if spent e.g. on microfiche or text-only CD ROMS on life extension research, could promote life extension chances more.



So far the longevity advocates have not yet publicized their findings and researches sufficiently as yet, being largely addicted to the old print on paper medium or committed to on-line contacts only.



If I had back sets of other longevity journals, e.g. that of Thomas Donaldson, and the O.K. to microfiche them, then I would do that, too. That would be part of my contribution to promote that new science.



Comment



CDROM publication is something I have been considering for years, but the problem is time and constantly changing media specification. Already the 600M standard is going to change to something like 12G, with downward compatibility. It would be possible to do it right now if I ceased all other activities and spent a lot of money on the equipment. In fact it could be done sometime when the current prices for CR recording equipment falls due to the standard change.



A CD with every issue of Longevity Report on it would require scanning and OCR of early issues, many of which were typewritten or printed using long lost computer formats. In addition, it would require a reader and search engine, so possibly all of it would need converting into HTML. Automatic conversion may be possible with some word processing formats now or soon, but the links would still have to be inserted manually.



Mr Zube has decided to stick with Microfiche which has advantages

1. he can focus his time on this one activity.

2. As it is optical, viewers may change but it relies on no particular standard to view the pages. Archiving of films is now being done with monochrome luminance frames and an electronic frame for colour information. This is considered the best way of recording for long terms storage and recovery at any time in the future.



However there is clearly a problem in that few people have microfiche equipment as opposed to people that have multimedia computers. Mr Zube was also upset by the price Alcor were selling his fiches. But they are selling the information not the medium, and Alcor are not a "pile it high sell it cheap" organisation.



The most serious problem with microfiche is that you have to scan the pages yourself, you cannot use search engines. Therefore CDROM is worthwhile - if I can find the time to build the equipment and do it. Another difficulty is that CDs you record yourself have a shorter life than ordinary ones, and the blanks cost more than ordinary ones. I would suspect that there would be few buyers for Longevity Report on CD at 50 a time and that would probably be too cheap from the point of view of the effort required.



Mr Zube contends that placing this information in a more accessible for would provide a boost to life extension research, and the chance of that extending his life is greater than the chance of cryonics working if he fails to extend it.



These assessments of chance are clearly a matter for individual instinct, but I would say it is highly unlikely, given that the Internet world wide web is available, putting Longevity Report or similar publications on CD ROM is going to contribute much. Web searches would contribute more.



Of course I may be wrong, and also I should think it highly unlikely that Mr Zube could change direction now. But if he is seriously interested in a greater than usual lifespan he should consider cryonic suspension a lot more carefully.



On the matter of what to do with the Microfiches he has sent. I have 15 copies of each issue from no 29-52 if anyone wants a set. Purchased on paper that would cost approx 100, so I am willing to sell each set of fiches for 50. Or maybe some of you would like to make offers?

The Prometheus Project



by Paul Wakfer



The Prometheus Project is a major scientific research initiative with the goal of perfecting reversible long-term suspended animation of the human brain within 10 years. The project will cost an estimated $10,000,000 over 10 years. Support in the form of conditional pledges is currently being sought to establish the financial feasibility of the Project.



The Purpose of The Prometheus Project



The purpose of the Prometheus Project is to demonstrate by methods which will be convincing to the public and will be published in a peer reviewed scientific journal, the restoration to normal physiological and mental functioning of a mammalian brain which has been preserved and stored at a temperature below -140xC for at least 6 months or which could be so stored for hundreds of years if necessary without additional damage.



Logical Necessity of The Prometheus Project for Those Who Wish to Stay Alive



The Problem:



1. Unless major scientific anti-ageing advances are made, every one of us faces the virtually certain inability of our body to sustain its life within a period of 125 years minus our present age. If you are over 75 years old, the chance of major anti-ageing and rejuvenating scientific advances being made soon enough to allow you to live a vastly extended healthy lifetime is virtually zero. If you are over 50 years old, the chance of this is still extremely small. Even if you are only 25 years old, the chance is marginal at best.

2. In order to continue to live, each of us needs a "time machine" to transport him or her, at least mentally intact, into the future. At present there is no method with the proven ability to do this. Even the best current methods of chemical or cryogenic preservation result in massive damage to the body and brain from which any future recovery is at best very uncertain.

3. Furthermore, it has not been proven, and may not even be true that the brain structures which determine our memories, our personality and all of our other precious individual mental attributes are being well preserved through current agonal and cryopreservation processes.

4. The idea of cryonics has been around for 30 years now and the number of people actually signed up has only grown to between 600 and 700.

5. Because of the length of time that it has been around, the publicity which such a radical idea has received, and the plot/entertainment value of such a sensational theme, the cryonics idea is now very widely known.

6. Yet cryonics as currently practised, remains small and possibly unstable over the long term. Therefore, even if our mental attributes are being preserved through the current agonal and cryopreservation processes, and can be fully restored, most people have little confidence that anyone cryopreserved today will reach, still preserved, that possibly far future time when advanced technology *will* be able to effect the necessary restoration.

7. In spite of the multitude of traditional beliefs about death in our society (I'll have had enough; over-crowding of the planet; make a place for the young ones; I'll live on in my children; necessary to insure creativity; it's natural; want to be reincarnated; want to go to heaven; etc. etc. etc.), there are still 100's of thousands if not 10's of millions of people in North America who truly love life and would very much like to have a lot more of it, so long as they could remain mentally and physically healthy.

8. The vast majority of even those who do not accept any of these beliefs about death will never sign-up for, nor support cryonics while they remain relatively healthy, because, being small and unproven it has so little chance of saving them. Instead, they prefer to put any "extra" money into anti-ageing methods and research aimed at extending their first "life cycle", giving little thought to the possibility of a *second* "life cycle".



The Solution:



1. There does exist a method which has been shown to allow the preservation of a complex organ with no freezing injury at all. With this method viable rabbit kidneys have been recovered from temperatures as low as -40xC, with recovery from much colder temperatures expected soon. This method is called vitrification. It involves turning the organ to be preserved into a glassy substance, cooling it to cryogenic temperatures, and keeping it stored at those temperatures until such time as we wish to recover it for use. Just as glass is fluid at high temperatures and becomes solid as it is cooled to lower temperatures without any crystallization occurring, so too biological tissue, by having its internal water largely replaced with a special solution, can be made to behave like glass and incur no disruptive crystalline formation when it is cooled, even to the temperature of -140xC. (This temperature will be used because it is almost universally agreed by the cryobiological science community that it is sufficiently low to allow storage for several hundred years if necessary with negligible deterioration.) The trick is, however, to use a solution and a method of water removal which does not in itself irreversibly damage the biological tissue.

2. Because this vitrification protocol is organ specific, the exact protocol for kidneys will not work for many other organs. Therefore, if we are ever to achieve suspended animation of the whole human body, we must proceed to make it work for other organs. The most important human organ, and the logical starting point for this purpose is the brain.

3. The scientist who has developed this method of preservation for rabbit kidneys has stated that he does not see any technical reason why this method, with suitable modifications should not be applicable to any mammalian organ including the brain. Furthermore, he has estimated that for any particular organ, the necessary modifications should be able to be discovered and perfected within a time-span of under 10 years and with a project budget of under a million dollars per year.

4. Neuroscience developments and techniques for assessing brain function directly should allow us to convincingly demonstrate the mental attributes of an isolated mammalian brain. It is also believed that it should be possible to do in-situ cryopreservation of a mammalian brain and cooling, perhaps to -70xC, with full recovery of the intact animal.

5. If we can produce a method by which first a mammalian, next a primate, and finally a human brain can be placed in long-term biological stasis and recovered with its functionality including all mental attributes unquestionably alive and complete, we will have the proof that death can be defeated - that in principal, a life can be extended indefinitely. Once convincingly demonstrable, fully reversible, long-term preservation of the brain has been achieved, the mainstream medical and scientific community will accept the scientific validity of the cryonics idea. Major public and private money will be spent to develop methods of providing a body for a restored brain, and to perfect whole-body long- term suspended animation, if possible. The practice of preserving the brain, and later the whole-body, if possible, will become an optional standard medical procedure for the terminally ill and the laws will be changed to accommodate this new paradigm.



Promoting the Project



For several weeks now, I have been putting a lot of thought toward the Prometheus Project and I very strongly believe that each of us who really wants to live should begin pushing the Project constantly and continuously with all the time, money and life-force which he or she can possibly afford. I have become convinced that if we are to have a reasonable chance for long- term survival this project is our best hope and must be accomplished. The Prometheus Project should be nonpartisan and strongly supported by all organizations because it is much too big for any one cryonics organization. We need all the ideas and help we can get from wherever they come and in order to foster this I am attempting to promote the Project and discuss it with as little criticism of anyone as possible.



I expect each organization and each cryonicist to understand why it will be beneficial for them to strongly support the project. I would like all cryonics related publications to publish information, updates and meeting schedules as these are sent to them. I would like to see this coverage be non-stop and relentless until we have begun to execute the Project. I ask every supporter to begin talking of this Project to every life-extensionist that you communicate with and try to convince him or her to be as supportive of its possibilities as you are.



The Prometheus Project is not a charity for which I am begging you to give up part of your life for some purpose exterior to you which I happen to think is important. No! What I am asking is that you honour yourself, that exquisite individual consciousness which is yours alone.



Why suspended animation of the brain?



Current technology only permits suspended animation of the body for about one hour (used during some types of neurosurgery). Extending this time indefinitely would permit true medical time travel, allowing sick people today to wait for years or even decades until cures for their illnesses are found.



Perfecting suspended animation of the brain is the first step toward achieving this breakthrough. It would be an assured means of radically extending human life (assuming future tissue regeneration technology).



How is this technology different from present day cryonics?



Cryonics today freezes people with highly damaging methods in the hope that future technologies (like nanotechnology) will be able to repair them, one molecule at a time if necessary. Whether memory or personality can survive such a process is currently unknown, and inherently unknowable as long as freezing injuries remain irreversible.



Suspended animation of the brain would mean an end to this uncertainty. Brains would be preserved with no injury, even by present medical criteria. Nanotechnology would not be required for revival. Future tissue regeneration technology using biological approaches would suffice. Revival would come much sooner than for today's cryonics patients, greatly decreasing social displacement and "risk time" spent in storage. The most nagging uncertainties of cryonics would vanish.



Will this technology be legal?



The goal of the Project is to develop technology for keeping the human brain viable indefinitely. The technology must therefore be utilized while the brain is still alive. Under current law, this can be done if death is declared on the basis of cardiac arrest, and blood circulation/oxygenation is artificially restored within five minutes. The technology and infrastructure for doing this already exists within the cryonics community.



Technology for keeping a brain viable indefinitely may even allow a legal challenge to the designation of cryonics patients as "dead". Brain viability is the gold standard by which patients today are judged living or dead in critical care medicine, even if all organs are replaced by artificial systems. A patient with a viable brain is legally a human being, not a cadaver.



What is the evidence the Project can succeed?



The science of organ cryopreservation is an established branch of cryobiology. Conventional medical research interests, such as the Red Cross, have made substantial investments over the past decade to perfect cryo-preservation of transplantable organs. This work has shown steady progress, with viable kidneys now recoverable from temperatures as low as -45'C. Much colder temperatures are expected soon, as the most difficult technical problems now seem to be solved.



There is thus now a wealth of knowledge concerning organ cryo-preservation that did not exist ten years ago. Much of this knowledge is directly translatable to the problems of cryopreserving any organ, including the brain. Furthermore, a "head start" of sorts exists for the brain, as it is already known to be recoverable by very simple methods from -20'C.



The project budget and timescale is a conservative estimate of the effort necessary to successfully adapt existing organ cryopreservation knowledge to the specific issues of brain preservation and to apply the neurobiological techniques necessary to show restoration of the memory and other mental attributes.



How will success be demonstrated?



The Project will likely proceed in three stages, each requiring perhaps 2 or 3 years for completion.



Stage 1: Development and demonstration of good histologic preservation by light and electron microscopy after rewarming from -140'C.

Stage 2: Recovery of mammalian brains after rewarming from -140'C, with viability and restoration of memory demonstrated by electrophysiological study of isolated brains.

Stage 3: Demonstration of complete neurological recovery in a large animal model after in-situ cryopreservation of the brain to low sub zero temperatures.



Who will work on the Project?



The Project will seek to retain the most qualified scientists available. Scientists with specific and proven expertise in organ cryo-preservation and neuroscience will be sought. A state-of-the-art laboratory dedicated to the full-time pursuit of the project goal will be established.



How are funds being raised?



The Project, proposed by cryonics activist Paul Wakfer in June, 1996, is currently in the discussion stage. Before proceeding with detailed planning, it is necessary to determine whether sufficient support exists for this Project in principle.



At this time, the Prometheus Project is essentially a pledge campaign asking a strictly hypothetical question:



1) If $1M/yr in pledges for 10 years is collected, and

2) if satisfactory scientific and business plans are developed, and

3) if the researchers and their projects are satisfactory to you, and

4) if a corporation is formed to employ these scientists to execute these projects which issues a prospectus and share offering for that purpose,

4) then how much would you be willing to contribute, beginning in 1998, to share purchases of equal amounts for up to 10 years, in that corporation.



Scientific and Business Plans



While pledges are being received and are building to the total of $1M per year required, the scientific plan of The Prometheus Project and the business plan of the hypothetical corporation which will execute it, will be developed and prepared. These plans will be published even in unfinished form as they are developed and prepared. This project is very much a "boot-strap" process. For many reasons, I believe that is the best way to accomplish it. I look forward to your questions and suggestions and you can be sure that if the ideas are worthy, they *will* be incorporated into the developing project plans.



Are investments being solicited?



No. No money is being requested and no investments are being solicited. If sufficient interest in the form of conditional pledges is demonstrated, a company will be formed, a prospectus issued, and investments solicited. Until that time, pledges and all other discussion of finances are purely hypothetical.



What if sufficient funding cannot be obtained?



It is hoped that sufficient "in principle" support for the Project can be obtained by late 1997, with pledgers approving the Project plans in time for a research start in early 1998. If more time is required, the pledge campaign will likely continue as long as is necessary to reach the funding goal.



What if the Project is not successful?



If reversible brain cryopreservation is not demonstrated within 10 years of research commencement, additional funding will be sought, and the Project will continue as long as necessary until this goal is accomplished.



Brain cryopreservation is largely virgin territory in cryobiology: The Prometheus Project will be directing 100 times more resources at this problem than has ever been directed at it before, under the anticipated direction of the best cryobiological minds in the world. Major (and publishable) advances are certain, and this will likely generate the additional interest necessary to keep the Project going for longer than 10 years if necessary.



What if the Project is successful?



The result will be published in a major scientific journal, with explicit mention of the profound medical implications. We believe that as a result cryonics will receive unprecedented scientific attention, and ethical debates will rage. The technology will be deployed among cryonics service providers, and options for legally challenging the status of cryonics patients as "dead" (and otherwise increasing their rights) will be considered.



The research company should then be able to raise additional funds to perfect suspended animation of the head, and ultimately all organs of the body. This additional fundraising will likely take place outside the cryonics community, perhaps through a public offering of non-voting shares, capitalizing on the publicity surrounding the Project success.



Who will have access to the technology?



It is anticipated that much (perhaps most) of the Project research results will be available in the public domain. Indeed, regular publication in peer-reviewed journals is an important Project objective. However patent protection will be sought for the final perfusate formulas and other innovations that permit reversible brain cryopreservation. This will be done to ensure that Project contributors receive proper consideration for their support should any profits materialize from this development.



Project technology (perhaps in the form of pre-packaged perfusates) will be made available to all cryonics organizations at a reasonable cost. An incentive plan that would allow shareholders to return shares to the research company in exchange for products at discounted rates is currently under discussion.



The Logic of The Prometheus Project Funding Method



1. Those persons who have a great desire for vastly extended life will sincerely pledge major amounts of money to a convincingly demonstrable fully reversible brain cryopreservation project if they are convinced that it is necessary in order to achieve such extended life, that it has sound planning which will enable it to succeed if it is funded, and if their pledges are not due until it does have sound planning and is fully funded.

2. Most of those with incomes over $50K per year (and certainly all of those with incomes over $100K per year) should be able to afford to forgo the present spending of $5-10K per year (at least if tax deductible) without degrading their life-style in any way detrimental to their health and longevity.

3. Within the cryonics and life-extension community, there are well over 200 people who fit this category. Hence, there are a more than sufficient number of people to fund a project which will scientifically demonstrate that long-term reversible brain preservation will work, and therefore, that will be virtually certain to enormously increase the chance of their lives having the potential of immortality.

4. The Prometheus Project defined here is an attainable and fundable goal. The results obtained from the 22 cryonicists on CryoCare Forum (over $100K per year was pledged) strongly suggest that it is realistic to expect to obtain between 100 and 200 pledges of amounts between $5K per year and $10K per year each for 10 years.



Organization of the Collection of the Pledges



As founder of the Prometheus Project, Paul Wakfer, one of the $10K per year pledgers, will be the person who accepts the pledges and will be the founder and the interim president of the corporation which is formed once the necessary total of $1M per year for 10 years is reached until the Prometheus Project officially begins.



If the Prometheus Project pledge campaign succeeds in reaching its target of over $1M per year pledged for 10 years, the pledgers will be able to purchase shares in a for-profit corporation which will be formed to conduct the scientific research of the project. These shares will be purchased over a 10 year period at a fixed price of $100 per share with the requirement that an equal amount must be purchased for each of the 10 years. Pledges will not be due and no money will be collected until pledgers who approve the scientific and business plans have signed legally binding share purchase agreements totalling over $1M per year. Any pledger who does not approve of these plans may withdraw his pledge before the Prometheus Project begins. The signing of legally binding share purchase agreements is necessary to insure that the required funding will be forthcoming each year after the project begins.



Pledgers resident in the USA who wish to have a tax deduction for the amount of their contribution are encouraged to make arrangements with one of the cryonics organizations or life extension societies which have the ability to issue tax deductible receipts for charitable donations. After the Prometheus Project has begun, those organizations will then use the donated moneys to purchase shares under the same terms as other individual or corporate purchasers. Cryonics organizations which have this capability (or will soon) are:



Alcor Life Extension Foundation

American Cryonics Society

CryoCare Foundation

The Immortalist Society



All cryonics organizations have been contacted and have been asked for their help in promoting the Prometheus Project through mailings to their membership and advertisements in their periodicals. They have also been asked to accept donation pledges, to turn these into share purchases if the pledge campaign is successful, and, furthermore, to proxy the shareholder voting power of the shares which a donor's money has purchased to that same donor. By this method, individual contributing cryonicists and life extensionists will control the Project instead of the competitive and sometimes antagonistic cryonics organizations. It should be very clear that the success of the Prometheus Project will be extremely beneficial for the cryonics organizations, their members and their patients. In addition, the Life Extension Foundation has agreed to accept donation pledges, and later to accept donations, to issue tax deductible receipts, and to make share purchases under the contractual terms necessary for funding the Prometheus Project.



The Prometheus Project will be delighted to accept any pledge of $1000 or more per year, but for administrative and share purchase purposes requires that all pledges be made in units of $100 per year. Again it should be noted that all pledges must be for the same amount per year for all 10 years, although up-front, lump-sum pledges with delivery of shares yearly are also acceptable. A pledge for $8,000 as a lump-sum up-front payment is being accepted as equivalent to a pledge of $1,000 per year for 10 years.



The Prometheus Project Pledge Campaign - A Trial Balloon



The reason why I believe that the Prometheus Project pledge campaign will be successful is that you are not being asked, "how much are you willing to invest in a high-risk, bio-tech R&D startup", even though any corporation which executes the Prometheus Project plan will be all of that. No, you are being asked, "how much of your present life are you willing to commit towards a very good chance at an enormously lengthened future life", and that is a significantly different question.



If the Pledges become Share Purchases



Currently it is anticipated that if pledgers should ever decide to become purchases of shares in a corporation set up to execute the Prometheus Project, the 10 year share purchase agreements will have the following termination conditions:



1.

a) the agreement may be terminated without penalty after 3 years and after 6 years. (Obviously this means that a major project review will take place at 3 years and at 6 years into the project.)

b) If the agreement is terminated by the pledger/share purchaser at any other time, all stock purchased since the last "no penalty exit time" reverts to the corporation. (This means that the money paid for those shares becomes, in effect, a donation and the purchaser can take a tax loss.)

c) There will still be conditions for termination or transfer at any time without penalty due to unforseen economic hardship.



2. For original pledger/share purchasers, the value of their shares for the purpose of purchasing technology from the corporation will be the higher of the market value or:

a) 150% of all prior share purchases after completion of the first 3 years,

b) 200% of all prior share purchases after completion of the first 6 years,

c) 300% of all prior share purchases after completion of 10 years of share purchases or the corporation goes public before 10 years. (If the corporation should develop technology which it then sells for the purpose of less damaging human cryopreservation, by returning shares to the corporation, every purchaser of shares who is also a cryonicist or cryonics organization is guaranteed to obtain a return of more that their investment. If the corporation succeeds in patenting highly marketable discoveries, inventions and procedures, of course, the return from the rise in share price may be far greater.)



3) Each original pledger/share purchaser will have access to a pool of shares vested in 10 years. For each share purchased, an additional share will be placed in the pool. Those terminating their share purchase agreements lose their entitlement to this pool and any shares which have been put in the pool as a result of their purchases will be vested to the remaining original investors in proportion to their pledges/share purchases. (This means in effect that share purchasers will get 2 shares for every one purchased, but only if they continue to purchase for the entire 10 years of their pledge or the corporation goes public before 10 years. Investors who remain in are also rewarded additionally by receiving the shares of those who drop out.)



How can I find out more?



For more information those on the Internet can see the list of all Cryonet messages mentioning the project at:

<http://www.access.digex.net/~kfl/les/cryonet/kPrometheusProject.html>

a description of the project, and testimonials at:

<http://www.access.digex.net/~kfl/les/cryonet/prometheus.html>

and the honour role of pledgers at:

<http://www.access.digex.net/~kfl/les/cryonet/ppledges.html>



In addition, if you are on the Internet keep reading the newsgroup sci.cryonics or subscribe to the Cryonet list for all the latest Prometheus Project news.



To subscribe to CryoNet, send email to: majordomo@cryonet.org with the message _body_ (not subject line): subscribe cryonet



How can I help?



Tell everyone you know who is interested in longer life about the Prometheus Project. If you are a member of a cryonics organization, encourage your organization to promote the Project and its goal. If you would like to make a Project pledge, contact:



Paul Wakfer email:<70023.3041@compuserve.com> Voice/Fax: Pager: US: 1220 E Washington St #24, Colton, CA 92324 909-481-9620 800-805-2870 Canada: 238 Davenport Rd #240, Toronto, ON M5R 1J6 416-968-6291 416-446-9461 (Currently in California)



As of August 10, 1996, after about eight weeks of promotion, first in CryoCare Forum, and then on the Internet through the Cryonet list and the sci.cryonics newsgroup, pledges of $301,200 per year, or a total of $3,012,000 payable over a 10 year period have been solicited for the Prometheus Project. These pledges, ranging in yearly value from $1,000 to $50,000, have been made by 45 individuals and 2 organizations.

The research project which has been greeted so enthusiastically and supported so strongly is one which several of us have been talking about for many months now since we realized that two of the most critical factors which have kept cryonics small, insecure and unscientific, have become substantially improved. Those two factors are:



1) that current cryobiological methods to reversibly preserve large organs which are now nearing perfection should be applicable to the human brain after suitable modifications, and

2) that the population and the wealth of the community of signed up cryonicists and supporters has reached a size which should enable it to support mainstream cryobiological research to perfect and convincingly demonstrate fully reversible mammalian brain cryopreservation, if that community could only be convinced to do so.



Because of its audacity and life-providing purpose we have named this project: The Prometheus Project. If our pledge campaign is successful the project research will be conducted by a for-profit corporation to be formed for this immediate purpose and for the longer-range purpose of producing fully reversible whole-body suspended animation. At this time only solid pledges of $1,000 or more per year for 10 years beginning in 1998 are being requested. When a total of over $1M per year has been pledged, a company will be formed, an investment prospectus will be issued and share purchase contracts will be signed by all consenting pledgers. When $1M per year of such contracts have been signed, the first year's payments will be collected, shares will be issued, and the project will begin. In accordance with SEC regulations, I must state that this writing is not a solicitation for the purpose of purchasing shares in any existing corporation. Needless to say, it is my strong belief, and one I sincerely hope that you will share with me after due consideration of this Project, that the most rewarding aspect of the successful completion of the Prometheus Project will be the almost certain opportunity for each of us to live vastly extended, healthy lives.



The honour role of pledgers



The honour role of pledgers is preceded by a very special thought from $10,000 per year pledger Roy Yowell:



Over 200 years ago, in 1776, a small group of people seeking freedom from the tyranny of men, made a mutual pledge to risk "their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honour" to achieve a daring goal. The revolution which they forged continues to reverberate around the planet to this day. Now, in 1996, as a small group of people seeking freedom from the tyranny of Death, we must make a mutual pledge to the goal of saving - not risking our lives, risking only a small part of our income for a few years - not our fortunes, and only risking our honour if we do *not* pledge to the Prometheus Project, the most important achievable goal ever to be attempted by man.



The revolution which we can create will last forever.



Pledger Name $K per year



Ben Best 1

Forrest Bishop 5

Yvan Bozzonetti 2

Mark Connaughton 5

John K Clark 1

John Cosic 10

Thomas Donaldson 1

CryoCare Foundation 10

Bill Faloon 50

Ai-Ling Freeman 2

Peter Gouras 1

Jim Halperin 50

Robin Helweg-Larsen 5

Marce & Walt Johnson 1

Saul Kent 50

Bob Krueger 4

"Methuselah Lazarus" 1

Keith Lynch 2

Bob Martz 1

Peter Merel 1

Carlos Mondragon 1

Mark Mugler 1

Micheal O'Neal 5

Candy Ostman 1.5

Mike Perry 1

Charles Platt 10

Andre Robatino 1

Billy & Maggie Seidel 10

Randy Smith .5

Daniel Jacobs 2.5

Ken Stone 1.2

Edgar Swank 1

Paul Wakfer 10

Bruce Waugh 5

Ken Wolfe 5

Larry Wood 1.5

Brian Wowk 1

Roy Yowell 10

Leonard Zubkoff 1

Anonymous in honour of

Jerry Hagen 10

Anonymous 10

Anonymous 5

Anonymous 1

Anonymous 1

Anonymous 1

Anonymous 1



48 individuals or groups $301,200



As of midnight PDT August 9, 1996, the total of pledges is $301,200 per year for each of 10 years. The latest pledge of $1000 per year for all ten years came from Sweden via email last night. The pledger wishes to have his name remain confidential at this time, but he sent some suggestions and the following note of hope for the Project.



From Sweden:

I eagerly await the project's plan and business plan for any spin-offs, I hope the later mostly get channelled back into more research. Keep up the good work! I like this idea since it helps something substantial to happen. I hope the quality of the work will be good, that is more important then positive results.



It certainly is gratifying to see such international support materializing for the Prometheus Project.



Pledge totals per year by national origin:



Australia $4,500

Canada $22,000

France $2,000

Sweden $1,000

United States $266,700

No country $5,000



Atheists Discuss Death



by Michael M. Rosenblatt <podtrst@isomedia.com>



It is not surprising to hear fellow atheists discuss death. Religionists discuss it with an entirely different "gestalt." Not all religions have an "afterlife" concept. Reincarnationists look at your life as just another link in a long chain.



Most atheists I know don't believe in any form of "afterlife." Therefore, this life is most precious. That is one of the reasons why most atheists believe in capital punishment - that the only adequate punishment for a person who takes another's life away in a crime must have their life also removed.



Atheists like Richard Feynman, when he was dying of cancer only reported that "dying was boring." Believing Jews don't have any "specific" belief in an afterlife, but strangely the "prayer for the dead or the Kaddish as it is called" is filled full of praise for "god." I was never able to understand (perhaps some Jews reading this who are not atheists can tell me) why god is praised so much after the death of innocents. How can a Jew, believing or not praise god or say any prayers for those murdered in the Holocaust... especially since "god" if he/she/it existed is either dead or turned away when a miracle was surely needed.



Atheists on the column <alt.atheism.moderated> (some) have been writing about neuronal preservation by cryonics, hoping to be reconstituted after nanotechnology reaches a workable stage. Theoretically these people go to their deaths expecting to be revived. I have written a few replies to several of these posts. My main question is what if you are revived and have no recollection of your past life. You will be a completely different personality with the same genes. Other writers have posted similar problems considering it. Not that I judge these people. I wonder if Bill Gates is doing this? Anybody know?



Death is a problem for every living organism, but especially ones who know they will die, and learn this at a very young age of life.



Unfortunately the end of life can be horribly painful and ghastly. Rather than concentrating on a so called "afterlife" I would be more concerned about the transition from consciousness to oblivion. Call me a sissy if you'd like, but I'd rather it not horribly painful.



I am willing to accept my death. It sure looks like everything, perhaps the universe itself - certainly all suns - will die. Why should I be special? Oblivion (as some atheists report) will be devoid of both pain and joy. But that is not necessarily unpleasant. It just is.



Most religionists have a really hard time accepting oblivion, feeling it is a punishment worse than death. But most of us have no recollection of sleeping at night, aside from occasional dreams, and we don't hate going to sleep. In fact sometimes we get damn tired.



If death is dreamless sleep, we have all had the opportunity to experience it nightly. Despite the "awfulness" of this "punishment" we still continue to do it. Maybe it's not so bad after all.



But as Linus Pauling said in a lecture I once heard him give: "It is clearly better to die old, not so much because of the fact that you have had more years to live, because in fact those years may not necessarily be devoid of pains of their own ... but because your descendants will do much LESS mourning for you." That sounded wonderfully unselfish to me. Although he recommended vit. C at the end of this lecture as a life elonging agent, his reason for living long seemed quite wonderful.



Even though he was well into his 90's when I heard him give the 1.5 hour speech (statistics and all), he did it entirely without notes of any kind. His handshake was firm and his gaze steady. That's elderhood!

Divergent Model of Ageing?

Negligible Senescence in

Long-Lived Fishes



by John C. Guerin <ba182@lafn.org>



Like mammals, fish display patterns of rapid and gradual senescence, such as the Pacific salmon and Medaka, respectively. But unlike warm-blooded animals, some poikilotherms exhibit negligible senescence, which is chronological ageing without an increase in mortality rate. Leonard Hayflick observed that "If they do age, it occurs at such a slow rate that their ageing has not been demonstrated convincingly", and he felt this phenomenon was important to study (from his book How and Why We Age, 1994, and personal communication Nov. 1995).



Since fish with gradual senescence exhibit a decline in reproductive capacity, oxidative metabolism, protein utilisation and cell numbers (neurons), with an increase in mortality rate, cross-linking, lipofuscin, and lipid peroxidation, the lowered metabolism of cold-blooded animals alone can't be the answer. Perhaps then, the "information derived on the mechanism causing extended longevity in such species might be useful in finding clues for life extension strategies in humans" (quote and information in this paragraph from Ageing in Cold-Blooded Vertebrates, guest editor B.K. Patnaik, International Journal of Experimental and Clinical Gerontology, V40, 1994).



A sixty year old halibut was found still fertile and growing upon its capture, a rougheye rockfish was recorded at 140 years old, and sturgeon are documented at over 150 years old (compiled by Caleb Finch, Longevity, Senescence and the Genome, 1990). In rockfish studied for fifteen years by Victoria O'Connell, Alaska Fish and Game, ages ranged up to 118 years old, with only three having been reproductively senescent during that time (personal communication Mar. 1996). In a recreational book on raising Koi in Japan, a record koi was reported to be 222 years old in 1973, determined by counting scale rings by electron microscope. Numerous koi are said to be 100-200 years in age, outliving their owners (Nishikigoi Fancy Koi, by Takehiko Tamaki 1974).



Do these long-lived fishes offer a divergent model of senescence? Could we look at two closely related species of fish with very different patterns of senescence, and examine genetic, hormonal and environmental regulators? Would altering certain genetic alleles then alter the pattern of negligible senescence in long-lived fishes?


Here is an update on the above abstract, as of June 27th, 1996.

Of the long-lived fishes listed in the abstract, most are not good candidates for study: they potentially have other explanations for their longevity, they are difficult to acquire, or not much information is known about them. For example, many rockfish and flatfish live at deep levels with very little oxygen, so it's possible they are just "stretching out" their lifespan (further than from already being cold-blooded). Also, some fish, such as the tautog, go into torpor in the winter, so this complicates the issue of just how biologically old they are.



My most promising candidate currently is the "fancy" koi, that live at the surface in ponds are reputed to have lived 100-200 years. I am searching for scientific verification of this.



If it turns out to be true, then the next step is formulating a method for isolating the pattern of ageing of a koi from that of a fish that does senesce, such as the guppy or platyfish.



It makes sense the difference is in the genetic code, and probably juvenile maturation is the time ageing is first expressed for those animals that do age (the "usual" pattern of ageing is called gradual senescence, as opposed to animals with negligible senescence, which have not been proven to biologically age). There is a lot of activity in DNA identification in fish, but none I'm aware of looking for genetic markers of senescence.



Could it be that senescence as an evolutionary force evolved after life was already established? George C. Williams, whose 1957 paper laid a theoretical basis for the evolution of senescence, noted in that paper "It is indeed remarkable that after a seemingly miraculous feat of morphogenesis a complex metazoan should be unable to perform the much simpler task of merely maintaining what is already formed" (Pleiotropy, Natural Selection, and the Evolution of Senescence, George C. Williams, Evolution 11: 398-411 December, 1957).



Do these fishes (as well as some reptiles and amphibians) have a non-senescing biological functioning, that remains optimal until such time as disease, accident or predation does them in? If so, we currently lack the knowledge and resources to examine these animals and isolate what allows them to live indefinitely. With competing research priorities, proof of an "ideal" candidate exhibiting negligible senescence is necessary to attract funding.



In conclusion, this project needs scientifically verified research on longevity in koi or another "ideal" candidate, contacts with scientists studying fish DNA, especially those interested in senescence, and funding sources to make it happen once the above is in place.



If you are interested in participating, have information or questions, or know of researchers in this field, please contact John C. Guerin at e-mail <ba182@lafn.org>, or via telephone at (619) 563-9473.



The British Columbia Cemetery and Funeral Services Act.



by Boris P Gimbarzevsky <borisg@unixg.ubc.ca>



No person shall offer for sale or sell any arrangement for the preservation or storage of human remains based on cryonics, irradiation or any other means of preservation or storage, by whatever name called, that is offered or sold on the expectation of the resuscitation of human remains at a future time."



I played around with a CDROM of British Columbian (BC) statutes (up to 1994) obtained from a lawyer friend today and found that there appears to be a contradiction between the above section of the cemetery act (BCCA) and the BC Human Tissue Donor Act (BCHTDA). In BCCA, human remains are defined as:



"human remains" means a dead human body in any stage of decomposition, but does not include cremated remains;



Before a person can serve as an organ donor, they must be pronounced dead. Defining death is a tricky business. Brain death is favoured by some people, and this test requires that the individual have no cortical activity, and furthermore have no brainstem reflexes, or spontaneous respiratory activity. Seems simple enough, except a large enough dose of barbiturates will put any person into this state. Intubate them, ventilate them, and they recover - take them off the ventilator in their "brain dead" state, and they're just as dead as any stiff one chooses from the morgue to compare them with.



Pronouncement of death is a medical decision. In certain cases, it means deciding at some point during a cardiac arrest that one isn't going to benefit the person by further aggressive treatment. It is quite possible that by persisting longer one could manage to get the person to recover, or, more likely, to get them into a brain-dead vegetative state where they may appear to be alive for years.



This gray area is totally ignored by the BCCA - if a person collapses outside a hospital, and is not found by anyone for a few hours, they are dead, and thus "human remains". If they arrest on a hospital ward, they are potential "human remains" depending on the skill and persistence of the arrest team who respond to the patients "dying". They may also be potential donors under the BCHTDA.



Hypothermic individuals are particularly interesting in this regard - children have been revived after hours of underwater submersion in cold water. My record for continuing CPR on an otherwise clinically dead individual is 2.5 hours on a person who presented in a hypothermic cardiac arrest to the emergency department of a Vancouver hospital. Quite a vigorous argument ensued among participants during this prolonged recussitation, after which he was revived, transferred to the ICU, and eventually discharged from the hospital to continue his career as a successful skid-row alcoholic. Presumably had he been deliberately cooled to this state, which prolonged his life, this would have been a violation of the BCCA. Regardless of the appropriateness of this aggressive medical management, for which I assume responsibility, it has served to impress upon me the arbitrary nature whereby one decides if someone is legally alive or dead. One has ample time to think about this issue while performing CPR on an individual while ICU nurses are urging me to declare the patient dead so this futile intervention can stop.



It is also clear that the section of the BCCA which prohibits cryonics is in conflict with another part of the same act, namely:



53. Subject to the Human Tissue Gift Act, a written preference by a person as stated in a will, a pre-need cemetery services plan or a prearranged funeral services plan respecting the disposition of the human remains of that person is binding on the person who under section 51 has the right to control the disposition of the human remains except where compliance with that preference would be unreasonable or impracticable or would cause hardship.



People are allowed to donate their bodies to medical schools, for use in research, or to have their remains disposed of in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs. As freedom of religion is protected by the Canadian Charter of rights and freedoms, it is likely that a person who believed in future reincarnation through cryopreservation, the person's religious belief would supersede that of an asinine section of the BCCA.



One way of bringing this section of the BCCA into the public eye would be to charge companies which are involved in manufacturing equipment to preserve human organs for transplant using cold as one of the means. The embarrassment of having PORT jets impounded in BC and the kidneys and livers that are being flown from BC donors to save lives throughout N. America would likely be enough to abolish this unbelievably asinine section of BC legislation. As long as this section of the legislation exists, BC will be seen as a hopelessly anachronistic backwater in the area of medical technology. I welcome any efforts by cryonics supporters to embarrass the BC government in eliminating this legal abomination.



Investment after Nanotechnology



by Brad Templeton, publisher, ClariNet Communications Corp. <info@clari.net> The net's #1 E-Newspaper (1,160,000 paid sbscrbrs.) <http://www.clari.net/brad/>



A cryonics fund must have its portfolio of investments survive what is likely to be the most tumultuous economic event in human history, the development of nanotechnology.



The level of nanotechnology required for cryonics is enough to eliminate the manufacturing sector of the economy. Some might suggest it even would eliminate the concept of material non-land wealth altogether. Even land based wealth will be altered greatly, with almost all the earth's surface available for development, and new land buildable from the sea on demand. However, key land, such as existing waterfront, land protected by laws and land in important population centres will retain value.



In the post-nano world, aside from land, wealth will reside in intellectual property and in skills. Former manufacturers may find their patents and designs their only assets.



It is unknown what direction laws would take on this. Possibly they will strengthen IP, possibly weaken it.



Will government even survive as we know it? If not, protection of IP may be an issue, and of course the government bonds that cryonics funds plan to invest in may be at risk.



Raw materials will also be of value, as there is no indication that nano could easily perform nuclear transmutation of elements. Elements required for nanomachines might be a very good investment, or the old standards of gold and platinum.



One would hope a cryo-fund would see nano coming before the public, and short all stocks and bonds nano will destroy -- but the cryo-fund might also be way too optimistic about how quickly nano will appear -- and thus short way before the crash and lose all.



With the economic revolution, interest rates might plummet, making short term bonds a no-growth investment. (Though of course your long term bonds, if you get them before the collapse, will be great.)



In the nano world, with wealth shifting so much, will government bonds survive? Will anybody care if the gov defaults in such a tumultuous world? Will the tax base exist in the nano world to pay off the notes?

If you can predict the nano-crash, you would want to short all securities that will be destroyed by nano and move your money to precious metals as soon after the crash as you can, and actually take possession of the metals and protect them. Precious metals of use in nano, of course. Then perhaps invest in the stocks and bonds of companies with IP assets, land or entirely service based companies -- provided the services are mental ones, and can't be replaced with nanocomputers and machines.



Thoughts? Is there any strategy that doesn't risk the principal? The nano-collapse will come before revival nano, I think. The market will realize what nano will do the first time somebody builds a nano-factory, and the sell orders on G.M. will go out the next hour.



I don't think that nanotech will happen overnight! I know there are all sorts of intermediate technologies.



But cryonics revival requires particularly powerful nanotechnology, and is one of the most complex, if not the most complex applications yet proposed for molecular assemblers. Whether it is possible for advanced biotech remains to be seen.



I suspect that the problem of, "Here's something. Make copies of it" is a simpler problem. Once that technology exists, there will be a manufacturing crash.



It depends how fast it happens, of course. Many new technologies have caused the downfall of one industry and the rise of another, usually over periods of decades.



But this is unlike any of that. The "industry" to be undone is "manufacturing." After manufacturing nano, design and prototype building will be everything, manufacturing will be nothing.



Indeed, to save on shipping, it's possible that when you order something, the design would be shipped to you over the net, and fed into your own nano-assemblers, with possibly some special raw materials orders shipped to you from the local depot.



Ie. there would be no factories.



I won't deny the points made, that we tend to overstate how quickly all this can happen. It might well take decades, but in those decades it will eliminate *all* factories and displace all factory workers. Everybody will have to go into the service economy or the related economies of land, raw materials and design.



That's far grander than any other industrial revolution.



Cellular Ageing



by Oliver Bogler <obogler@ucsd.edu>



Cellular ageing is, we agree, programmed in the sense that it could be prevented by nature, but isn't. In other words, cells can be immortal. What that means is that a clone of cells is immortal, not any individual cell. If you start by placing a mortal cell in a culture dish, it will divide for a few cycles (in the 10's) and then spontaneously all the cells that you have in your dish stop dividing. Note that they don't necessarily die. (see below). If you do the same with an immortal cell (say one from a cancer), it will just keep dividing for as long as people have cared to try. Note that either mortal or immortal cells can be damaged, killed etc. by environmental conditions. Another good example of immortal cells are germ cells (sperm and egg mother cells etc.). They are an unbroken line of cells from you or me to the first organism that was! That is not to say that some of the cells in that "clone" don't die, but nevertheless the line is unbroken. These cells all suffer damage, but they can obviously repair it efficiently.



Organismal ageing is a different thing (excluding shortlived animals with suicide mechanisms built into them). Animals consist largely of mortal cells, which are renewed slowly from pools of stem cells (that may be immortal, or at least have a long life span). Nevertheless the animal ages, in part because in many tissues cell renewal is limited, for example the brain. Damage is accumulated slowly, and also as a result of the environment. So, although most cells are mortal in the cellular sense (they stop dividing soon after birth) they can live for over 100 years in humans. So by maintaining the health of cells that are mortal is beneficial to the organism. So don't throw out those vitamins.



The question of cellular immortality is also closely linked to cancer. Cancerous cells are immortal and it is usually the case that making cells immortal in that sense increases the chance that they become cancerous. What we need is cells that are mortal (don't divide) but can function for ever, if we want to be immortal. Such functional immortality may be impossible to achieve on its own, because it may well turn out that cellular immortality is inextricably linked to cell division.



Storing DNA Samples and

Biographical Information



by Mike Perry <mike@alcor.org>, <http://www.alcor.org)



For myself, I have a cell sample stored at my cryonics organization (Alcor) with the understanding that, if I can't be suspended, I want DNA from this sample used, along with other surviving information, to construct a functioning duplicate of me, as far as possible. I want missing information to be "filled in" using educated guesswork, and not just left missing. In this way, a complete individual should result, not just a "tabula rasa" clone or someone suffering severe amnesia. I feel that such a construction, done properly, would be "me" and not just a similar but different individual, for reasons involving many-worlds physics. (I'd be happy to discuss this further, but will stop now in the interest of brevity, except to note that I think cryonics is better, other factors being equal, but the alternative is not negligible.) The DNA option was not difficult or expensive to arrange, and I recommend it as a backup to more usual cryonics arrangements, or as a first choice if more expensive arrangements are not possible.



I should say too, that there are other preservation possibilities, intermediate in expense between DNA-plus-record storage and cryonic suspension. One is high-quality chemical preservation. Of course, it is unknown at this point how this would compare with cryonics - would memories in a chemopreserved brain be inferable, for instance? (Would they be inferable from a frozen brain? We still don't know.) But there are techniques of chemical preservation that are far better (for the brain especially, which is the important organ to preserve) than what is used in conventional funerary embalming. Another possibility is chemo-preservation plus subfreezing, high-temperature storage, as in permafrost, which should be cheaper, longterm, than liquid nitrogen storage.



Mostly, such possibilities have not had the attention that has been given to cryonics, and that in turn is not as much as we would like. This is a small movement and our resources are limited. But at least I think there are things almost anyone could do, that would favour that person's survival after death, in some reasonable sense. Some of my opinions are controversial, even within cryonics - people must judge for themselves.

1. Vasan, S. et al, Nature vol. 382 p. 275-278 (1996)

2. Drickamer, K., Nature vol. 382, p. 211-212 (1996).

3. Wolff, S.P., Jiang, Z.Y. and Hunt, J.V., in: Free Radical Biol. Med. vol. 10 p. 339-352 (1991).

4. Fu,M.X., Knecht, K.J., Thorpe, S.R. and Baynes, J.W., in: Diabetes, vol. 41(Suppl. 2), p. 42-48 (1992).

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