ISSN 0964-5659

LONGEVITY REPORT 64

Volume 11 no 64. First published March 1998. ISSN 0964-5659.Letters

from Mr James Ryley

From Dr John Walford, M.D.

Fruit Fly Experiments Douglas Skrecky

Why Famous People Aren't Cryopreserved Charles Platt

A Cryonics Marketing Organisation? Berrie Staring

Robert Ettinger

What Price Freedom of Choice? Chrissie Loveday

AMAZON and Rockets Yvan Bozzonetti

As Others See Us New Hope International

Lecture at the University of Toronto Ben Best

C57BL/6J Mice Longevity Database Douglas Skrecky

Review of The First Immortal Fred Chamberlain




Letters

from Mr James Ryley <ryley@ryley.com>

The article by Joao Pedro Magalhes   is excellent, and hits the nail on the head in many respects. But, I would like to clarify some things that I believe are incorrect:

If we correct a small but significant percentage of cells -- probably much less than 20% if these are well distributed --, the immortal cells would proliferate and take the normal, mortal, cells' place.

There are two types of senescence (to make a broad generalization): replicating and non-replicating.  The argument presented here is not going to work for non-replicating cells (such as the brain).  In addition, it really isn't going to work for replicating cells, since most cells don't die and leave a "hole" to be replaced -- they just sit there being inefficient and tired.

A more radical approach would be needed - such as programming the new cells to kill off the old ones.  A *great* deal more knowledge in all sorts of areas will be necessary to be able to do this safely - even if the vectors were available.
 

Near future breakthroughs in the mapping of aging-related genes might allow us to know how to correct our genome in order to prevent aging -- the Human Genome Project is optimistically thought to be completed in less than 15 years!

The Human Genome Project will be finished much sooner than that.  Current estimates are 2003-2005.  However, having a map does not mean that we will know what the genes do.  There are approximately 100,000 genes in humans, and we don't know much about most of them.  This is where money means everything.  There is a lot of "drudge work" to be done to figure all these genes out.

From Dr John Walford, M.D.

There has been lots to think about since you introduced me to Robert Ettinger's pledge "the aim is to be better than mankind's past heroes", or the idea you put of working in separate time bubbles which can leave and rejoin the main time stream.

Professor Colin Howson of the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics says "he has yet top meet an arrangement which renders the existence of God, any god, more likely than not" (letter to The Times 7 November 1997).

The riddle in my Christmas cracker is going to be

What is the difference between belief in God (any god) who is not universally recognised - and not believing in God (any god) who is universally recognised?

I am assuming "belief" is the same as "belief in the existence of".


Fruit Fly Experiments

by Douglas Skrecky <oberon@freenet.vancouver.bc.ca>

This is the nineteenth update of my fly experiments. There was a delay in starting the 7'th run, since my breeding stock unexpectedly almost died out. I restarted some more breeding bottles and the flies seem to be doing well now.

Onion 4X did a good job of "squaring the survival curve" in run #6. No onion 4X flies outlived the longest lived control flies, so no antiaging effect could be detected. I suspect that high doses of onion powder may be acting as a non-toxic bactericide, something I have been searching for a long time. This stimulated me to test combinations of onion 4X and some other supplements in the 7'th run.

The trouble with my experiments up till now, is that early mortality is so high, that no antiaging supplement can be expected to significantly increase life span, unless it also acts against early mortality as well. Since I am assuming that early deaths are due partly to pathogens, then antiaging supplements, which do not also act as a bactericides, may not increase life span significantly. It is this dual action (bactericidal & antiaging) that may account for the good results with paprika, sage and sumac in the 6'th run.

For the sixth run I used cool water that had been boiled. In the seventh run, except for a few control bottles, I am adding water that is still boiling, so as to help sterilize the fly food/supplement powder mixtures. We'll see if this makes a difference.

Sixth Run SURVIVAL ON DAY
BB# Supplement #10 #14 #18 #26 #36 #41 #45 #52 #57 #62 #65
1 cntl 1 93% 87% 80% 47% 20% 20% 7% 7% 0% - -
1 cntl 1 + yeast 90 85 70 45 20 5 5 5 0 - -
1 B complex 94 82 71 47 12 12 6 0 - - -
1 B complex 4X 83 78 67 44 6 0 - - - - -
1 chitosan 86 79 64 36 7 0 - - - - -
1 chitosan 4X 83 83 83 75 42 33 25 8 8 0 -
1 chondroitin sulfate 89 83 83 78 56 33 11 0 - - -
1 chondroitin sulfate 4X 88 82 65 65 24 12 6 0 - - -
1 chromium picolinate 75 65 60 50 25 10 5 5 5 0 -
1 chromium picolinate 4X 92 88 83 79 58 33 21 13 4 0 -
1 cinnamon 90 85 85 75 55 50 35 10 0 - -
1 cinnamon 4X 93 87 80 40 33 20 13 7 0 - -
1 DMAE bitartrate 85 62 62 46 31 15 15 0 - - -
1 DMAE bitartrate 4X 78 78 78 56 44 22 6 0 - - -
2 cntl 2 89 82 67 37 15 7 4 0 - - -
2 cntl 2 +yeast 82 82 64 18 5 5 5 5 0 - -
2 french mushroom 80 72 56 40 8 0 - - - - -
2 french mushroom 4X 74 43 43 26 4 4 4 0 - - -
2 kava kava 79 67 54 38 25 0 - - - - -
2 kava kava 4X 83 75 64 56 22 11 6 3 0 - -
2 onion 77 73 68 32 18 9 9 0 - - -
2 onion 4X 81 75 75 63 56 56 50 25 0 - -
2 paprika, spanish 84 76 60 48 20 24 12 4 4 4 4
2 paprika, spanish 4X 94 82 76 59 24 12 12 6 0 - -
2 l-proline 73 60 53 33 20 20 13 7 0 - -
2 l-proline 4X 94 81 75 59 34 19 9 6 3 0 -
2 sage 95 68 63 32 16 16 5 0 - - -
2 sage 4X 95 90 90 85 60 35 30 20 15 10 0
2 sodium citrate 62 46 46 38 15 8 8 8 0 - -
2 sodium citrate 4X 89 83 61 33 28 11 11 6 6 0 -
3 cntl 3 77 68 64 59 18 14 5 5 0 - -
3 cntl 3 + yeast 92 85 62 15 0 - - - - - -
3 St John's Wort 85 75 70 40 15 10 0 - - - -
3 St John's Wort 4X 72 50 39 0 - - - - - - -
3 sumac 43 43 43 36 14 7 7 0 - - -
3 sumac 4X 79 71 57 36 29 21 21 21 7 7 0
3 wild yam 50 42 25 25 8 8 0 - - - -
3 wild yam 4X 82 55 50 32 14 5 5 0 - - -


Seventh Run

BB# Supplement
1 cntl 1
1 hot cntl 1
(boiling water used - same as with supplement bottles)
Teaspoon
1 creatine: 1/16
1 creatine 4X: 1/4
1 fennel: 1/16
1 fennel 4X 1/4
1 gaba: 1/16
1 gaba 4X: 1/4
1 garam masala: 1/16
1 garam masala 4X: 1/4
1 guggulipid: 1/4 capsule, 62.5 mg (1.56 mg guggulsterone)
1 guggulipid 4X: 1 capsule, 250 mg (6.25 mg guggulsterone)
1 hawthorn: 1/4 capsule, 125 mg
1 hawthorn4X: 1 capsule, 500 mg
1 lemon peel: 1/16
1 lemon peel 4X: 1/4
1 l-lysine: 1/4 capsule, 125 mg
1 l-lysine 4X: 1 capsule 500 mg
1 l-ornithine: 1/4 capsule, 125 mg
1 l-ornithine 4X: 1 capsule, 500 mg
2 cntl 2
2 hot cntl 2
2 onion 4X: 1/4
2 onion4X/chitosan 4X: 1 capsule, 300 mg
2 onion 4X/chitosan 8X: 2 capsules, 600 mg
2 onion 4X/chromium picolinate 4X: 1 capsule, 500 mcg
2 onion 4X/chromium picolinate 8X: 2 capsules, 1000 mcg
2 onion 4X/cinnamon: 1/16
2 onion 4X/cinnamon/chitosan 4X
2 onion 4X/paprika: 1/16
2 onion4X/paprika/chitosan 4X
2 onion 4X/sage 4X: 1/4
2 onion 4X/sage 4X/chitosan 4X
3 cntl 3
3 hot cntl 3
3 shark cartilage: 1/4capsule, 187.5 mg
3 shark cartilage 4X: 1 capsule, 750 mg
3 silymarin:1 capsule, 50 mg
3 silymarin 4X: 4 capsules, 200 mg
3 thiodiproprionic acid: 1/16
3 thiodiproprionic acid 4X: 1/4
3 trimethylglycine: 125 mg (also called betaine)
3 trimethylglycine 4X: 500 mg
3 l-tyrosine: 1/4 capsule, 125 mg
3 l-tyrosine 4X: 1 capsule, 500 mg


Why Famous People Aren't Cryopreserved

by Charles Platt <cp@panix.com>

As I understand it, Disney is in Forest Lawn Cemetery. I have read a claim that before his death, a Disney employee contacted a large supplier of liquid nitrogen in the Los Angeles area, and asked for a referral to a cryonics organization. But I believe it went no farther than this.

Famous people usually are not the ones who end up frozen. I have my own theories about this. First, all the heirs and corporate associates of a famous person have an obvious interest in the famous person STAYING DEAD. Consider the uncertainty and apprehension that would churn through the Disney empire today if there was some chance that the great man could "come back" at an unspecified time in the future. Even if he had no legal right to repossess his former holdings, obviously his reappearance could cause chaos. Therefore, I believe the associates, assistants, and family members of a wealthy, powerful individual will do whatever they can to divert such a person away from getting frozen.

Secondly, famous people almost always have a strong need for recognition, publicity, and acclaim. For someone with this mindset, resuscitation in the remote future must seem an uneasy prospect. There is the obvious risk of being an anachronism, of no further interest to the world at large. There is the risk, also, of being unable to adapt; unable to communicate. And there is the terrible risk of waking up to find that you weren't as famous as you thought -- because everyone has forgotten about you.

Third, financial success in this lifetime is no guarantee of equal success in a future lifetime. Those who play the game of life very successfully here and now must wonder if they can ever make it happen more than once.

Future resuscitation must seem more attractive to people who have NOT done especially well in this lifetime. They may hope for a "second chance." Indeed, when I read several hundred essays submitted in the "Omni Immortality Contest" a few years ago, I found many people mentioning this directly or indirectly.


A Cryonics Marketing Organisation?

by Berrie Staring <staring@worldonline.nl>

I think the people who have signed up now are all very smart and know what they are doing. However, the mass is not even aware of what cloning is let alone Cryonics. I propose the formation of a worldwide organization that is totally committed to market Cryonics in general. This could be funded by all parties interested to buy some shares.

My idea behind this is that you have to educate people on what they can expect from the future, in a realistic, not to rosy, but surely positive way. I mean the reason to join is to wake up in a "better" world. In my humble opinion you need to look at all the people as a market, and they are customers who want to be satisfied. They don't want Cryonics for the sake of it. It is just a tool to get what they want, the "new" world.

This is what I miss with basically every Cryonics provider. They focus on what is technically feasible and what is not. I do agree, that is very important information. But only if you are allready in, if you are trying to find the one that best suits your needs. In my humble opinion, "we" miss a vital step, the one before you start looking for a Cryo-provider. Why on earth would anyone with a relative small idea of science join. Their life is focussing totally on the 100 year max, lifespan. I think you have to advocate on things like: "Yes you can get a new body, you will be healthier", "you can go beyond earth" etc.. The difficult task is to bring it not like science-fiction, but as a very possible near future.

My own vision is very simple: I have nothing to loose, If I am dead I am not aware of it, so I only can gain something. But, I think this doesn't work that way for everybody. People like to think in visuals: Beautiful far places, new frontiers and no pain, no hunger etc......

I don't suggest you aim for Joe-sixpack, but I think there are a lot of people out there who are more then willing to pay the amounts of money you all ask (especially with the life-insurance policy's) for this dream. We only need to tell them, that there is a realistic chance to get there. (realistic based on the alternative)

I realize, this is hard,.since you could loose even more credibility in the scientific-world, but since everybody saves up all their money to die with a loaded bank account, I think it worth a very good try.

Anyway, this is what I would like to contribute to the Cryonics movement. Stick to the facts, but dare to speculate. According to several magazines we are in a "long boom" so this would be the ideal time for starting such an organization......

Robert Ettinger <Ettinger@aol.com> (Cryonics Institute, Immortalist Society) writes...

People relatively new to cryonics, such as Berrie Staring are valuable, among other things, for their enthusiasms and possible new perspectives. That enthusiasm must not be squelched and new ideas must not be ignored, but at the same time they need to be made aware of previous efforts along similar lines.

The notion of another and more all-embracing organization is one we see often. Its feasibility and usefulness have yet to be established. Of course it is always possible that previously failed ideas can work with new leaders, better execution, and a different stage of history, but we must be careful. It is true that initial enthusiasms should not be wasted, but it is also true that failed efforts may result in burnout and a total loss of the individual(s) involved. Misdirected efforts can even be worse than no efforts at all.

Making the future seem more inviting was the main reason I wrote Man Into Superman, first published in 1972, after the Prospect of Immortality (first commercial version 1964) produced smaller results than hoped. It sold reasonably well, and some cryonicists think it was very important for them, but for its envisaged purpose it was nearly a total failure.

For one thing, few people take seriously the notion of radical change; and if they do take it seriously it scares them, rather than attracting them. If we look at the nearer term and less radical change, the bait is less compelling. In any case, both threats (such as lung cancer from smoking) and promises (such as wealth if you save your money) have very limited effect in the face of habit, inertia, and defects of character.

All that said, it remains true that it could all be swept aside by really gifted, charismatic leaders, with the possible assistance of some trivial but catchy slogans, silly but effective tactics such as marches and assemblies..and the inscrutable underground workings of mass psychology, previously seeded. But then we get back to the cold reality that a major effort, finally failing, can be worse than nothing, because of the burnout and surrender effect. Our present organizations mainly just slog on, struggling for every little increment--but we do persist, and we do grow, and we can keep on doing so.

As for the form of a new organization, Berrie seems to suggest a for-profit company ("buy some shares") that would "market cryonics in general." This is not clear. Even if capital is available, through share purchase, where would the revenues come from? What would the company be selling?

Absent a convincing scenario for a new organization, I think we will all be better off if we stick with the existing organizations, using tactics old and new, seeking what we lack but not risking what we have. We must always remember that our tide is coming in. Every year, almost every day, brings more encouragement for confidence in the progress of science and larger visions of what it can accomplish. Our own specialized research could sooner or later have an important impact.

Soon people will gradually begin to realize that their grandchildren, maybe their children, will never die a "natural" death; and then there will be a profound change in psychology. The idea of going "when your time is up" as part of the "natural cycle" is one thing; going as one of the last dinosaurs is another thing altogether.

We still welcome Berrie's suggestions, and will be interested in relevant details.


What Price Freedom of Choice?

Chrissie Loveday <chrissie@longveb.demon.co.uk>

finds a link between political sex scandals and vitamin prohibition.



We live in a free country. We have the right to freedom of speech. The addition of the Internet to all the rest of the media communication systems, means we can speak out even further. Is it right to be able to say anything we like to anyone who can listen or read? Recent public scandals have rocked the highest of high places. Does the world market really want hear all the gory details? Is it important to know what sexual proclivities enjoyed by the people in power? Certainly, for the opposing sides, it makes wonderful ammunition. One has to accept that powerful people often have a powerful sex drive to go with it. A famous person is always interesting and I am sure that most of us would be at least superficially polite, when meeting someone famous, even if we disagreed with their policies. Something to tell the folks back home! The problem for most of us is perhaps the fact that if he/she lies about these things, are they truthful about the really big and important things? Nor do I like the idea of taxpayers funding trips and expenses for someone's lover. Morals aside, who can afford to pay for someone else's goings on?

The problems I have with all the media reports, are mostly concerned with what exactly is the truth? How do we know which of the versions is correct? I actually believe that everyone thinks they are giving the absolutely truthful accounts of events because that is how they perceived them at the time. Ask two people to describe something they saw and the accounts will probably differ in several ways. Each will firmly believe they know what they saw. The more times they repeat it, the more convinced they will become ... whichever side they are on. The media want their story, however they achieve it. I heard an eminent politician telling a story about tabloid intrusion on his private life. 'Is he having an affair? Has he had any affairs' was being demanded. 'Of course not,' he insisted. 'Who'd want me anyhow?' The following day's headline read, 'Politician Denies Affair'. So what is the inference?

Following the death of Princess Diana, the right to privacy is to be made a law. Fine. I look forward to seeing just how that one is to be policed. If the press is to be censored at every turn, who is going to do it and at whose cost? Yes, we have the right to know the truth about things but who can we believe? As a well-known musician said, when people live among shit, they stop smelling it. The tabloid press may sometimes forget that it is human lives they are dealing with.

Freedom to choose is something many have fought for in all countries. Apart from the media, the Government of many nations are taking draconian measures to stop us from buying certain products. Though I personally detest smoking as a habit, the messages printed on all adverts and packs is that you do it at your own risk. The warning is there but they are still freely available. (I don't like the fact that my earnings have to pay for smokers' health care but that's another subject entirely!) No one forces us to buy beef in the UK but we can buy it if we want to ... unless it is on the bone, offal or one of many other restrictions. They're only trying to look after us, we are told. OK. So let us choose to buy it if we want. We can then make an informed choice. We've been through every type of food scare imaginable. Can we truly believe what they say? Who is telling the truth for the good of the community? Vitamin B6 is currently becoming a victim. A few folks have an adverse reaction so this proves it is harmful. Let's ban it for all. OK. It does some good to a few people but it may be harmful if they take too much. Too much oxygen is harmful. Too much water is harmful. Too much anything is harmful; but no-one could police everything.

We all have to fight to choose what we want to do with our lives (and our deaths, maybe!) At sometime, those in power have to be made to realise that we do not want to live in a nanny state where all our decisions are made for us, in the common good. It would be totally impossible to enforce and could even mean that the private lives of everyone could no longer exist. No more private sexual adventures and certainly no more beef chops. Warn us about the problems by all means, but we must retain our right to choose for ourselves.

Chrissie Loveday also writes passionate women's romances. Current and forthcoming titles are:

The Path to Love

Lovers Don't Lie (available March 1998 UK and May USA)

Web version readers can click on the titles to get descriptions by the author and ordering details. These books are often also for sale at supermarket checkout racks and usual bookshops under Robinsons' Scarlet imprint..


AMAZON and Rockets

by Yvan Bozzonetti <yvanb@compuserve.com>

Cryonics is a simple idea and its technological implementation is certainly simpler than what has been done in the space or nuclear domains Alas, it goes against millennia of religious faith and touch a domain seen as miraculous, so it cannot bring money.

Even people involved in that technology do no good when they say something such as: Cryonics is a transition technology, it will be a vehicle to bring us to the age of biological near eternity where it becomes no longer necessary in most cases.

Here, I take another course and argue about large scale use of cryonics in the far future. But allow me to go before to another subject, namely space rocketry. A rocket can produce, in practice, a final velocity near one or two times the speed of the gas ejected by its motors. A chemical system gives at most 5000 m/s, hydrogen in a nuclear reactor goes to 15 000 m/s and plasma in an electromagnetic field produces 150 km/s with a weak trust. The best system is nuclear fusion of helium 3 and deuterium. That system generates at the same time 20 000 km/s and a high trust. A determined programme would put us further beyond such a system than Constantin Tsiolkiwski could dream in 1900 about his Moon rocket. It is unlikely that such a dream will find a Korolev or a von Braun to put it into reality soon. So, thermonuclear rockets may not become true technological facts before 150 or 200 years.

When it will done, Pluto will look no further away from Earth than America was from Europe fifty years ago - less than a week. Beyond the solar system, the next star is 40 000 billions km away or 4.3 light years If a rocket may produce a total velocity of 20 000 km/s, it can accelerate up to 10 000 km/s, travel at that speed and return to rest at arrival. If 10 000 km/s is 1 000 times more than what we can produce today, it is only 3 per cent of the light celerity and a journey to the nearby star would be 130 years long... And this is the smallest possible interstellar journey!

At that epoch, longevity will be surely in the millennia range at least but that doesn't solve the problem of a very, very long and boring journey. Only cryonics would solve that kind of problem. Down to Earth, some engineers having worked on the project could be interested to see the results of their efforts without too much delay. On a more practical side , technical expertise can't survive in the brain of some technicians for more than a century, so there must be some frozen experts ready to take any question at arrival. Back to Earth, after more than 260 years relatives of the travellers may have forgotten them. The best solution would to create for each century or so a definite "time colony" in the solar system. The colony members could live only one year or two each century to keep the "epoch spirit" (it would be too a cryonics overpopulation solution if 90 per cent of a population is "on ice" at any given time). [See The City and the Stars ISBN 0553288539 by Arthur C. Clarke for a fictional account of such a process -ed]

In fact, interstellar travels may ask for "frozen expertise" on a time span well beyond the century, tens of millennia is a better possibility, that would give us access to one billion stars or so. Well, all of that is a pipe dream and castles in the air but the Moon programme was chosen as a technological proof of power for the USA because it was a dream for centuries. Today, speaking about a practical way to implement in the technology an interstellar travel may be seen as useful for both, space and nuclear engineers; It is such dreams who bring on governing bodies the popular pressure generating credit lines!

Very often, people interested in cryonics are also space fans, even if they don't know why. The cryonics world must bring that in this consciousness and look more at amateur space group. Cryonics must be explained as the tool able to open the stars domain for true. There are many space oriented newsgroups on usenet-Internet. The link between space exploration and cryonics must be explained here. May be more interesting, we must have on Internet some book order sites with both, life extension-cryonics subjects and space-rocket elements. That is the best (and cheapest) way to mix the two groups. We could start by taking space books selected by www.rocketryonline.com or a similar service.


As Others See Us

by New Hope International http://www.nhi.clara.net/nhihome.htm

and http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/1735

email newhope@iname.com

Longevity Report #58 A polemic newsletter aimed at convincing its readers that cryogenics is the right choice for after death. It perhaps needs to reduce the typo errors and spelling mistakes if it wants to be taken more seriously. In a couple of the articles, like John K Clark's Forget About Government, It's Dead the cryogenics/cloning debate is just an excuse for self-indulging essays expressing largely misinformed views on various issues. However, where the contributors do stick to the issues at stake, the material is on the who\e well-researched and deafly presented. With appealing titles, the writing is neither too complex to make a novice panic, nor too basic to make an expert cringe. Whether you'll enjoy or dislike this largely depends on whether you're for or against cryogenics as a form of self-preservation, since the journal is entirely one-sided and doesn't give the other side a voice. (Rafael Kimberly Brown)

#59 20pp. newsletter on keeping alive, either in the usual way or by being frozen by liquid nitrogen and resuscitated in time for snacks with one's great1000 grandchildren. One does not meet one's Maker but another tax collector with all the back records is an inevitable communicant.. Progress has been made on late revival of foetal mouse hearts stored under liquid nitrogen in 1974, so the cryonicists are getting there. Experiments with the survival of fruit flies are described, using different chemical/food supplements. Green tea comes out well. one for the scientific enthusiast or the poet who will only be recognised 285 years after death. I'm working on it at 78. (Eric Ratcliffe)

Also see

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/1735

Editorial comment:

I would not want to put these reviewers off, but I would like to take this opportunity of telling them once again that:

cryogenics is the science of low temperatures

cryobiology is the science of low temperatures as applied to biological systems, and

cryonics is the science of the application of the above two disciplines to the cryopreservation of human beings at the point of death so that they may be kept unchanging until technology has advanced sufficiently for them to be restored to a healthy, youthful and indefinite lifespan.

All these words exist - none of them is a typo or spelling mistake.

I believe that one of the big stumbling blocks to a successful cryopreservation program is the interference of government and the professions, out to make money for themselves. Often people have only just enough funds to cryopreserve themselves and family. The need to pay lawyers, financiers, accountants, tax gatherers etc is totally artificial and imposed by government.

It is because of this belief that I feel the relevance of articles such as Mr Clarke's on government and freedom issues is appropriate to Longevity Report. However if any reader, on paper or the world wide web, thinks differently please write in with a reasoned argument and you letter may get published and put up for debate.


Kenneth B. Storey's lecture at the University of Toronto

by Ben Best <benbest@benbest.com>

Kenneth B. Storey, a Canadian cryobiologist from the Institute of Biochemistry at Carleton University in Ottawa spoke at the University of Toronto on Sunday, January 25th. His topic was the freezing of Canadian frogs, but he also spoke about why cryonics doesn't work.

The blood of the wood frog Rana sylvatica would normally freeze at -15^C were it not for the fact that these frogs manufacture nucleating proteins which catalyse the formation of ice at -5^C -- thereby giving the frogs "control" over the freezing process. Freezing travels through the blood stream and ends with the core organs -- the heart & liver (which are also the first to thaw & reanimate upon rewarming). Wood frogs have proportionately "massive" livers that rapidly inject huge amounts of glucose into the bloodstream at the first sign of freezing. Their cell membranes contain a special glucose transporter which brings glucose into the cells at a very rapid rate. The frogs also have an unusual form of insulin that regulates best at 5^C. The glucose in the cells prevents osmotic dehydration and contributes to vitrification.

Dr. Storey stated that the brains of the wood frogs become completely electrically quiet upon freezing -- with a flat EEG -- and fully recover activity upon rewarming. With some amusement he said he had frozen frogs while mating and that upon rewarming the frogs continued mating. But he discounted the idea that this has any relevance to consciousness because it has not been possible to do learning experiments with these frogs -- it has not seemed possible to *teach* them anything.

The presentation ended with Dr. Storey explaining why cryonics -- as practised today -- cannot work. In essence he said that cells are destroyed by intracellular & extracellular ice, the large human body is subject to freezing stress, fragile bits are lost, dehydration of cells occurs due to osmosis and the cryoprotectants used are too low in permeability to enter cells in appreciable quantity. He said that those interested in human cryopreservation would be best advised to give their money to his research lab rather than waste the money on cryonics.

I could have used the occasion as an opportunity to do some flag-waving for cryonics, but instead I concentrated my effort on learning as much as I could. I asked a question during the question period, and joined the crowd around him following the official question period for more questions. He said that no animal or insect is 100% frozen -- wood frogs are frozen 70% and no more. I asked him how the unfrozen 30% is distributed, and he told me that it adjoins the inner & outer sides of all cell membranes to protect them. When I asked him how sperm, blood cells and hypocellular tissues like heart valves & skin are frozen to liquid nitrogen temperature, he said that DMSO and (to a lesser extent) glycerol replaces the water surrounding the cell membranes to provide the protective layering. I asked him about his statement in his Scientific American article that wooly-bear caterpillars and Siberian salamanders are completely frozen. He said that both claims have been disproved. He even mentioned the problems Dr. Greg Fahy had with Siberian salamanders -- which I found ironic insofar as Dr. Fahy had gotten the salamanders on the basis of Dr. Storey's article.

The subject of cryonics came up repeatedly from the questioners surrounding Dr. Storey, so I finally made my identity known as President of the Cryonics Society of Canada and an Officer of CryoCare Foundation. For the most part I was non-confrontational, although I did become irritated by the suggestion that Hitler would have sought to be cryopreserved. I stated that there is no more connection between Naziism & cryonics than between Naziism & heart transplants or any other medical procedure. Dr. Storey was quick to discount the idea that cryonics is a medical procedure, although he accurately stated the view that cryonicists believe that nanomachines will repair the damage. When someone raised the issue of cryonics contributing to overpopulation, Dr. Storey expressed doubt that cryonics would ever appeal to more than a tiny fraction of the population -- a view with which I concurred. Dr Storey said Brian Wowk seems to be the most scientific of cryonicists and asked if I agreed. I said that Brian is very scientific, but said that he is not the only cryonicist/scientist. I said that serious scientific work is now being done because serious money is finally being devoted to research.

Dr. Storey said that if cryonics research succeeds, his own work will become trivialized, and he would lose funding. Apparently, an interest in organ cryopreservation on the part of funding agencies accounts for a portion of his grants. He clearly had negative views of what it would be like to wake-up in a future society. Not only did he foresee a totalitarian culture, but he didn't seem to like the idea of having to go "back to work". Like so many others, a negative view of the future and of life colours his attitude toward cryonics. He seemed friendly to me, however, and suggested that we exchange business cards.

Dr. Storey's website is at: http://www.carleton.ca/~kbstorey


C57BL/6J Mice Longevity Database

Updated by Doug Skrecky February 11, 1998

The following database lists the effect of various treatments on average life span of C57 black jax 6 (C57BL/6J) mice. The percent change in average life span is listed under the %CHANGE columns, relative to either the CONTROL group used in an individual experiment, or relative to the Longest Lived Control (LLC) group of all the experiments listed in this database. The LLC group was one of the control groups from reference 20, which lived an average of 34.3 months. The START column shows the age when treatment was begun. A ~ symbol means that a number was estimated.

For animals that were calorically restricted, the amount of rat chow below ab libitum they were allowed to consume is indicated by the number before the word "chow". Thus -49% chow indicates that the animals were fed 49% less chow, than they would normally consume. Some experiments which restricted calories by feeding animals only every other day did not clearly indicate the extent of the reduction. This is indicated by "EOD" chow. An interesting variant on caloric restriction is to be found in reference 19. Here the animals were allowed to eat ad libitum of a chow that was diluted by cellulose. Strictly speaking they were not "restricted", since the caloric intake was reduced voluntarily.

Some caloric restriction experiments fortified their chows so that restricted animals did not consume less protein, vitamins, and minerals than those fed ab libitum. This is indicated by the shorthand PR+, VIT+, and MIN+. Thus -49% chow PR+ VIT+ MIN+ means that 49% less chow (and calories) was consumed, but fortification with protein, vitamins, and minerals eliminated any potential confounding effects of multiple variations in the intake of these nutrients.

%CHANGE
REF TREATMENT START CONTROL LLC
7 acetaminophen 242 mg/l 9.4+ 2 -33
24 aluminum 10 mM 20.1+ -7 -17
29 antioxidants (beta carotene, 2+ 16 -24
ascorbic acid, alpha tocopherol, 9+ 13 -27
rutin, selenium, zinc) 16+ 4 -27
23+ 2 -22
1 ascorbic acid 1% drinking water 1.2+ 9 -9
7 aspirin 495 mg/l 8.1+ 0 -34
7 242 8.1+ -10 -41
7 113 8.1+-9.3+ 3 -32
4 beta carotene 0.5% 1+ 5 -13
4 0.5% 20.3+ -12 -22
25 brain damage 1+ 1 -18
6 butylated hydroxytoluene 0.5% 2.5+ 26 -18
6 0.2% 10+ 0 -12
7 chloropromazine 16.7 mg/l 9.7+-10.7+ 0 -34
7 chloroquine 39.5 mg/l 10.4+-12.1+ 0 -34
7 13.2 mg/l 9.4+-10.4+ -8 -40
7 chlorpheniramine 2.28 mg/l 9.4+ -2 -34
7 0.762 mg/l 9.4+-10.4+ 0 -34
8 coffee (in place of drinking water) 7+ ~-8 ~-21
8 (in place of drinking water) 4+ ~-17 ~-42
5 copper gluconate 5 mM 1+ -14 -24
5 1 mM 1+ -12 -24
5 0.5 mM 1+ -15 -26
26 -66% chow PR+ VIT+ MIN+ (30 C temp) 1+ 4 -21
26 -54% chow PR+ VIT+ MIN+ 1+ 47 11
23 -49% chow PR+ VIT+ MIN+ 1+ 48 -2
15 -44% chow PR+ VIT+ MIN+ 12+ 20 -13
20 -43% chow VIT+ MIN+ 0+ 12 -16
20 -43% chow VIT+ MIN+ 0+ -9 -9
20 -43% chow VIT+ MIN+ 0+ 5 -3
20 -43% chow VIT+ MIN+ 0.7+ -7 -30
20 -43% chow VIT+ MIN+ 0.7+ -9 -9
20 -43% chow VIT+ MIN+ 0.8+ -11 -17
20 -43% chow VIT+ MIN+ 1+ -1 -38
21 -40% chow VIT+ 1+ 15 -8
21 -40% chow VIT+ 1+ 24 -2
16 -33% chow 1+ 5 -21
28 -26% chow 12+ 16 1
28 -26% chow + dehydroepiandrosterone 12+ 13 -2
18 -25% chow 1+ -33 -43
19 -12.5% chow (50% cellulose) 16+ 8 -21
19 -12.5% chow (50% cellulose) 16+ 11 -16
19 -7.7% chow (33% cellulose) 16+ 5 -23
19 -7.7% chow (33% cellulose) 16+ 4 -22
20 EOD chow (during weaning) 0-0.7 25 -6
20 EOD chow (during weaning) 0-0.7 9 9
(longest lived control (LLC) group here lived 34.3 months average)
17 EOD chow 1.5+ 27 -8
17 EOD chow 6+ 11 -15
17 EOD chow 10+ 0 -21
12 EOD chow 25+ 0 -17
30 cotton seed oil 25% ? 1 -41
28 dehydroepiandrosterone 0.05 mg/day 12+ 2 -11
7 dimethylaminoethyl 8.1+-9.3+ 4 -32
chlorophenoxyacetate
13 exercise 12-24 ~0 ~-13
13 exercise 24+ ~-5 ~-15
14 exposure to 10 C decreases
27 ginkgo biloba (Egb 761 50 mg/day) 15+ 0 ?
30 lard 25% ? -9 -47
11 melatonin (night time) 19+ 17 -15
6 2-mercaptoethylamine HCL 1% 10+ 0 -12
6 1% 10+ 0 -18
9 methionine 50 mM 1.4+ ~-17 ~-26
9 50 mM 19.4+ ~0 ~-27
2 pantothenic acid 0.3 mg/day 1+ 18 -36
0.3 mg/day 1+ 20 -37
11 pineal grafting 16+ ~24 ~-24
12 protein 4 to 24% 25+ ~0 ~-15
22 -85% PR 1+ ~19 ~-18
3 pyridoxine HCL 100 mg/kg/day 18+ 11 ?
10 thiazolidine-4-carboxylate-magnesium 0.07% 23+ ~9 ~-9
12 vitamin level NRC 4X 1+ 19 -28
12 4X 12+ 0 -22
12 4X 17+ 2 -19
12 4X 20+ 0 -24
12 vitamin level NRC 0.5X 1+ -57 -74
12 0.5X 12+ -23 -41
12 0.5X 17+ -18 -34
12 0.5X 20+ 1 -23
31 x-rays 4+ decreases

SPECULATION:

An outstanding effort (reference 26) by a research group led by Akio Koizumi has finally elucidated the primary mechanism for the life span increases associated with caloric restriction in C57BL/6J mice. Unlike humans who suffer greatly from the vissitudes associated with cardiovascular disease, C57BL/6J mice die primarily of lymphoma cancer. Also unlike humans, these mice readily experience torpor, especially when calorically restricted. These reductions in body temperature can be prevented by housing the mice at 30 C. Doing this virtually eliminates both the anti-lymphoma effect of caloric restriction, and its associated life span increases. Stated otherwise, it is body temperature that is the key determinate of longevity in C57BL/6J mice. (Please note that in order to equalize body weights the mice housed at 30 C had to have their food ration slightly reduced: -66% versus -54%.)

The life span of the control groups varies widely, with the LLC group living longer than virtually all of the calorically restricted groups. It is apparent that calories are not the only factor influencing torpor. I speculate that small reductions in housing temperature while the animals are asleep may promote torpor, independantly of caloric intake. It would be interesting to see the results of chemically blocking cancer development in C57BL/6J mice, by adding powerful anticarcinogens such as curcumin to mouse chow.

1 Dietary Vitamin C Improves the Survival of Mice: Gerontology 30: 371-375 1984

2 Effect of Pantothenic Acid on the Longevity of Mice: Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 99(3): 632-633 December 1958 (note mice were referred to only as C57 black mice)

3 Favourable Effects of Pyridoxine HCL on the Aging Process of C57BL/6J Mice: AGE 5(4): 143 October 1982

4 Effect of Dietary B-Carotene on the Survival of Young and Old Mice: Gerontology 32: 189-195 1986

5 Excessive Intake of Copper: Influence on Longevity and Cadmium Accumulation in Mice" Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 26: 195-203 1984

6 Effect of Antioxidants on Life-Span of C57BL Mice: Journal of Gerontology 26(3): 378-380 1971

7 Effects of Various Drugs on Longevity in Female C57BL/6J Mice: Gerontologia 19: 271-280 1973

8 The Effects of Prolonged Coffee Intake on Genetically Identical Mice: Life Sciences 21(1): 63-70 1977

9 The Effect of Dietary Methionine on the Copper Content of Tissues and Survival of Young and Old Mice: Experimental Gerontology 19: 393-399 1984

10 Favourable Effects of the Antioxidants Sodium and Magnesium Thiazolidine Carboxylate on the Vitality and Life Span of Drosophilia and Mice: Experimental Gerontology 14: 279-285 1979

11 The Pineal Control of Aging: The Effects of Melatonin and Pineal Grafting on the Survival of Older Mice" Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 621: 291-313 1991

12 The Effect of Dietary Vitamin, Protein and Intake Levels on the Life Span of Mice of Different Ages: Age 8: 13-17 January 1985

13 Effect of Exercise on Longevity, Body Weight, Locomotor Performance and Passive-Avoidance Memory of C57BL/6J Mice: Neurobiology of Aging 6: 17-24 1985

14 A Longetudinal Study of Tolerance to Cold Stress Among C57BL/6J Mice: Journal of Gerontology 40(1): 8-14 1985

15 Dietary Restriction in Mice Beginning at 1 Year of Age: Effect on Life-Span and Spontaneous Cancer Incidence: Science 215: 1415-1418 1982

16 Effects of Food Restriction on Aging: Separation of food Intake and Adiposity: Proc. Natl. Acad. USA 81: 1835-1838 1984

17 Effects of Intermittent Feeding Upon Body Weight and Lifespan in Inbred Mice: Interaction of Genotype and Age: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 55:69-87 1990

18 Genetic Differences in Effects of Food Restriction on Aging in Mice: Journal of Nutrition 117: 376-382 1987

19 Effect of Dietary Cellulose on Life Span and Biochemical Variables of Male Mice: Age 11(1): 7-9 1988

20 Survival and Disease Patterns in C57BL/6J Mice Subjected to Undernutrition: Experimental Gerontology 15: 237-258 1980

21 Longevity, Body Weight, and Neoplasia in Ad Libitum-Fed and Diet-Restricted C57BL/6J Mice Fed NIH-31 Open Formula Diet: Toxicologic Pathology 23(5): 570-582 1995

22 Dietary Protein, Life-Span and Biochemical Variables in Female Mice: Journal of Gerontology 31(2): 144-148 1976

23 Mitotic Activity in Mice is Suppressed by Energy Restriction-Induced Torpor: Journal of Nutrition 122: 1446-1453 1992

24 Aluminum in the Organs and Diet of Ageing C57BL/6J Mice: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 45: 145-156 1988

25 Brain Damage, Stress and Life Span: An Experimental Study: Journal of Gerontology 37(2): 161-168 1982

26 A Tumour Preventive Effect of Dietary Restriction is Antagonized by a High Housing Temperature Through Deprivation of Torpor: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 92: 67-82 1996

27 Effect of Long-Term Treatment With EGb 761 on Age-Dependent Structural Changes in the Hippocampi of Three Inbred Mouse Strains: Life Sciences 56(4): 213-222 1995

28 Effect of Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate on Life-Span of Normally Fed and Calorically restricted C57BL/6 Mice: The Gerontologist 37(1): 7 1997

29 The Prolongation of Survival in Mice by Dietary Antioxidents Depends on Their Age by the Start of Feeding This Diet: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 92: 227-234 1996

30 Osteoarthrosis in Mice Fed Diets Enriched With Animal or Vegetable Fat: Archives of Pathology 70: 119-124 1960

31 Chemical Protection of the Mouse Against Radiation-Induced Life Shortening: Radiation Research 47: 537-547 1971


Review of

THE FIRST IMMORTAL,

by Jim Halperin

by Fred Chamberlain <FRED@alcor.org>

Amazon.com is now accepting orders for The First Immortal by James Halperin. Positive reviews are piling in the amazon.com website in a stupendous way. Hard Copy did some filming at the Alcor facility a day or two ago, and we got new insights about the three part mini-series, which has been optioned for production (hopefully) within the next year.

I could go on and on about how great a book I think this is, but I've already placed a lengthy opinion on the amazon.com website review page, and that's just one opinion (by a cryonicist). I think you'll find it far more fascinating to see what non-cryonicists are saying about The First Immortal, and they're saying some extremely positive things. It would be tempting to dribble specific tidbits from The First Immortal in the process of recommending it, but those of you who don't like to "read the ending first" would hate me for it.

I do suggest that you check out the reviews for yourself at the amazon.com website (http://www.amazon.com), and then order copies of The First Immortal at a 30% discount off bookstore prices. Alcor placed a small "get started" order, and Jim Halperin was good enough to send one copy to us, just in case of an "emergency".

How would this novel be useful in an emergency? Why would we want to have copies at Alcor not just for sale, but as part of our standby/transport kits? What's so special about this book? Why do I think that ten years from now, almost everyone signed up for suspension will say that this book is the one which finally did it for them? It's really simple:

The First Immortal literally takes you on a trip through time, beginning at the "turn of the century" almost a hundred years ago. You follow a family which immigrated to the U.S. at about that time, as it grows and develops, until (some eighty years later) one of its members opts for cryonics. Out of the furor and conflict which then takes place comes a compellingly realistic picture of what it would be like to wake up in a future where you "know" many of the people already, and see them adapting to new ways of handling everything from terrorism to family squabbles, where they have to get used to the fact that some of them (all looking very young) are newbies, and others in the family have been around for many, many decades.

Halperin's novel covers the full range of problems with getting frozen, staying frozen, coming back, and dealing with a vastly changed society. It keeps you entertained, but it also is a vision of how you could venture to the very fringe of uploading and still have a society of convincingly "human" people, some of them working out emotional problems of childhoods which are almost a century behind them. It has a solid continuity, a blend of action and philosophy, an integration of technology and human values, which is more than I had hoped to see (concerning cryonics) any time soon. It gave me a "light at the end of the tunnel" feeling I really needed. I think you'll feel the same way.

Oh, back to the question of why we need this book in our emergency kits? Because if we were on standby and there were members of the family who were uncomfortable with cryonics, I wouldn't hesitate suggesting that they read The First Immortal. It might not make them advocates, but it could give them a far higher level of understanding what we're all about; help them cope with the basic idea of cryonics. From that standpoint, I see The First Immortal as essential equipment on any standby/transport operation.

The book is just flat out that good!

Web readers click here for direct link to read other reviews and possibly order The First Immortal via Longevity Books.

Also see out Booklist for details of other fiction and non-fiction books you can get from Amazon.com via Longevity Books.

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