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Cryonics, would you do it?

  • Yeah! Freeze me

    Votes: 3 17.6%
  • Just my head please

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No way, just let me die

    Votes: 8 47.1%
  • oh I dunno

    Votes: 6 35.3%

  • Total voters
We had some enthusiasts for cryonics on our Worldbuilding board; they want your body, or just your head (after you are dead, of course)
and most of all they want your money;

all the techniques available today turn you into irrecoverable mush, so they had no takers.
but I did get a page out of it...
Great story but it does seem like he has a number of Big Ideas that have never actually got off the ground:

"I've been able to integrate the symbolism and the architecture unlike anything ever been done before," says Valentine, a fast-talking, generously coiffed man in his late 40s, whose conviction frequently eclipses his modesty. He has spent a lifetime designing Utopian fantasies that are technically, if not financially, viable. These include creating floating cities for a man called Marshall T Savage, who had devised a plan to colonise the galaxy "in eight easy steps". Savage's wildly optimistic mission never got off the ground, but the self-sufficient ocean structures Valentine designed would probably have worked. Likewise his designs for buildings made out of water, or his floating countries, or his multi-billion dollar environmental theme park. But nobody had the funds to test them.

They sound great but............

More ideas mentioned on his page on the Timeship site:

For the visionary architect Stephen Valentine, the complexities of the third millennium call for innovative solutions. From satellite ocean communities that harness the energies of the sea, to the possible implementation of nanotechnology to build new environments, Valentine's designs enhance human life, are in harmony with nature, and draw on both ancient resources and 21st century technologies.

He has taught at the prestigious Pratt Institute for more than a decade, and has lectured internationally at other universities, professional organizations, and to government leaders, which has garnered him a reputation as one of the most forward thinking architects. Stephen Valentine is the architect for the Timeship Building.


And this bio-vitirfication that they mention in the article and on the TimeShip site seems 'interesting' - in fact if you read the list of thing shtye are working on (or more accurately need to perfect before this is all viable) it seems like they have bitten off an awful lot:


Actually his biography here sounds much more sensible:


More on this (and other life extension techniques) here:


House of Eternity - Who wants to Live Forever?

Cryogenic suspension isn't new, but I don't think anyone's tried it on this scale before.

At: http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1129295,00.html

House of the temporarily dead

It sounds like science fiction gone mad - a fantastic edifice housing thousands of cryonically preserved bodies awaiting reanimation. But construction work on Stephen Valentine's creation, the Timeship, starts in two years. He talks to Steve Rose about the battle to conquer death

Friday January 23, 2004
The Guardian

Woody Allen once remarked that he didn't want to achieve immortality through his work - he wanted to achieve it by not dying. Stephen Valentine could possibly do both. A self-professed visionary architect, Valentine has designed what could be the project of his career, and its purpose is to conquer death.
Officially, the building is "the world's first comprehensive facility devoted to life extension research and cryopreservation", a six-acre structure that will house research laboratories, animal and plant DNA, and up to 10,000 temporarily dead people. They will have paid to have their bodies (or perhaps just their heads) stored there until somebody works out a way to revive them. If Valentine is right, they won't have to wait too long. "This is going to be the century of immortality," he says. "Children being born today are probably going to live an average lifespan of 120 years. Their children, it is being predicted, will never die. There will be a time when people won't be able to comprehend the thought of not existing any more and just becoming fertiliser."

Cryonics, the practice of storing people at very low temperatures, has been commercially available since the 1970s. A handful of US firms currently charge around 0,000 (£65,000) for a full-body freeze (usually in liquid nitrogen), payable through the client's life insurance. Some 100 people, plus a few pets, are in their tanks, with several hundred more signed up. These "cryonauts" are effectively taking a double gamble - first that they will be faithfully preserved, and second that someone will find a way to bring them back to life in the future, either by repairing their whole body or - more likely - by transferring their consciousness into a fresh body (hence the need to store only their heads).

Nobody claims to have cracked human reanimation, but the first part of the process is just about viable, as long as a person is caught soon enough after death. The main problem is the damage caused by the freezing process when ice crystals form, destroying the body's cell structures. Cryonics companies say that by the time scientists have conquered death, they will also have the technology to repair damaged cells.

Given the nature of their activities, cryonics companies have typically operated from anonymous out-of-town warehouses but Valentine's Timeship is a significant departure: a dramatic, monumental building that will cost at least 0m (£135m) to build. Judging by the models in his New York studio, it will look like a cross between a fortress and a temple, rising out of Tuscan-landscaped gardens.

Within the perimeter wall, beneath research laboratories, will be 12 "neighbourhoods", each tightly packed with frozen bodies and heads (or neuros, as they are known). They are arranged around a central plaza, in the middle of which is a large tower in the shape of a truncated cone, representing a droplet of water, the stamen of a flower, and the phoenix - symbol of rebirth, Valentine explains. For a bit of sci-fi ambience, there will be a fine artificial mist drifting across the plaza, and angled mirrors around its edge will reflect the sky above.

"I've been able to integrate the symbolism and the architecture unlike anything ever been done before," says Valentine, a fast-talking, generously coiffed man in his late 40s, whose conviction frequently eclipses his modesty. He has spent a lifetime designing Utopian fantasies that are technically, if not financially, viable. These include creating floating cities for a man called Marshall T Savage, who had devised a plan to colonise the galaxy "in eight easy steps". Savage's wildly optimistic mission never got off the ground, but the self-sufficient ocean structures Valentine designed would probably have worked. Likewise his designs for buildings made out of water, or his floating countries, or his multi-billion dollar environmental theme park. But nobody had the funds to test them.

Timeship, though, is for real. The project is the brainchild of Saul Kent and Bill Falloon, two reclusive figures who have been involved in anti-ageing research since the 1960s. Together they formed the Life Extension Foundation, a Florida-based non-profit organisation involved in everything from selling vitamin supplements to investigating cures for cancer. Kent and Falloon have poured millions of dollars into (in Kent's words) "the kind of research favoured by those who hate growing old and dying, who love life deeply and want to see the fantastic world of the future."

Valentine first ran into Kent in 1990, at a cryonics meeting in New York, and Kent later asked him to come up with an initial concept for Timeship. He was given 10 weeks, and approached the task with a characteristic single-mindedness, researching everything from cosmic symbolism to ancient fortresses, glacial movements to nuclear blast scenarios. "I worked virtually around the clock. I didn't take a day off. I had the exact same meal, chicken noodle soup, every day because I couldn't afford to get sick."

He presented his scheme, and then heard nothing for three years. "It was like doing an audition for a play. They just said, 'OK, thanks,' and that was it. All the models went into storage in this huge warehouse. Remember the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark? It was like that."

He later discovered the reason for the hold-up. Kent and Falloon had been creating a new company, 21st Century Medicine, headed by a leading cryobiologist called Greg Fahy. Fahy was working on a process called vitrification, by which organic materials take on glass-like properties when they are frozen, instead of forming damaging ice crystals. Such a breakthrough would revolutionise the world of organ transplants, and remove a major stumbling block of commercial cryonics.

With Fahy in place, Valentine's side of the project was reactivated in late 2000. Since then he has refined, tested and detailed Timeship's design, and has spent a long time looking for somewhere to build it. Considering the structure might have to last hundreds of years, resist all manner of natural and man-made disasters, and attract leading scientists and their families, the location was critical. Valentine is now negotiating for a piece of land "somewhere in the southern US". Construction will not begin for at least another two years.

In the meantime, he has effectively become spokesperson for the project, and, by extension, the cryonics industry in general. "Since the beginning of time we've done everything we can to make ourselves live longer. We've invented vaccines. We've cured diseases. What do we do that for? So people can live better and longer."

But shouldn't we be concentrating on increasing life expectancy for everybody, rather than increasing lifespan for a wealthy few? "Are we talking about a world where if I can find a way to make myself live longer, I should average it out and let everybody share my longevity? No. Can everybody afford to get a heart transplant? No. But a lot of things that were once not affordable are becoming affordable." But isn't the world going to get rather crowded if nobody ever dies? "First of all, we have a lot of space on this planet. Second, a lot of people might not want to live forever, and they can just die naturally."

Valentine also points out that Timeship will do more than just store temporarily dead people. It will also house the DNA of endangered species and organs for human transplants - a facility that could alter the face of healthcare. "It's a Fort Knox of biological materials, and it could be a Noah's Ark to the future."

Does Timeship ultimately represent selfish scientific folly or the logical conclusion of medicine? Valentine and company would rather cross that bridge when they come to it. In the meantime, they are busy building the bridge. Besides, as Valentine points out, the only people who will find out whether or not it was a good thing are those who sign up to it.

So does he have a berth on Timeship himself? "Not yet. I'm considering the idea. If I learned I had a few months to live I'd seriously consider it, but right now I'm not worried. I don't think I'm going to die soon."

A great idea or the biggest monument to human vanity since the pyramids?

EDIT: Assuming you do have the technology to unfreeze someone repair all the cellular damage etc. Is it possible to restart a brain or could the process of complete shutdown wipe it clean. (I know that people come back from deep coma and that cooling the brain helps survival during various types of surgery, but the tissues are alive at a reduced level of activity.) No-one has ever restarted a dead brain.
Son hopes to freeze his parents

Mark Dunn

A SON wants to freeze his parents after they die in the hope technology will one day be able to revive them.

Philip Rhoades, 52, a member of the Cryonics Association of Australia, has spent almost 0,000 preparing an underground storage.

The biologist and IT professional will approach the New South Wales Government for permission to freeze his parents at his Cowra property.

His proposal comes as a Melbourne woman, the sixth Australian to be frozen, awaits transport from a Sydney funeral parlour to America.

The woman, who died last week, was kept at a Victorian hospital before her body was transported by road to A. O'Hare Funeral Directors in Sydney.

A. O'Hare spokesman John Williams yesterday said the woman's family had asked for privacy.

"The family have been through enough and that's the end of the story as far as they are concerned," he said.

A Melbourne man who died last year – he had been dead for two weeks and his body embalmed – was sent by his family to the US for freezing.

Mr Rhoades' mother, Dorothy, 72, a former maths and science teacher and his father, Gerald, 77, an industrial chemist, have agreed to take the slim chance they may one day be brought back from the dead.

They believe there is a chance technology, especially in nanotechnology, will develop to a level where successful reanimation of dead people will be possible.

Without religious or moral objections to the concept, they believe cryonics is worth trying.

Gerald Rhoades said his background as a research scientist helped support his decision.

"I'm a thoroughgoing atheist," he said. "It does cut across some religious beliefs. It's going to be a slow evolution."

Philip Rhoades bought the 20ha Cowra property for ,000 and has spent more than ,000 on building preparations and legal advice.

He said his lawyers were drafting proposals for a zoning application with Cowra Council.

He said the storage unit would be built underground for security and efficiency. "It is going to bother a few people . . . although they would be quiet neighbours," he said.

Once his centre was up and running, he would invite other family members and friends to become candidates and possibly open it up to the wider community.

The Cryonics Association of Australia has about 30 members and 16 living people have signed on to be frozen in the US-based Alcor and Cryonics Institute, which typically costs ,000.

"My parents don't have any religious or other objections to cryonics – we are all scientific types – but they think that the probability of revival is too low to warrant spending large amounts of money on it and they would prefer to leave the estate to their children," Mr Rhoades said.

"If I can get my own facility set up, I could freeze my parents at my own cost – they gave me a life, I intend to give them another life."

I don't think I'd want to be alive in a world where I have no friends or family. Where would you fit in? There would also be so many things you'd not understand. Definitely not for me.

Why would anyone want just their head frozen? Is the idea that you get grafted onto someone else's body? I like my own body thanks. It may not be perfect, but it's mine. :p
I chose "Yes" but only if I can be frozen fully clothed, with jewelry, my hair done and symbolic articles of posession. I don't think cryogenics actually work as a tool of resuscitation, but it would be nice to have my remains being unfrozen centuries later by interested scientists and preservationists. I can't think of any other use for my body once I'm done using it and it beats mortuary chemicals any day.
No thanks, the very thought of it leaves me cold :D

On a lighter note the thought of been able to execute someone over and over again does have it's merits....take any multiple child murderer I'm sure there's quite a few people who would volenteer as executioner, now we can give them all a go and in the event of the wrong person been killed it won't matter cause we can re-animate the newly innocent.

Isn't life wonderful.

We have had one or two at Orion's Arm; they want you to commit yourself to freezing your head at a later date;
they didn't persuade me.
the tech at ths moment in time is not good enough for preservation of the brain, and any reconstruction would be little better than a guess;
I think that the reconstruction artists of the far future will be more likely to reconstitute you from your e-mails.
Emperor said:
And the Ted Williams saga rumbles on.

and on........

and on:

May 14, 2004. 01:00 AM

Williams family saga grows more bizarre

Baseball legend's estate sues daughter

Criticism of father's freezing at issue

ORLANDO, Fla.—The executor of Ted Williams' estate has sued the late hall of famer's oldest daughter and her husband, alleging they violated an agreement by repeatedly voicing their opposition to the placement of his body in deep freeze at an Arizona lab.

The lawsuit said Bobby Jo and Mark Ferrell have continued to publicize objections, despite the daughter's agreeing in late 2002 to drop her opposition to the decision by her siblings John Henry Williams and Claudia Williams to send the body to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.

The lawsuit filed Monday by executor Albert Cassidy in Citrus County state court, near Orlando, seeks an injunction stopping Bobby Jo Ferrell from publicizing her objections, dismissal of a lawsuit she filed against Alcor and unspecified damages.

"Bobby Jo Ferrell's actions are wrongful, in bad faith ...," the lawsuit said. It also seeks to have Mark Ferrell stop speaking on his wife's behalf against keeping her father's body frozen.

"She signed a settlement agreement and we're seeking enforcement of that agreement," said Peter Sutton, a Boston lawyer and a trustee for one of John Henry Williams' trusts.

Mark Ferrell didn't want to comment on the lawsuit yesterday but he called the agreement "a sham from the beginning." He added he wasn't bound to the agreement since he didn't sign it. "I have a First Amendment right under the U.S. Constitution," he said.

His wife is prohibited from talking to reporters about her father's body under the agreement. Bobby Jo Ferrell sued to have her father's will followed after Ted Williams died in July 2002. She dropped the legal challenge several months later after the agreement was signed.

Daughter Ends Fight to Thaw Ted Williams

Wed Jun 16,11:18 AM ET

INVERNESS, Fla. - The daughter and son-in-law of the late Ted Williams have ended their two-year fight to have the baseball great's remains removed from an Arizona cryonics lab.

Bobby-Jo and Mark Ferrell spent close to 0,000 battling Williams' estate and his son, John Henry Williams. But when the money ran out, so did their will to keep trying, and a settlement was signed Tuesday.

"It's over," their attorney, John Heer said Wednesday. "There's just no way they could've afforded to litigate this thing."

Heer said the end was apparent last month after Mike Piazza of the New York Mets (news) offered to help the Ferrells get Williams' remains removed from the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz. When the attorney for Williams' estate warned that intervention could result in legal action, Piazza quickly backed away.

"That was a crushing blow for us," Heer said.

When Williams died in Inverness, Fla., on July 5, 2002, a dispute over his body immediately broke out between Bobby-Jo Ferrell and her half brother.

She said her father's last will detailed his request to be cremated and his ashes scattered in his favorite fishing waters off the Florida coast. But John Henry Williams later produced a scrawled note, allegedly written by his father from a hospital bed, in which the Hall of Famer agreed to cryonics preservation.

Alcor stores human bodies and severed heads in vats of liquid nitrogen in the hope that someday science will be able to bring the dead to life.

John Henry Williams died of leukemia in March and his body reportedly is also being stored at Alcor's facility.

The settlement also ends a lawsuit against the Ferrells. Williams' estate sued in May after they sued Alcor, demanding the company produce paperwork showing that Williams wanted his remains stored at the facility.

Heer said two nephews of Williams are continuing the suit against Alcor.

Cryogenics- Where is it now?

What ever happened to the cryogenic business. Are people still being frozen in hope of a future cure for snap freezing or did it fade away like a fad.
What will happen to the people who are frozen, when the business lease runs out and they have no where to relocate the refrigerators?
Does scsience take this seriously these days? And If you were trying to beat death, would you really want to come back in 50 or 100 years with no friends and no money.
Would you recoup your death tax
Is science any closer to being able to bring a frozen mammal back to normal life again.
In order:
  • It's still around.
  • Yes.
  • Not really.
  • For some of us, it makes no difference. (And who knows, if you're money's still in the bank you could be rich.)
  • This might cause some violation of the "Death and Taxes" symmetry.
  • Not to the best of my knowledge.
Corpses Frozen for Future Rebirth by Arizona Company

Corpses Frozen for Future Rebirth by Arizona Company

Stefan Lovgren
for National Geographic News

March 18, 2005
In a nondescript office building near the airport in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Alcor Life Extension Foundation is selling a shot at immortality.

Inside, 67 bodies—mostly just severed heads—lay cryogenically preserved in steel tanks filled with liquid nitrogen, waiting for the day when science can figure out a way to reanimate them.

But is deathlessness really a scientific possibility?

Joseph Waynick, Alcor's president and chief executive, certainly thinks so. "When physicians first wanted to transplant a heart from one person to another, they were laughed at and told it was impossible," he said. "I have no doubt the technology [to revive life] will become available."

Many cryobiologists, however, scoff at the idea, contending that the practice is little more than a pipe dream and that current "patients" will never be successfully revived.

"Even if, in our wildest dreams, this proved possible in the future, the end result would be the preservation of a dead body, not the suspended animation of a person," said Michael Taylor, a Charleston, South Carolina-based cryobiologist with Organ Recovery Systems, a company specializing in transplant medicine.

Ice Crystallization

The prospect of cheating death raises a host of philosophical, moral, and religious questions. But let's consider only the scientific aspects.

Even proponents of cryonics, the practice of storing entire organisms (or at least their brains) for future revival, admit there is no scientific evidence that a cryopreserved human will ever be revived. No one even knows what technology would have to be developed to reverse the preservation.

Many questions surround the cryopreservation process itself. In cryopreservation, cells and tissues are stored at frigid, cryogenic temperatures—where metabolism and decay are almost stopped—for future revival at normal temperatures.

But scientists have long known that the freezing process creates ice crystals, which destroy cells and cellular structures.

A few years ago, cryobiologists discovered a new preservation process, called vitrification, which virtually eliminates ice-crystal formation. Rather than freezing the tissue, vitrification suspends it in a highly viscous glassy state. In this mode, molecules remain in a disordered state, as in a fluid, rather than forming a crystalline structure.

Ralph Merkle, a nanotechnology expert at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, calls vitrification the greatest advancement in the field of cryonics.

"The preservation that we're able to do today is adequate to preserve the critical information that we believe is important to the human personality and human memory," said Merkle, who is an Alcor board member.

Alcor, which is one of only two cryonics firms in the United States, now uses vitrification to cryopreserve human brains. Skeptics, however, say there is no evidence that such large structures can be successfully vitrified.

About 80 percent of Alcor's "patients" have had only their heads cryopreserved. (The company's most famous patient, Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Ted Williams, has had his head and torso cryopreserved.)

"The brain is what houses your identity. It has your memories, all your stored experiences," Waynick said. "Without the brain, you might as well clone an individual, because you have a completely new person."

Alcor continues to use glycerol-based freezing for patients who have their whole bodies preserved, since vitrification of an entire body is beyond current technical capabilities.


While vitrification circumvents some of the problems associated with freezing, it raises other issues. Scientists must impregnate tissues with high concentrations of cryoprotective chemicals that promote the vitreous state, but these are potentially toxic.

Another concern is the cooling rate needed to vitrify large organs. Some scientists say vitrification requires high cooling rates that are typically not achievable at the center of large objects.

"If you talk about the brain, we can achieve very high cooling rates at the outer surface of the brain, but the cooling rate at the center will be lower than the critical one required for vitrification," said Yoed Rabin, a cryopreservation specialist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

That view is "not strictly correct," contends Brian Wowk, an Alcor advisor and senior scientist at 21st Century Medicine, a California-based company specializing in medical cryopreservation applications. In an e-mail, Wowk said vitrification via very low cooling rates can be achieved, provided the right cryoprotectant solution in sufficient concentration is used.

A third issue with vitrification is that it may lead to fracturing of the brain.

"One major fracture may prevent recovery of the brain as an organ," Rabin said. "We know that vitrification of large objects very frequently involves a huge number of micro-fractures as well."

The chances of cracking and fractures increase with the size of the specimen.

Taylor, the Charleston cryobiologist, contends that vitrification is currently only successful for small tissue samples.

"We are still unable to cryopreserve an intact organ such as a kidney or heart by either a freezing or vitrification approach," he said. "It is inconceivable, therefore, that these techniques will ever permit the long-term preservation of a whole body, especially a dead body."

Repairing Damage

But cryonics advocates believe that advancements in nanotechnology will ultimately make it possible for scientists to repair any freezing or fracturing damage.

"Being able to manipulate matter at the cellular level will enable us to repair a lot of the damage that occurs to an individual during the cryopreservation process today," Waynick said, "especially those patients that were cryopreserved in the earlier years, where there was a significant amount of ice damage during the freezing process."

In the future, breakthroughs in stem cell research and cellular regeneration may enable scientists to regenerate a new body from a person's existing DNA and attach it to the person's cryopreserved brain, Waynick speculates.

"A cure also has to be found for whatever caused your death in the first place," he said. "If you die of lung cancer or kidney failure, those diseases would need to be conquered, or it wouldn't do much good to revive you."

But Rabin, the Carnegie Mellon professor, said there is another problem with restoring a brain to its original state.

"Even if, by some miracle, all brain cells can be revived, the idea that memories and personality could also be revived is completely not clear," he said.

He uses an analogy from the computer world to describe how the loss of communication between the brain cells affects the memory of the brain.

"Information is lost when the power of a computer is turned off, even if it's only an instantaneous event and even if no harm is done to the memory chips," Rabin said.

"On the other hand we know that harm is done to the memory cells in cryopreservation of biological materials, and we know that the lines of communication between memory cells are devastated and lost," he said.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... onics.html
Like Resident Evil all over again!!

Boffins create zombie dogs

By Nick Buchan of NEWS.com.au
June 27, 2005

SCIENTISTS have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.

US scientists have succeeded in reviving the dogs after three hours of clinical death, paving the way for trials on humans within years.

Pittsburgh's Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research has developed a technique in which subject's veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution.

The animals are considered scientifically dead, as they stop breathing and have no heartbeat or brain activity.

But three hours later, their blood is replaced and the zombie dogs are brought back to life with an electric shock.

Plans to test the technique on humans should be realised within a year, according to the Safar Centre.

However rather than sending people to sleep for years, then bringing them back to life to benefit from medical advances, the boffins would be happy to keep people in this state for just a few hours,

But even this should be enough to save lives such as battlefield casualties and victims of stabbings or gunshot wounds, who have suffered huge blood loss.

During the procedure blood is replaced with saline solution at a few degrees above zero. The dogs' body temperature drops to only 7C, compared with the usual 37C, inducing a state of hypothermia before death.

Although the animals are clinically dead, their tissues and organs are perfectly preserved.

Damaged blood vessels and tissues can then be repaired via surgery. The dogs are brought back to life by returning the blood to their bodies,giving them 100 per cent oxygen and applying electric shocks to restart their hearts.

Tests show they are perfectly normal, with no brain damage.

"The results are stunning. I think in 10 years we will be able to prevent death in a certain segment of those using this technology," said one US battlefield doctor.

In a "truth is stranger than fiction" coincidence, it looks like yet ANOTHER film was made around YET ANOTHER scientist trying to restore animals to life, in this case a rhesus monkey named Jekal.

The Movie? The Man With Nine Lives.

The scientist? Raplh Stanley Willard.

The case & move are covered quite a bit at this cryogenics site:

Over half the way down.

A few good bits:



Last week California glared out again in the news as the favorite
stamping ground of obscure young scientists who bemuse the nation by bring "dead" animals back to life. Of all places in the world, Hollywood seemed the ideal spot for the spectacular experiments conducted for the past fortnight by young Dr. Ralph Stanley Willard.

Two weeks ago Dr. Willard said, he took an ill-tempered 20-lb. rhesus
monkey named Jekal, asphyxiated it with ether, injected sodium citrate into its veins to prevent its blood from coagulating. When the animal's
breathing and circulation had stopped, a chiropractor pronounced it
"dead.' Then Dr. Willard popped Jekal into an ice-box where the
temperature was kept at -30ø C. (-22øF). Five days later he removed the
small, rigid, grey clump of fur & flesh from the refrigerator, invited
newshawks to watch the proceedings, began to thaw it slowly in a chamber
equipped with heating coils and a fan. When the body was warm and pliant,

Dr. Willard gave the monkey a blood transfusion, then injected adrenalin
chloride solution into the belly.

Jekal opened his mouth, gagged.

Dr. Willard injected an ounce of anterior pituitary fluid.

Jekal coughed, tried to sit up.

The final injection was vaguely identified by Dr. Willard as a sex
hormone from sheep. In an hour, Jekal sat up, fingered the adhesive tape
on his belly, stared about vacantly. In a day or two the creature was back
in its cage, apparently none the worse for wear. In a corner of the
laboratory lay the body of another monkey named Matilda, its belly turning
blue. Matilda had been "frozen too fast," was dead beyond repair. In the
ice-box was a third stiff monkey named Gaston, which Dr. Willard did not
intend to revive until after a ten-day congealment.

The experimenter's declared purpose was to learn whether tuberculosis,
cancer, and syphilis might not be cured by prolonged freezing. Before
entering the ice-box Jekal was tuberculous. After his resuscitation Dr.
Willard examined the blood for tubercle bacilli, found none. It was his
theory that cold inactivated the germs, prevented them from propagating.

Newshawks who spread this fat tale through the fairyland tabloids had
little or nothing to say as to whether Jekal had actually died by sound
biological standards. The traditional definition of death is a careful
one: "Permanent cessation of all vital activity." Stoppage of breathing
and circulation are not reliable signs of death. Prison doctors may
pronounce an electrocuted criminal "dead" when the heart stops but an
immediate autopsy is always performed to make sure. Even when death is
indubitable and permanent the actual moment when life ceases is vague
because organs and cells outlive the individual. Apparently the brain and
liver die first, then the heart, next the skeletal muscle, then the stomach
and intestines, then the cartilage and bone, finally the skin. The
fingernails of corpses sometimes keep growing for days after burial.
Stopped human hearts have been re-started time & again by adrenalin,
electric needles, manipulation. It is true that no human has been revived
after rigor mortis has set in, but scientists hesitate to call any organism
dead until actual breakdown of tissue has started.

Judged by such criteria Dr. Willard's Jekal was not dead in his ice-
box, because presumably the preliminary asphyxiation had failed to start
decomposition. The hard-headed scientific view seemed to be that if Jekal
was really as cold as Dr. Willard said he was, the blood would have frozen
and expanded, rupturing blood vessels, and that in any case it was
extremely unlikely that a warm-blooded animal could chemically survive the formation of ice crystals in the blood.

Ralph S. Willard was born in Georgia, in Southern Russia, 32 years ago,
looks not unlike a composite picture of his renowned compatriots, the
Brothers Mdivani. He studied biochemistry at College of the City of New
York, was employed for a time at Columbia University, drifted into
experiments with frozen animals, starting with guinea pigs. He was
preparing to freeze dogs when human societies interfered. Then he turned
to monkeys. Said he last week: "When I know that it will not fail, I will
try a human being." He announced a four-point program: 1) Freezing long-term prisoners to save the cost of upkeep; 2) freezing armies of jobless to await better time; 3) freezing curious persons who would like to come to life in subsequent centuries; 4) freezing would-be suicides in hope that congealment would cure their despondency.

His words had hardly been slapped into newsprint when 180 persons
volunteered for ice-box treatment. The one selected by Dr. Willard,
pending financing and development of apparatus for handling humans, was a burly, brooding scenario writer named Stephen Simkhovitch. Said Volunteer Simkhovitch: "I wish to know what happens when a person dies and I want to be able to come back and tell of these happenings. Life itself is unimportant. I want to do something for humanity for a change." Attorneys drew up a contract purporting to free Dr. Willard of responsibility if things went wrong.

Stephen Simkhovitch is a son of Dr. Vladimir Gregorievitch Simkhovitch,
professor of economic history at Columbia University. Stephen's mother is
bustling, pompadoured Mrs. Mary Melinda Kingsbury Simkhovitch, founder and head of Manhattan's Greenwich House (social welfare), president of the
National Public Housing Conference. Informed at her son's intention, she
said it was her impression that Stephen was not doing very well in his
career, added: "I can only hope it is some publicity venture in the way of
scenario writing."

Nevertheless, she telegraphed a protest to Los Angeles authorities.
Dr. George Parrish, Hollywood health officer, observed: "Dr. Willard is
entering a dangerous field. I am sure the law would not permit him to
carry his human guinea pig idea any further than the exploitation stage."

At this point, as if to prove himself as lively as ever, Jekal somehow
escaped from Dr. Willard's cluttered little laboratory, ran wildly through
the corridors of an office building, snarling and baring his long fangs.
Frightened tenants telephoned police. Dr. Willard arrive, calmly picked up
Jekal, returned him to his cage.

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It has been learned since ... that when you kill a dog, drain it of blood, and then freeze the remains solid, the animal is STILL not truly dead.

That's because minute but still measurable electrical functioning continues in the brain.

As long as those cerebral pulses remain active (even though muted and sluggish) revival may be possible.
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Long article here (useful intro if you've never heard of cryogenics before), begins:

The X-tra Life Factor: Simon Cowell wants his body frozen when he dies so he can be brought back to life in the future. Fantasy - or chilling possibility?
By Michael Hanlon
Last updated at 2:06 AM on 23rd February 2009

Cash, we may safely assume, is not an issue. But even so, the news that one of entertainment's biggest earners plans to shell out up to £120,000 to have his body frozen after he dies is sure to have his critics quoting the old adage that involves fools, money and the easy parting thereof.

Simon Cowell, the pop impresario, apparently announced at a private dinner with Gordon Brown that he intends to have his body placed in a deep freeze after he dies.

'Medical science,' he says, 'is bound to work out a way of bringing us back to life in the next century or so, and I want to be available when they do. I'd be doing the nation an invaluable service.'

Quite apart from whether our great-great-great-grandchildren will want to watch Mr Cowell abuse contestants on some futuristic talent show, he is not alone in planning to cheat death by using the 'science' of freezing the dead.

Already, hundreds of people have been frozen in vats across the world and a further 1,000 have signed up to have their body frozen when they die, including a few dozen in Britain.

Most people fund their planned immortality through an insurance premium of between £20 and £100 a month, and the total cost can vary from £20,000 to £120,000. The money is used to keep the 'death support' mechanism going for the decades (or centuries) needed while science catches up with their aspirations to live again.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... ility.html

I think to give Cowell the best possible chance of ultimate survival, he should be frozen right now... :twisted:
rynner2 said:
Long article here (useful intro if you've never heard of cryogenics before), begins:

The X-tra Life Factor: Simon Cowell wants his body frozen when he dies so he can be brought back to life in the future. Fantasy - or chilling possibility?


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... ility.html

I think to give Cowell the best possible chance of ultimate survival, he should be frozen right now... :twisted:
Fine by me, as long as it's just the body and they leave his head out of it. :)
Very long article here:

The Dad's Army of British cryonics
In sleepy Sussex is a group of dedicated cryonicists who believe they hold the secret to eternal life. Simon Hattenstone joins them for a demonstration – but first they need to make sure the hosepipe isn't too leaky

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/ ... -dads-army

One interesting snippet:

Tim says a strange thing happened to him recently – he suffered a crisis of cryonics conscience. "I knew it was going to happen and I was a bit annoyed when it did. But once you have a family you think, 'I'm supposed to die. That's the way it works.' When you're a single person you're self-obsessed, you want to live for ever, and that's as simple as it is. I had a daughter and I did think, 'This is all wrong, I am actually supposed to die, it's just an inevitable process and I need to pull myself together', and I nearly packed up."

Why didn't he? "That's a good question."
What I want to know is, if you're defrosted and revived, what are the chances of you becoming a flesh-eating zombie? I've read World War Z, I know how this could play out...
Family and cryonics firm in court over woman's head
A Colorado family and an Arizona cryonics firm are fighting in court over who gets the head of a woman who died this month.
Published: 4:58PM GMT 21 Feb 2010

At issue is whether 71-year-old Mary Robbins' head and brain will be preserved by cryonics – extremely cold temperatures – in the expectation that future technology may be able to bring her back to life and restore her health.

Robbins, of Colorado Springs, died from cancer on Feb 9.

In 2006, she signed documents giving the Alcor Life Extension Foundation of Scottsdale, Arizona, the right to cryogenically preserve her head and brain. She also agreed to give the non-profit foundation a $50,000 annuity to cover preservation costs.

Her daughter, Darlene Robbins, said her mother changed her mind in her last days because of the procedures that preservation would have required before she died, including tubes in her throat and nose, intravenous lines and medications.

Mary Robbins signed new paperwork that would give her family the annuity, the daughter said.

Darlene Robbins said she opposes a suggestion by Alcor to take her mother's head and that the family get custody of the body.

The case continues.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... -head.html
Robert Ettinger, who died on July 23 aged 92, was the intellectual father of the cryonics movement, whose members have themselves frozen at death pending scientific resurrection.
7:14PM BST 24 Jul 2011

Ettinger preferred to style himself an "immortalist", since he argued that whole body or head-only freezing ("neurological suspension") was only one means of achieving indefinite life. His rationale for pursuing this goal was contained in his book The Prospect Of Immortality (1964), which revealed him as an unquenchable optimist about mankind's technological future.

Robert Ettinger He drew on his experience as a physics teacher and his interest in science fiction to predict the evolution of machines which would manufacture from raw atoms all that man needed. He foresaw intergalactic settlement, and argued that science would produce medical machines which would cure all diseases.
What now seemed to be a fatal illness would be no more than a twinge by 2050. From this it followed that the dead might be "cured" by the doctors of the future.

Ettinger proposed that governments immediately initiate a mass-freezing programme. He suggested that this might have huge social benefits. To pay the premiums on their frozen families, people would need steady work and would be compelled to live responsible lives. He predicted that when immortality was achieved, crime would become extinct, since criminals would be afraid of justice pursuing them beyond the grave. Immortality would secure for man a higher, nobler nature.

The authorities remained unmoved. But his book proved popular and did inspire a number of cryonics organisations. In 1967 the first man was drained of blood and permeated with cryoprotectant (a sort of human antifreeze) and placed in a vat of liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees.

Despite Ettinger's lofty aims, there were also opportunists, who imagined that cryonics would become big business, and outright ghouls. In the 1970s one Californian cryonics society went bust without informing the relatives of its dozen "patients", who found their loved ones decomposing in wooden packing cases in a suburban crypt. The head of that particular business had found alternative work repairing television sets.

The movement is hated by orthodox scientists, who hold that resurrecting a frozen body would be like "trying to turn a hamburger back into a cow". But by the mid-1990s there were some 65 or so people in suspension and half-a-dozen organisations dedicated to the philosophy of the deep-freeze, and catering to a growing band of immortalists.

Perhaps 1,000 people have taken out insurance policies to cover the cost of storage, which ranges between $28,0000 and $150,000. There are cryonics representatives in Britain and at least one family undertaker has added cryoprotectant perfusion to its more traditional services.

The son of Russian immigrants of Jewish stock, Robert Chester Wilson Ettinger was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on December 4 1918. The family later moved to Detroit and young Robert was educated locally and at Wayne State University where he studied Physics and Maths. Despite his Jewish roots, he grew up a determined atheist.

During the Second World War he served as a second lieutenant in the 1st Infantry Division ("The Big Red One"), and was wounded before the Battle Of The Bulge. The scenes of destruction he witnessed during the war had little effect on his immortalist views.

After the war he returned to teach physics at Wayne State University and at a college outside Michigan. He had begun brooding on the possibilities of cryonics in the 1930s, and was later inspired by The Jameson Satellite, a science-fiction short story by Neil Jones, about a man who has his corpse placed into orbit in the belief that the cold of outer space would preserve him.

Millions of years passed, and the human race died out. Then a race of advanced aliens came along with mechanical bodies; they took the man's frozen brain, and put it in a mechanical body.

"It was immediately obvious to me," recalled Ettinger, "that the author had missed the main point of his own story – namely that if there was any sense at all in expecting a frozen person to be revived someday, there was no point in waiting for aliens to do it in millions of years. We could do it ourselves in a very short time, and not just for a few eccentrics, but for everybody."

"We have to wait for the technology of revival. But we have to see to the arrangements of freezing ourselves, because most of us are going to die long before the technology of revival is there."

In 1947 Ettinger wrote a short story on the theme, fully expecting that other more influential people would pick up on his idea. When, by 1960, no mass freezing programme had been initiated, Ettinger wrote an essay on the subject, dealing mainly with "the insurance aspect", which he sent to some 200 people selected at random from Who's Who In America.
There was "virtually zero response", and he therefore wrote The Prospect of Immortality, which was first published privately. The sequel, Man Into Superman, appeared in 1968.

Ettinger retired from teaching in 1972, but to the end remained convinced that cryonics would catch on.
"Someday there will be some sort of psychological trigger that will move all these people to take the practical steps they have not yet taken. When people realise that their children and grandchildren will enjoy indefinite life," he said, "that they may well be the last generation to die."

Ettinger took particular encouragement from advances in nano-technology, the manipulation of computers at a microscopic level, which he thought would provide the machinery to successfully repair frozen corpses.

Robert Ettinger will be shipped back to Michigan to join his two wives and his mother in cold storage. He is survived by a son and a daughter from his first marriage, both of whom are active immortalists.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituar ... inger.html

The world population explosion hardly needs augmenting by re-animating frozen corpses!
What if you were unexpectedly happy in the famed "better place" then your body was revived years later and you were dragged back here?
Resuscitation, by Cryonics or Otherwise, Is a Religious Mandate

A well known and atheist-minded Transhumanist, Zoltan Istvan blames religion for an anti-cryonics law in Canada. Basically, Transhumanism is the ethical use of technology to extend human abilities, and cryonics is low-temperature preservation of a legally-dead body for resuscitation when new technology might cure the cause of death. Zoltan’s concern is that the religious views of Canadian lawmakers may have informed the law, and that this may influence other lawmakers around the world to inhibit access to cryonics likewise. However, it may be premature to blame religion for this particular law, and it’s certainly not the case that religion is generally incompatible with cryonics.

While I’m sure there are religious people who have reasons for opposing cryonics, I’m equally sure there are religious people who have reasons for supporting cryonics. How is that? Well, Zoltan and I are both Transhumanists. We share the aspiration of using technology to restore and improve the vitality of our bodies and minds indefinitely, as well as the expectation that some of us may benefit from techniques like cryonics. However, unlike Zoltan, I’m a religious person, and although the religious are a minority among self-identifying Transhumanists, I’m not alone, as evidenced by the existence of organizations like the Mormon Transhumanist Association, and demographic surveys from the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology.

In his article, Zoltan blames religion for a couple reasons. First, he writes, the “former President of the Cryonics Society of Canada … made dozens of phone calls in the 1990s and publicized his conversations in a document that suggests … religious opposition to cryonics.” However, the document to which he links mentions religion only once, encouraging its constituency to view the anti-cryonics law as “practically a restriction on freedom of religion”. In other words, the document actually advocates a positive view of religion, to be used as grounds for supporting cryonics. This reflects the views of some other non-religious Transhumanists, such as lawyer John Niman, who points out the possibility of advancing Transhumanist legal causes on religious grounds. ...

http://hplusmagazine.com/2014/08/11/res ... s-mandate/
In the moments just before Kim Suozzi died of cancer at age 23, it fell to her boyfriend, Josh Schisler, to follow through with the plan to freeze her brain.

As her pulse monitor sounded its alarm and her breath grew ragged, he fumbled for his phone. Fighting the emotion that threatened to paralyze him, he alerted the cryonics team waiting nearby and called the hospice nurses to come pronounce her dead. Any delay would jeopardize the chance to maybe, someday, resurrect her mind.

It was impossible to know on that cloudless Arizona morning in January 2013 which fragments of Kim’s identity might survive, if any. Would she remember their first, fumbling kiss in his dorm room five years earlier? Their private jokes and dumb arguments? The seizure, the surgery, the fancy neuroscience fellowship she had to turn down?

More than memories, Josh, then 24, wished for the crude procedure to salvage whatever synapses gave rise to her dry, generous humor, compelled her to greet every cat she saw with a high-pitched “helllooo,” and inspired her to write him poems.

Frozen child: The youngest person to be cryogenically preserved
15 October 2015

Earlier this year, a two-year-old Thai girl became the youngest person to be cryogenically frozen, preserving her brain moments after death in the hope that she will one day be brought back to life. The BBC's Jonathan Head visited her family outside Bangkok to ask why they chose to grieve this way.

The room where Matheryn Naovaratpong spent the last few months of her life is bare and white, furnished only with the drip-stand that helped sustain her, and her cot, also white. The only splash of colour in this austere setting comes from a small gold Buddhist statue, a few favourite stuffed toys, and a huge portrait of the little girl on the wall.

It has the feel of a shrine to a young life tragically cut short. Matheryin, or Einz as her family nicknamed her, developed a rare form of brain cancer just after her second birthday. She died on 8 January 2015, just before she turned three.
But by then her parents, both medical engineers, had made a decision that they hope may give Einz another chance of life.
"The first day Einz was sick, this idea came to my mind right away that we should do something scientifically for her, as much as is humanly possible at present," says her father, Sahatorn. "I felt a real conflict in my heart about this idea, but I also needed to hold onto it. So I explained my idea to my family."

That idea was to preserve Einz through technology known as cryonics. The body, or in Einz's case just her brain, is put into a deeply frozen state at the point of death, and kept that way until, at some point in the future, extraordinary advances in medical technology allow her to be revived, and for a new body to be created for her.
"As scientists we are 100% confident this will happen one day - we just don't know when," he said. "In the past we might have thought it would take 400 to 500 years, but right now we can imagine it might be possible in just 30 years."

At first Sahatorn said it was difficult for the rest of the family to accept this idea, but as Einz's health deteriorated, they came round.
"Matheryn had something special about her from the day she was born," he says. "She communicated with her love more than the other children, always wanting to be part of our activities."

Sahatorn and his wife Nareerat have three other children. Nareerat had to have her uterus removed after the first birth, so Einz and her younger brother and sister were conceived through IVF. Technology, they say, played a central role at the very start of her life, and could well help restore it.

The Naovaratpong family chose Alcor, an Arizona-based non-profit organisation that is the leading provider of what it calls "life extension" services, to carry out the preservation of Einz's brain. The family was closely involved in the preparations, designing the special coffin in which she would be transported to the United States.
A standby team from Alcor flew to Thailand to supervise the initial cooling of the body. As the little girl deteriorated, she was moved from hospital to her own room. The moment she was pronounced dead, the Alcor team begin what is known as "cryoprotection"; removing bodily fluids and replacing them with forms of anti-freeze that allow the body to be deep frozen without suffering large-scale tissue damage.
After arriving in Arizona her brain was extracted, and is preserved at a temperature of -196C. She is Alcor's 134th patient, and by far its youngest.

Sahatorn's description of the procedure sounds like the stuff of science fiction, even brutally clinical, when you remember this was after all the moment of loss of a much-loved daughter. But the family are very clear about their feelings.
"I tell you we still feel our love for her. Although we fought to be strong, when she had passed away, we were no different from other families; we cried every day. We still need time to heal."

In his mind, Einz's thoughts and personality are preserved with her brain at Alcor, and may at some stage be enough for her life to be reconstructed. He and his wife also plan to have their own bodies preserved cryogenically, although he acknowledges there is little chance they will be able to meet Einz again in their new lives.

They also plan to visit the Alcor facility, to see the steel container in which Einz's brain is being kept in what the company calls "biostasis". The Naovaratpongs say they have donated similar sums of money to what they have spent on Einz's cryopreservation to cancer research in Thailand.