Re: Is cryopreservation a solution?

Joao Pedro (
Sun, 14 Sep 1997 18:11:57 -0700


Geoff Smith wrote:
> I think I mentioned this before, but.. dehydrate the cells! I wish
> someone versed in zoology would butt in here and add some more informed
> discussion about the frogs that freeze and unfreeze with no outside
> intervention.
> If the frog's strategy of dehydrating their cells does not work for
> humans, give me a reason why not.

I'm no zoologist, I'm graduating in Microbiology and, as far as I know,
adding cryoprotectants (glycerol or dimethylsulfoxide mostly) is
necessary to preserve microorganisms at very low temperatures. They act
by preventing the formation of water crystals.
There are indeed complex species (such as some frogs) that can survive
freezing, they do so by producing a cryoprotectant and then spreading it
through the body.
Our case is much different, first because we are obviously much more
complex than any microorganism or even than a frog. Second because the
cryoprotective agent certainly acts differently in our different types
of cells, remember that the frog is 'designed' by Mother Nature to
survive at lower temperatures and therefore it's cells are certainly
much better adapted than ours independently of the cryoprotective agent.
Finally, all I remember is reading at least one study (yes, I'll try to
find the authors) in which animal brains were frizzed using the same
procedure of cryonics and severe brain damage was observed (see 'How and
Why We Age' page 300-301, I know Hayflick is too pessimistic but I agree
with him on this subject). I can find a million of explanations for the
observed brain damage but what I think is the main point is that current
(I don't know how will they be in the future) cryonics does severely
damage the brain, possibly (as far as I know no-one knows for sure)
beyond repair.

> Do you intend to still have a genome in 1000 years. I don't. I'll have
> had all the kids I want to by then, so why else would I need one? If you
> don't like the flawed human genome, get rid of it! Think about the
> advancements that have occurred in the last 50 years... now think what we
> will be able to do 1000 years from now. Getting rid of the genome will be
> trivial. This is in essence what "uploading" is, I suggest you do some
> research. There is already a multitude of nascent strategies for
> uploading the human mind.
> All this would be irrelevant to you if you think the genome is necessary
> for consciousness- but, again, give me some evidence.

I'll be honest with you, I don't know what uploading is, I think is the
transfer of human consciousness to, say, a computer but that part of
extropism never really called much attention from me. My object of
preservation are my neurons or, specifically, my brain. If I lose my
brain, even that there is a computer with an exact copy of my feelings,
emotions, thoughts, etc, I'll die. Therefore to survive I need to
preserve my brain, probably my body and for that I'll need to maintain a
genome, I can't get rid of my genes.
As for evidence, well it's more of a philosophical, theoretical problem
rather than a biological one. See the few cases I placed in my last two
messages and you'll know what I mean. Personally, I believe (and notice
the verb to believe instead of the usual verb to think) that I'm my
brain and that is my conscience.

> Why are you placing all your bets on aging research? This seems overly
> risky :(

What other options do I have? Cryopreservation? Uploading (what is it

Berrie Starign wrote:
>But can someone give me 1 good reason why you
>should not at least try Cryopreservation !?
>asuming that the aging problem isn't solved before you die.
>and even if the chance that it works is 0.000000001 %
> If you like to live longer then " normal " isn't cryopreservation,
> the one and only thing you can try ?

Arjen Kamphuis basically already answered this question but I also would
like to add that on a personal basis I'm not a millionaire and therefore
if I died I would probably prefer to ensure a good life for my children
(no, I don't have any children but let's suppose I have when I die)
instead of spending my money on something that most likely won't work.

Besides, I'm alive and until I reach the very end I'll try to solve the
aging problem. When I see death before my eyes I'll think of short-term
options such as cryonics but until then, I'll work on life extension and
aging research.

I wrote another message but since it's not directly related to cryonics
I decided to send two separate messages.

Thank you for your replies,

         Hasta la vista...

"Life's too short to cry, long enough to try." - Kai Hansen Visit my site at: