Re: Is cryopreservation a solution?

Joao Pedro (
Tue, 16 Sep 1997 01:09:20 -0700


Geoff Smith wrote:
> > I'm no zoologist, I'm graduating in Microbiology
> me, too, again. What university?

I study at the College of Biotechnology, Oporto, Portugal,

What about you?

> > 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.
> That's not a reason, silly!

It ends up being, indirectly, one. Errors occur and since we are more
complex the chances of errors occurring increases. How many times have
you heard of therapies that work fine 'in vitro' and in monkeys and
don't work in humans? Just our brain, is so much more advanced than a
frog's that the possibilities of errors are incomparable. There might be
types of cells in our bodies that doesn't exist in frogs and that will
not freeze the same way as the other cells.
An increase in complexity always increases the potential of errors. BTW,
that is one of the reasons why aging occur in complex animals such as
mammals and doesn't occur in primitive species such as sharks. IMHO,
their evolution lead them to correct the errors in their genome while
our evolution made us consecutively more complex and therefore more
susceptible of having genetic errors or lethal genes. For more see my
next message which is mainly about the evolution of aging.

> What's the difference between altering you current brain and genome, and
> transferring to a new one? Is there something special about the neurons
> that nature gave us? And if they're so special, why don't you leave
> them the way they are? I'm not so attached to them. As long as I can do
> all the same things with my new consciousness-vehicle(or more things), why
> should I care whether I've got organic axons or metal ones?

Transferring? Transferring what? Your brain? Your 'soul'?
One idea (that I already though about years ago) is to increase the
viability of our neurons with metal or whatever but this is a continuos
process. Just like now, the atoms that compose my neurons are not the
same that were a few hours ago, exception made to some molecules such as
DNA, our neuron's atoms change continually and I don't complain.
Connecting memory chips to our brain might not be a bad idea but that is
a change and not a transfer.

I never understood that uploading approach. Consciousness-vehicle? What
is that? A machine with your thoughts? It would take a long time to
change our organic neurons to metal ones and even these would still be
neurons. And, like I mention before, it would have to be a continuos
process and not an instant occurrence.

> Don't you think your brain is a bit too fragile? Personally, I lose
> neurons everyday, and they don't grow back. Don't yours do the same?
> Aren't you going to run out eventually?

Yes, that's called aging. I intend, in the course of my life, to find a
solution to that problem. I could give a thousand good ideas but that
would be terribly boring for you.

> > 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.
> I cannot debate against someone who "believes." Have you read Max More's
> paper on Pancritical Rationalism. I see it as a fairly good alternative
> to "believing." Can't you see that belief stagnates progress?
> What if you're wrong?

No-one is perfect, we all make mistakes. With the evidences and proofs I
have, which are none, I believe my brain is my only conscience. When I
have some reliable information saying the contrary, I'll change my

Nice talking to you,

         Hasta la vista...

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