4th Alcor Conference on Life Extension Technologies

Natasha Vita-More (natasha@natasha.cc)
Fri, 03 Dec 1999 20:23:52 -0800

I'm very excited about this Life Extension Technologies conference Alcor Foundation is putting on in 2000. Speakers are listed below.


June 17-18, 2000: Mark Your Calendars Today!

The world is changing rapidly. Only a few years ago, most people considered mammalian cloning to be no more than science fiction. Repeated successes in this area, however, have made it a reality today. More importantly, medical technologies like cloning and the use of embryonic stem cells to regenerate tissues, promise to make it possible to reverse all the major degenerative diseases within our own lifetimes. Even aging itself is under very heavy attack by today’s biological and medical technologies.

The Fourth Alcor Conference on Life Extension Technologies is a meeting of scientists, technologists and individuals who are working in fields leading toward the expansion of human health and longevity.

Conference Sponsors:


	Glenna Burmer, MD, PhD
	Title:  Identifying Aging Genes by Using DNA Microarrays
DNA Microarrays or "gene chips" are one of the most powerful methods in biotechnology for simultaneously analyzing the expression of thousands of human genes in human diseases. LifeSpan is building a database of gene expression in human aging and the diseases of aging using microarrays and methods of high throughput localization to find candidates that may be the drug targets for the treatment of aging diseases. Data will be presented on genes that are up-regulated or down-regulated in aging, those that are drug targets or potential diagnostic markers, and those for which a function is not yet known, but are clearly aging-associated. The high throughput nature of
this type of technology is changing the way discoveries are being made in both the field of aging as well as medicine in general.
	Fred Chamberlain, BBE
	Title: Bioimpedance

Bioimpedance, a biological electrical characteristic where tissues with intact cell membranes behave very differently from tissues that have undergone
cell membrane breakdown, is sustained for extended periods after cessation of heartbeat and breathing. Automated means of comparatively evaluating cryostasis protocols, as well as means for monitoring and comparing specific cryotransport operations, will be reported in the context of early experimentation and (if circumstances have permitted) actual cryotransports.
	Eric K. Drexler, PhD
	Title:  The Conservative Treatment of Transient Inviability 
		or Your computer crashed -- shall I throw it out?
Emerging nanotechnologies will lead to cellular-scale robotic surgical devices able to sense and repair tissues with molecular precision. Those of us who stay intact until this technology arrives could achieve and keep good health indefinitely. Traditional medicine discards patients if their vital processes re interrupted for more than a few minutes. In light of the prospects for future repair, this treatment - physical destruction of potentially healthy human beings -- seems regrettable. Physicians wishing to save lives should instead recommend treatments that keep patients intact for restoration using the next generation of medical technologies.
	Gregory M. Fahy, PhD
	Title: Cryobiological Research at 21st Century Medicine
21st Century Medicine is probing a broad range of problems in cryobiology. A central aspect is our attempt to demonstrate successful cryopreservation of mammalian organs, particularly the kidney. Construction of perfusion equipment, new surgical approaches, our new surgical staff, and initial results of perfusion with novel, low-toxicity vitrification solutions will be described.
	James J. Hughes, PhD 
	Title:  Our Evolving Definitions of Death: Looking Ahead
The definition of death varies cross-culturally. "Death" has also changed radically in the West in the last thirty years. The shift from circulation and respiration-based definitions of death to "whole brain death" has left us in an unstable compromise. Just as mechanical heart-lung aids forced us from body to brain, advances in remediation of brain injuries will force us to grapple with questions about the integrity and continuity of personhood. Cryonics will be a part of a group of therapeutic modalities that will force a new personal identity-based concept of rights. The question may shift from
"Live or dead?" to "What can we do with/who controls various kinds of bodies, with various degrees of consent or prior expressed will on the part of the occupant?" I will discuss some political and legal scenarios. One possible outcome might be that the re-animated cryonaut would be a legally and phenomenologically different person than the person who was frozen.
	Ralph Merkle, PhD
	Title:   Nanomedicine and Cryostasis

Human beings are made from molecules, and how those molecules are arranged makes the difference between good health and bad, between youth and old age, and between life and death. Most medical problems involve damage at the molecular and cellular level. Today's medical tools are very limited in their ability to deal with such damage. In the future, with nanotechnology, we should be able to arrange and rearrange molecular structures in most of the ways permitted by physical law. The medical applications of such an ability will be remarkable. We should be able to heal and cure under conditions that today would be considered completely hopeless. We should even be able to reverse freezing injury, giving us the ability to restore to health people who have been frozen using today's methods.
	Richard Morales, MD
	Title: Setting Your Internal Clock

Circadian rhythms are well known scientific phenomenon. Recently, we have learned how to reset our internal clocks with diet, exercise, sleep and hormonal manipulation. Dr. Morales will discuss some of the breakthroughs in this area and their application to anti-aging medicine.
	Richard Morales, MD
	Title: Fear of Death Intereferes with Rational Processes
In this brief presentation we will try to lay the foundation for understanding how the 'fear of death' arises and how it interferes with an individuals rational process, especially in relation to acting to preserve, extend and possibly, via cryonic suspension, return to, life. We will draw on the work of Stanislaw Groff MD and my own personal experience from 30 years of working with depressed and anxious patients in a private practice of psychiatry. Due to the brevity of the session, audience participation will be held during the lunch break. We will also review current research on the effects of stress on early brain development.
	Tomas A. Prolla, PhD
	Title: Gene Expression Profile of the Aging Process 
The gene expression profile of the aging process was analyzed in skeletal muscle of mice. Use of high-density oligonucleotide arrays representing 6347 genes revealed that aging resulted in a differential gene expression pattern indicative of a marked stress response and lower expression of metabolic and biosynthetic genes. Most alterations were either completely or partially prevented by caloric restriction, the only intervention known to retard aging in mammals. Transcriptional patterns of calorie-restricted animals suggest that caloric restriction retards the aging process by causing a metabolic shift toward increased protein turnover and decreased macromolecular damage. Gene expression profiling of the aging process provides a new tool to test aging interventions.

Robert Newport, MD (details pending)

	Gregory Stock, PhD
	Title:  Who's afraid of freezer burn?

Long before biological reconstruction of a frozen body (or brain) could be feasible, technology would have to advance sufficiently for uploading to occur. Moreover, the technological developments needed even for uploading are sufficiently powerful to dramatically transform the world in a way that would make biology a far less interesting substrate for life than silicon and its progeny. The incentives for a biological rather than a technological awakening from a cryonic state are unlikely ever to exist, so cryonists -- if they are someday revived -- are almost certainly bidding adieu to corporeal existence.
	Natasha Vita-More   
	(An after dinner presentation by Natasha Vita-More on her current book
project followed by a panel discussion. ) _A Talent for Living: Cracking the Myths of Mortality._ Many have written about
the technologies of extending life but not why we would want to live longer. There is an art to living - how we maintain our well being and how we bring aesthetics into our lives. We can approach life merely as a series of events or as a creative and challenging exploration. The panel will examine the cultural myths preventing mainstream acceptance of extreme life extension and discuss how to crack them.
	Michael West, PhD
	Title: Human Therapeutic Cloning

Many technologies have been developed and refined in the past few years that set the stage for human therapeutic cloning as a potentially limitless source of cells for tissue engineering and transplantation medicine. These technologies include the identification and isolation of pluripotent stem cells that are capable of generating all of the cell types in the body, genetic and
cell engineering techniques enabling the designee of custom tissues and organs, and advanced in somatic cell nuclear transfer to clone ungulates confluence of these technologies will lead to means for developing tissue therapies that will overcome the present difficulties related to immune compatibility and graft rejection, and thus the requirements for use of
immunosuppressive drugs and/or mmunomodulatory protocols.
	Brian Wowk, PhD 
	Title: Molecular Control of Ice Formation
Antifreeze proteins and ice nucleating proteins found in nature are able to respectively prevent or catalyze the formation of ice while present in very small quantities. It has recently been demonstrated that synthetic molecules are able to perform similar functions. The availability of inexpensive synthetic molecules for blocking ice formation opens new frontiers for control of ice in industry and agriculture, and for eliminating ice in cryopreservation applications.

Asilomar Conference Center
Monterey Peninsula, Northern California

Staying on-site at Asilomar is a memorable experience. Once you arrive, there is no driving and no hurry. Three excellent cafeteria-style meals are included each day. Maid service, beach and swimming pool. Everything is close and convenient. Prices dictated by accommodations selected. Nonconference guest reservations accepted. Attendees who want to bring their families find it to be a wonderful vacation for non-attendees. Attendees and their families can come early or stay late to enjoy the general Monterey Peninsula and take advantage of Asilomar's economical food and lodging package. But reservations must be made well in advance.

Don't be disappointed by trying to make reservations at the last minute only to learn that they no longer have accommodations that will fit your needs - or worse, that they are sold out completely. Save money, as well, by registering for the Conference in advance. Take advantage of the Super

Registration Information:

>Early Bird Special! Register on-line today.
>Lodging and meals package at Asilomar is available at www.alcor.org,
>or an information package can be requested by calling
>Alcor Life Extension Foundation at 480-905-1906.
>Register Early and Save!
>10% Discount off any fee below for EXTROPY Members
>Super Early Bird Special $200/person if registered
>before January 1, 1999
>Early Bird Special $250/person if registered
>before March 1, 2000
>General Registration $300/person if registered
>before June 1, 2000
>At The Door (after June 10, 2000) $400/person
>Register Early and Save!
>Call for registration package:
>Take advantage of the Early Bird Special and save
>50% off the price for registering at the door. See details below.
>Alcor Life Extension Foundation,
>FAX: 480-922-9027
>VOICE: 480-905-1906
>www.alcor.org (Register On-line)
>Linda Chamberlain (linda@alcor.org)
>Executive Director / Membership Administrator
>For information about a thriving,
>life affirming cryotransport organization:
>Alcor Life Extension Foundation
>Non-profit cryotransport services since 1972.
>7895 E. Acoma Dr., Suite 110, Scottsdale AZ 85260-6916
>Membership Information: (877) GO-ALCOR (462-5267)
>Phone (480) 905-1906 FAX (480) 922-9027
>info@alcor.org for general requests