Re: Suspended Animation

Michael Lorrey (
Sun, 01 Dec 1996 00:07:56 -0500

Paul Wakfer wrote:
> On Sat, 30 Nov 1996 04:17:06, Michael Lorrey <> wrote:
> >But hypothermia is an induced metabolic suspension, with the body still
> >burning sugars at the normal rate, etc.
> This is incorrect. Neither the "burning" of glucose or anything else takes
> place at the same rate during hypothermia. Eg. the heart rate does
> naturally slow down and eventually stops altogether at about 16'C.

Yeah but what about the adrenal, insulin, thyroid and other hormonal
governors on the metabolism? If you could use drugs to regulate the
levels of such regulators, you could do a controlled metabolic rate
reduction at the same time you drop their temperature down to 40 deg F
or so. I've seen the effects of the body's natural hypothermic "dive"
response as being a big saver in cases of people falling into lakes and

> major problem with hypothermia is that various biological reaction rates
> decrease with temperature by very different rates. The relationship of
> these rates is optimal for human life at or just below (sometimes just
> above) normal body temperature, 37'C. The only other boundary point of
> temperature at which the human body is viable over a long timespan is below
> the "glass transition" temperature of the cryoprotectant cocktail/tissue
> mixture. A "safe" value for this temperature is -140'C.
> I agree this sounds great, but unfortunately reality doesn't always help
> with our bright ideas of what the world could and should be like. No such
> mechanism of suppression exists and the work of trying to find one (with
> all the different biochemical processes taking place in the body) would be
> an enormously greater problem (most likely not solvable) than finding a
> whole-body reversible vitrification protocol.

I guess I just see use of such blunt raw force approaches as being not
as "unreliable" or easy on the patient. I mean what is the quality of
life going to be for someone who has to grow back 75% of their body (or
the whole thing for those who just have their head frozen)? WHile it may
be cheaper to freeze someone at the start, what are the costs going to
be at the other end to revive the person, and then rebuild them?

This last job is basically
> just technological hunting. If it can be done (and the design space of
> cryoprotectants -- even of untried combinations -- is very large), not a
> lot of "fundamental" research should be required. That is the reason why
> the project is as "inexpensive" as it is (compared with more fundmental
> open-ended research) and why a time-to-completion can be estimated.

> >Sure, because they don't need to. Do we know how they can stay under
> >that long? if so this should be used as a safe interim solution for
> >doubling or tripling terminal patients life expectancy by repeated
> >hybernations with interim waking periods for refueling etc...
> This has been looked into. In my opinion it would require a genetic
> supplementation of human DNA with the appropriate animal DNA to produce the
> neccessary anti-ice crystal proteins and anti-freeze chemicals when
> prompted by some triggering agent. In any case, doubling or tripling a 6
> months life expectancy period for a terminal patient, simply isn't going to
> cut it.

True, in many cases, but I would think that it should be developed for
people waiting for organ transplants, or waiting for FDA approval of
certain possible cures. I would guess that this sort of therapy could
become a widely used strategy for the hundreds of thousands of people
worldwide who are waiting for organs....
> I will ask my friend Steve Harris, MD about this, but I'm pretty certain
> this must be an exaggeration. Yes, extreme hypothyroidism can slow down
> many bodily processes, but it can kill you too, because it, again, does so
> unevenly with respect to different body systems. And you still have to eat
> and eliminate waste, and the institutional care costs would be
> astronomical. One of the benefits of suspended animation will be that it
> will allow more people who can't afford enormously costly operations (often
> of only of short-term benefit) to be, less expensively, sent into the
> future where their problems can be cheaply and easily fixed.

I guess I just look at the freezing concept as being really a one way
trip, like I really don't have any faith in John Clarks flash uploading
ideas either. I prefer gradual uploading and soft, failsafe hybernation


Michael Lorrey --------------------------------------------------------- President Northstar Technologies Agent Inventor of the Lorrey Drive --------------------------------------------------------- Inventor, Webmaster, Ski Guide, Entrepreneur, Artist, Outdoorsman, Libertarian, Certified Genius.