Cover story articleCryonics

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Promotional photo of Alcor technicians preparing cadavers.

Cryonics is the practice of freezing clinically dead people in liquid nitrogen with the hope of future reanimation. Presently-nonexistent sufficiently advanced nanotechnology or mind uploading are the favored methods envisioned for revival.

Scientists will admit that some sort of cryogenic preservation and revival does not provably violate known physics. But they stress that, in practical terms, freezing and reviving dead humans is so far off as to hardly be worth taking seriously; present cryonics practices are speculation at best, and quackery and pseudoscience at worst.

Nevertheless, cryonicists will accept considerable amounts of money right now for procedures based only on vague science fiction-level speculations, with no scientific evidence whatsoever that any of their present actions will help achieve their declared aims. They sincerely consider this an obviously sensible idea that one would have to be stupid not to sign up for.

Cryonics should not be confused with cryobiology (the study of living things and tissues at low temperatures), cryotherapy (the use of cold in medicine) or cryogenics (subjecting things to cold temperatures in general).

Contents

[edit] Theory

That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.
—H.P. Lovecraft

Cryonics enthusiasts will allow that a person is entirely dead when they reach "information-theoretic death," where the information in their mind is beyond recovery. Neural net information (i.e., the mind) appears to be preserved in strengths of neuron connections in dendrites.

The purpose of freezing the recently dead is to stop chemistry. This is intended to allow hypothetical future science and technology to recover the information in the frozen cells and repair them or otherwise reconstruct the person, or at least their mind. We have literally no idea how to do the revival now or how it might be done in the future — but cryonicists believe that scientific and technological progress will, if sustained for a sufficient time, advance to the point where the information can be recovered and the mind restarted, in a body (for those who see cryonics as a medical procedure) or a computer running an emulator (for the transhumanists).

Most of the problems with cryonics relate to the massive physical damage caused by the freezing process.

[edit] History

Robert Ettinger, a teacher of physics and mathematics, published The Prospect of Immortality in 1964. He then founded the Cryonics Institute and the related Immortalist Society. Ettinger was inspired by "The Jameson Satellite" by Neil R. Jones (Amazing Stories, July 1931).[1] Lots of science fiction fans and early transhumanists then seized upon the notion with tremendous enthusiasm.

Corpses were being frozen in liquid nitrogen by the early 1960s, though only for cosmetic preservation. The first person to be frozen with the aim of revival was James Bedford, frozen in early 1967. Bedford remains frozen (at Alcor) to this day.

New hope came with K. Eric Drexler's Engines of Creation, postulating nanobots as a mechanism for cell repair, in 1986. That Drexlerian nanobots are utterly impossible has not affected cryonics advocates' enthusiasm for them in the slightest, and they remain a standard proposed revival mechanism.[2]

A major advance in tissue preservation came in the late 1990s with vitrification, where chemicals are added to the tissue so as to allow it to freeze as a glass rather than as ice crystals. This all but eliminated ice crystal damage, at the cost of toxicity of the chemicals.

Upon his death in 2011, Ettinger himself was stored at the Cryonics Institute in Detroit, the 106th person to be stored there. In all, over 200 people have been "preserved" around the world as of 2011. [3] There are about 2000 living people presently signed up with Alcor or the Cryonics Institute — the cryonics subculture is very small for its cultural impact.

[edit] The current state of cryonics

Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only mostly dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.
—Miracle Max

Cryonics for dead humans currently consists of a ritual that many find reminiscent of those performed by practitioners of the world's major religions:

  1. Freeze the body.
  2. Wait for a miracle.

As the Society for Cryobiology put it:

The Society does, however, take the position that cadaver freezing is not science. The knowledge necessary for the revival of whole mammals following freezing and for bringing the dead to life does not currently exist and can come only from conscientious and patient research in cryobiology, biology, chemistry, and medicine.

[edit] Current procedure

In the US, cryonics is legally considered an extremely elaborate form of burial,[4] and cannot be performed on someone who has not been declared medically dead. You are declared dead and your fellow cryonicists swoop in to preserve you as quickly as possible.

The body, or just the head, is given large doses of anti-clotting drugs, as well as being infused with cryoprotectant chemicals to allow vitrification. It is then frozen rapidly in a bath of liquid nitrogen at -196°C. Chemical reactions all but stop.

[edit] Scientific evidence for efficacy of current practice

Long-term memory is stored in physical form in the neural network as proteins accumulated at a chemical synapse to change the strength of the interconnection between neurons. So if you freeze the brain without crystals forming, the information may not be lost. As such. Hopefully. Though we have no idea if current cryonics techniques preserve the physical and chemical structure in sufficient detail to recover the information even in principle. Samples look good, though working scientists with a strong interest in preserving the information disagree.[5]

Recovering the information is another matter. We have not even the start of an idea how to get it back out again. No revival method is proposed beyond "one day we will be able to do anything!" Some advocates literally propose a magic-equivalent future artificial superintelligence that will make everything better as the universal slam-dunk counterargument to all doubts.[6]

Ben Best, CEO of the Cryonics Institute, supplies in Scientific Justification of Cryonics Practice[7] a list of cryobiology findings that suggest that cryonicists might not be completely wrong; however, this paper (contrary to the promise of its title) also contains a liberal admixture of "then a miracle occurs." His assertions as to what cited papers say also vary considerably from what the cited papers' abstracts state.

Alcor Corporation calls cryonics "a scientific approach to extending human life" and compares it to heart surgery.[8] This is a gross misrepresentation of the state of both the science and technology and verges on both pseudoscience and quackery. Alcor also has a tendency to use invented pseudomedical terminology in its suspension reports.[9][10]

[edit] Engineering problems

Keeping the head or body at -196°C stops chemistry, but causes massive physical damage to the cells. The following problems (many of which are acknowledged by cryonicists[11]) would all need to be solved to bring a frozen head or body back to life. Many would need breakthroughs not merely in engineering, but in scientific understanding itself, which we simply cannot predict.

  • Freezing frozen organs recoverably. (We already do this routinely with embryos and there's good work on freezing and recovering organs. It attracts lots of cryobiology funding.)
  • Cloning most of a body from recoverable DNA. (We're closer to this one than any of the others below.)
  • Nanobots. The popular conception of nanobots, which too many cryonics advocates seem also to share,[12] is bollocks. Drexler's computer-controlled nanoscopic miracle workers would need to violate physics.[13][14] Nanobots won't resemble the popular image of macroscopic industrial robots a billionth of the size with their own built-in supercomputers — they'll be carefully designed chemicals, much like cells or enzymes (the real-life examples of nanobots). Things are different at nanoscale.
    • "Nanobots!" is not the magic answer to everything any more than "really small tweezers!" is. Fixing the damage would have to be physically possible — which it may not be — and humans would still need to know how to actually fix whatever it was in order to program the nanobots.
  • Fixing the freezing damage to the original frozen brain. The dendrites (10,000 connections for each of the 100 billion neurons — that's 1015 dendrites to check) are cracked badly by the freezing process — "acoustic fracturing events," like when you drop an ice cube into a drink. What is the process for fixing a frozen brain that's cracked into several, or hundreds of, pieces, with dendrites shattered at a microscopic level? This is a problem even with vitrification.[15]
    • The damage may not be mappable, let alone repairable. Damaging energies are required to scan at 5 nm resolutions, where things start going quantum.[16]
  • Reattaching a severed head or transplanting the brain.
    • Alternately: reading the patterns from the original brain and writing those to the cloned brain (uploading and downloading minds). Cryonicists speak of mind-uploading as if it's a mere technical detail that's just around the corner, rather than something we don't even know can meaningfully be discussed.
  • The cryopreservatives, that prevent ice crystal damage, are themselves toxic and would need to be removed from the tissues. (This is really a pretty minor problem compared to everything else listed herein.)
  • Preserving neurons at ~100% viability. 99% won't cut it.[17] As those who work with stroke victims (1.2 billion neurons, or about 1%, lost in a severe stroke[18][19]) know, large chunks of personality and memory can go out the window and the sufferer is frequently quite disabled afterwards. Stroke victims are currently considered to be the same person afterward (occupying the same body and all that), but cryonics needs to preserve pretty much the entire mind if it is to live up to its promise. For comparison, the neuron loss from aging one year is 0.03%.
  • Once you've fixed the body cells and the brain paths, you have a recovered corpse. Your next task is to resurrect the dead.

[edit] Organizational problems

This is the big problem. The two existing cryonics facilities are charities with large operational expenses run by obsessive enthusiasts. They are small and financially shaky.[20][21] In 1979, the Chatsworth facility (Cryonics Company of California, run by Robert Nelson) ran out of money and the frozen bodies thawed.[22][23] The cryonics movement as a whole was outraged and facility operators are much more careful these days. But it's an expensive business to operate as a charity.

The more general problem is that many cryonicists are libertarians and, unsurprisingly, have proven rather bad at putting together highly social nonprofits designed well enough to work in society on timescales of decades, let alone centuries. The movement has severe and obvious financial problems — the cash flows just aren't sustainable, and Alcor relies on occasional large donations from rich members to make up the deficit.[24][25]

Insurance companies are barely willing to consider cryonics. You will have to work rather hard to find someone to even sell you the policy. There are, however, cryonicist insurance agents who specialise in the area.[26]

Of the early frozen corpses, only James Bedford remains, due to tremendous effort on the part of his surviving relatives. Though they didn't do anything to alleviate ice crystals, so his remains are likely just broken cell mush by now.

[edit] Specific scenarios that would keep today's cryonics from working

  • Insufficient information being preserved by today's cryonics.
  • Nanoscopic repair, mind uploading or other "reanimation" technologies never being invented or turning out not to be possible, even if current techniques preserve sufficiently well and recovery doesn't defy physics.
  • Organizational or social problems meaning the frozen people aren't preserved long enough.
  • High future reanimation costs.
  • Lack of interest from the future society. After they've revived a few thousand mediaeval peasants (from their perspective), why do they care about reviving you?
  • Collapse of society or massive catastrophe.

[edit] Reintegration issues after revival

There are many medical issues connected with reanimation, but it is worth pointing out that a reanimated person faces numerous non-medical issues after returning to society. These might include:

  • Culture shock - given that many older people have trouble keeping up with technology etc, someone out of the loop for decades or even centuries will experience quite a different world.
  • Language - which will have changed substantially in the intervening period, or been replaced by one the person does not know.
  • Finance etc - the person would presumably have to support or fund themselves. Many technical qualifications will be obsolete. The person's assets may have also been mismanaged.
  • Isolation - the majority of the person's friends and relatives will presumably be dead.
  • Ambiguous/complex legal status.

All of these could cause the person great social, not to mention psychological, problems after revival. The person may also experience identity crisis or delusions of grandeur.

[edit] In popular culture

Cryonics, in various forms, has become a theme in science fiction,[27], either as a serious plot device (The Door into Summer, the Alien tetralogy), or a source of humor (Futurama, Sleeper). Its usual job is one-way time travel, the cryonics itself being handwaved (as you are allowed to do in science fiction, though not in reality) as a pretext for one of various Rip Van Winkle scenarios.

As a fictional concept, "cryogenics" generally refers to a not-yet-invented form of suspended animation rather than present-day cryonics, in that the worst technical issue to be resolved (if at all) in the far future is either aging, or the cause of death/whatever killed you.

Timothy Leary, the famous LSD-dropper, was famously interested in the "one in a thousand" chance of revival and signed up with Alcor soon after it opened.[28] Eventually, though, the cryonicists themselves creeped him out so much[29] he opted for cremation.[30]

Walt Disney, who is cited in urban legend as having had his head or body frozen, died in December 1966, a few weeks before the first cryonic freezing process in early 1967.

Hall of Fame baseball player and all-time Red Sox great Ted Williams was frozen after he died in 2002. A nasty fight broke out between his oldest children, who had a will saying he wished to be cremated, and his youngest son John-Henry who produced an informal family agreement saying he was to be frozen. This resulted in a macabre family feud for much of the summer of 2002. Williams was eventually frozen.[31]

[edit] Mainstream scientific opinion of cryonics

Cryonics is not considered a part of cryobiology, and cryobiologists consider cryonicists nuisances. The Society for Cryobiology banned cryonicists from membership in 1982, specifically those "misrepresenting the science of cryobiology, including any practice or application of freezing deceased persons in anticipation of their reanimation."[32] As they put it in an official statement:

The act of freezing a dead body and storing it indefinitely on the chance that some future generation may restore it to life is an act of faith, not science.

The Society's planned statement was actually considerably toned down (it originally called cryonics a "fraud") after threats of litigation from Mike Darwin of Alcor.[33]

It can be difficult to find scientific critics willing to bother detailing why they think what the cryonics industry does is silly.[34] Mostly, scientists consider that cryonicists are failing to acknowledge the hard, grinding work needed to advance the several sciences and technologies that are prerequisites for their goals.[17] Castles in the air are a completely acceptable, indeed standard, part of turning science fiction into practical technology, but you do have to go through the brick-by-brick slog of building the foundations underneath. Or, indeed, inventing the grains of sand each brick is made of. (Some cryonicists are cryobiologists and so are personally putting in the hard slog needed to get there.)

Cryonicists, like many technologists, also frequently show arrogant ignorance of fields not their own — not just sciences[35] but even directly-related medicine[36][37] — leaving people in those fields disinclined to take them seriously.

[edit] Mainstream medical opinion of cryonics

William T. Jarvis, president of the National Council Against Health Fraud, said, "Cryonics might be a suitable subject for scientific research, but marketing an unproven method to the public is quackery."[38] Mostly, doctors ignore cryonics and consider it a nice, but expensive, long shot.

[edit] Cryonics advocacy

[edit] Demographics

Demographically, cryonics advocates tend to intersect strongly with transhumanists and singularitarians: almost all well-educated, mostly male — to the point where the phrase "hostile wife syndrome" is commonplace[39] — mostly atheist or agnostic but with some being religious, and disproportionately involved in mathematics, computers, or physics.[40] Belief in cryonics is pretty much required on LessWrong to be accepted as "rational."[41]

Hardly any celebrities have signed up to be frozen in hopes of being brought back to life in the distant future.[42] (This may be a net win.)

[edit] Discussion tropes

Cryonicists are some of the smartest people you will ever meet and provide sterling evidence that humans are just monkeys with shiny toys, who mostly use intelligence to implement stupidity faster and better.

When arguing their case, cryonics advocates tend to conflate non-existent technologies that might someday be plausible with science-fiction-level speculation, and speak of "first, achieve the singularity" as if it were a minor detail that will just happen, rather than a huge amount of work by a huge number of people working out the many, many tiny details.

The proposals and speculations are so vague as to be pretty much unfalsifiable. Solid objection to a speculation is met with another speculation that may (but does not necessarily, or sometimes even probably) escape the problem. You will find many attempts to reverse the burden of proof and demand that you prove a given speculation isn't possible. Answering can involve trying to compress a degree in biology into a few paragraphs.[35] Most cryonicists' knowledge of biology appears severely deficient.

Cryonicists also tend to assert unsupported high probabilities for as-yet nonexistent technologies and as-yet nonexistent science.[43][44] Figures are derived on the basis of no evidence at all, concerning the behaviour of systems we've built nothing like and therefore have no empirical understanding of — they even assert probabilities of particular as-yet unrealised scientific breakthroughs occurring. (Saying "Bayesian!" is apparently sufficient support with no further working being shown under any circumstances.) If someone gives a number or even says the word "probable," ask them to show their working.

One must also take care to make very precise queries, distinguishing between, "Is some sort of cryogenic suspension and revival not theoretically impossible with as yet unrealised future technologies?" and "Is there any evidence that what the cryonics industry is doing right now does any good at all?" Cryonics advocates who have been asked the second question tend to answer the first, at which point it is almost entirely impossible to pry a falsifiable claim out of them.

When you ask about a particularly tricky part and the answer is "but, nanobots!" take a drink. If it's "but, future magical artificial superintelligence!", down the bottle.

[edit] Not deliberate fraud

Cryonicists are almost all sincere, exceedingly smart, and capable people. However, they are also by and large absolute fanatics, and really believe that freezing your freshly-dead body is the best current hope of evading permanent death and that the $50–120,000 this costs is an obviously sensible investment in the distant future. There is little, if any, deliberate fraud going on.

Some cryonicists considered the Chatsworth facility going broke to be due to fraud, but there's little to suggest it wasn't just the owner being out of his depth.

In widely-reported allegations by their ex-COO, Alcor have been incredibly careless with the frozen heads in their care.[45] Alcor denies all allegations, tried to get his book blocked from publication[46] and threatened further legal action. However, considering what fanatics cryonics people are, the allegations are unlikely to be true, despite how widely they were reported.

[edit] Pascal's wager

Cryonics enthusiasts are fond of applying a variant of Pascal's wager to cryonics[47] and saying that being a Pascal's Wager variant doesn't make their argument fallacious.[44][48][49] Ralph Merkle gives us Merkle's Matrix:

 It works  It doesn't work
Sign up Live Die, lose life insurance
Do nothing Die Die

The questionable aspect here is omitting the bit where "sign up" means "spend $120,000 of your children's inheritance for a spot in the freezer and a bunch of completely scientifically unjustified promises from shaky organizations run by strange people who are medical incompetents." It also assumes that living at some undetermined future date is sufficiently bonum in se that it is worth spending all that money that could be used to feed starving children now..

[edit] Cooling processes known to work

When you freeze a steak and bring it back to edible, I'll believe it.
—Mike Godwin[50]

The basic notion of freezing and reviving an animal, e.g. a human, is far from completely implausible.

[edit] Humans

  • Cryogenics has proven usably effective for multicellular embryos (up to about eight cells) — it is widely used in in vitro fertilization to store them for later implantation, and the kids grow up just fine.
  • There are many reported cases of humans (adult and child) who have had a severely lowered core temperature and been brought back to full health once warmed. (Of course, there are quite a lot more reported cases where they just died. And there are, of course, no cases of a human being frozen solid and surviving the process.)
  • Therapeutic hypothermia (down to 32°C, from the normal 37°C) is routinely practiced in hospitals as a method of reversing ischemia damage.

[edit] Non-humans

  • Small mammals freeze and revive surprisingly well. Smith et al. (1957)[51] is a sterling piece of mad science, with remarkable success for half a century ago. Mice simply dropped in beakers of LN2 revive fairly reliably with careful warming, artificial respiration and electrical shocks, because they are so small they flash freeze. However, the females are infertile because large oocyte cells are particularly sensitive to ice crystals, and they suffer slightly diminished remaining lifespans for various related reasons. Bushbabies were revived but died within 24 hours.
  • Experiments have been done involving suspended animation at temperatures higher than freezing, in which the life processes of a mammal subject [52] are reduced to almost nothing for a short period then brought back. Pigs can be taken down to 10°C and revived.[53]
  • The pinewood nematode — one of the simplest creatures with a nervous system — will often survive freezing in liquid nitrogen with cryoprotectant chemicals, and the revived nematode is happily parasitic upon trees.[54] This bears some resemblance to what current cryonics does.
  • Alaskan beetle larvae appear to vitrify in nature.[55]
  • Some frogs have been frozen and revived quite reliably, and actually appear to have evolved to survive partial freezing.[56] Cold-blooded animals in general are rather better at dealing with cold than mammals or birds.
  • Flies and insects freeze and revive pretty well.[57] Freezing and reviving houseflies is reliable enough to make a nice magic trick.[58]
  • A bacterium was revived after 120,000 years in a Greenland ice sheet.[59]

[edit] Organs

  • Work continues in trying to revive neuron networks, which is one of the big prizes. So far a few neurons frozen under ideal (not current cryonics) conditions and then thawed look like they might work, though they weren't actually restarted.[60]
  • Transplant teeth are preserved with expected viability of 40 years by supercooling to -10°C in a magnetic field, instant-freezing with no crystals when the magnetic field is switched off.[61] This avoids toxic cryoprotectants.
  • Best claims that cryobiologists have taken out a rat hippocampus, frozen it, inspected it and declared that it would possibly be viable (presumably, working when replaced).[7] This would be very promising, except that the abstract of the cited paper does not claim any such success and only claims that the slice looked good.[62] (The authors of the paper are cryonicists as well as cryobiologists, but appear to understand what brick-by-brick science and technology entails.)
  • Viable eggs are recoverable from frozen mouse ovaries.[63] This is, of course, not the same as recovering a working organ. Ovaries are not as complex as kidneys or hearts. This paper states that complete mouse ovaries were cryopreserved at liquid nitrogen temperature and rewarmed to produce live pup birth rates compararable to that seen with fresh ovaries.[63]
  • A rabbit kidney (cryobiologists like rabbit kidneys, and experiment on them a lot) was frozen to -135°C and retransplanted, and supported life.[64] Best[7] claims it "functioned well enough as the sole kidney to keep the rabbit alive indefinitely," but the original paper does not go that far. The 2009 paper does show that the vitrified rabbit kidney when rewarmed was able to function as the sole functioning kidney — but only for a few days, not "indefinitely". Best has since admitted that this was an erroneous interpretation on his part, but maintains that the study nonetheless has significance in demonstrating continued functionality in complex organs.[65]

[edit] The future of the future

Instead of freezing your brain ... how about plastinating it instead?[66]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Cryonics Robert T. Carroll, Skeptic's Dictionary
  2. For example, the Drexler-Smalley debate or the book Nanomedicine by Robert Freitas.
  3. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/cryonics-the-chilling-facts-2326328.html
  4. The Cryonics Institute is legally constituted as a private cemetery! Their FAQ.
  5. This pseudonymous comment claims to be from a neuroscientist, writing up a quick list of ways in which present-day cryonics ludicrously obviously won't preserve memory. PZ Myers concurs.
  6. A breathtaking example.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Abstract: Benjamin P. Best. Scientific Justification of Cryonics Practice. Rejuvenation Research. April 2008, 11(2): 493-503. doi:10.1089/rej.2008.0661. Full text (PDF)
  8. Christianity and Cryonics: Questions and Answers (Alcor)
  9. http://cryomedical.blogspot.com/2010/09/catherine-baldwin-just-another.htmlimg
  10. http://cryomedical.blogspot.com/2010/10/this-mornings-google-results-for.htmlimg
  11. Cryonics, Cryptography, and Maximum Likelihood Estimation (Ralph Merkle, Xerox PARC, Proceedings of the First Extropy Institute Conference, 1994)
  12. Cryonicists' sunk costs reasoning about Drexler's "nanotech." (Mark Plus, The Life of Man Qua Man on Earth blog, 2010-08-31)
  13. Rupturing The Nanotech Rapture: Biological nanobots could repair and improve the human body, but they'll be more bio than bot Richard A.L. Jones, IEEE Spectrum, June 2008
  14. Nano-nonsense: 25 years of charlatanry (Scott Locklin, Locklin on science blog, August 25th 2010)
  15. Q: What about fracturing? (Alcor FAQs)
  16. David Matthewman on the Whole Brain Emulation roadmap (Paul Crowley, blog post, 20 Feb 2010)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Corpsicles in the New Yorker (Ouroboros, 5 Feb 2010) "~99% ain't gonna cut it. We're barely there even in ideal situations like loose cells in rich media loaded with antifreeze compounds."
  18. Jeffrey L. Saver. "Time is brain - quantified." Stroke 2006;37:263-266.
  19. Cryonics (Pete Stevens)
  20. Alcor's Financial Statements (Jennifer Chapman, Alcor News)
  21. Re: CryoNet #31623 (Ron Havelock, CryoNet mailing list, 20 Apr 2009)
  22. Suspension Failures: Lessons from the Early Years (R. Michael Perry, Cryonics, February 1992)
  23. Mistakes Were Made. An extraordinary episode of radio documentary series This American Life tells the funny, bizarre, and tragic story of a cryonics facility owner and client family for whom things didn't go quite as planned with the frozen body thing. It's an excellent cautionary primer to the complexities of actually running such a facility.
  24. Charles Platt. Cryoptimism. Part 1, part 2.
  25. "Cryopreservation Funding and Inflation: The need for Action; A Discussion Article by the Management and Board of Directors of Alcor." Cryonics 2011Q4. Summary, PDF.
  26. Interview with cryonics funding specialist Rudi Hoffman (Aschwin de Wolf, Depressed Metabolism, 2009-10-10). A cryonicist life insurance salesman sets out precisely what you need to do. He's also writing a book on the subject of how to arrange all this financially.
  27. Human Popsicle (TV Tropes)
  28. Dr. Leary Joins Up (Cryonics, Volume 9(9), September, 1988, Issue #98)
  29. Re: Timothy Leary Renounces Cryonics (David Cosenza, CryoNet mailing list, 07 May 1996)
  30. Timothy Leary Renounces Cryonics (Charles Platt, CryoNet mailing list, 06 May 1996)
  31. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/12/20/national/main533849.shtml
  32. "Upon a two-thirds vote of the Governors in office, the Board of Governors may refuse membership to applicants, or suspend or expel members (including both individual and institutional members), whose conduct is deemed detrimental to the Society, including applicants or members engaged in or who promote any practice or application which the Board of Governors deems incompatible with the ethical and scientific standards of the Society or as misrepresenting the science of cryobiology, including any practice or application of freezing deceased persons in anticipation of their reanimation. [Sec. 2.04 of the bylaws of the Society for Cryobiology]". Note that the quote is on the site of cryonics company Alcor.
  33. Society for Cryobiology statements on cryonics (Paul Crowley, blog post, 12 Feb 2010)
  34. An open letter to scientific critics of cryonics (Paul Crowley, blog post, 14 February 2010)
  35. 35.0 35.1 See, for example, PZ Myers versus Ray Kurzweil: [1], [2], [3], [4]
  36. http://cryomedical.blogspot.com/2010/10/destroying-cryonics.html
  37. http://cryomedical.blogspot.com/2010/10/reprint-of-old-post-on-cold-filter.html
  38. Quackwatch
  39. Is That What Love is? The Hostile Wife Phenomenon in Cryonics (Michael G. Darwin, Chana de Wolf, and Aschwin de Wolf)
  40. Quigley, Christine (1998). Modern Mummies: The Preservation of the Human Body in the Twentieth Century. McFarland. p. 143. ISBN 0786404922. According to Wikipedia.
  41. "I'm going to come out and say it: If you don't sign up your kids for cryonics then you are a lousy parent." (Eliezer Yudkowsky, Normal Cryonics, 19 Jan 2010)
  42. Category:Cryonically preserved people on Wikipedia. What, you don't trust Wikipedia?
  43. Debates about Cryonics with Skeptics (BenBest.com). When told that the revival rate is 0% (as far as we know), and that it is therefore too soon to be charging for it, Mr Best repeatedly tells skeptics "You are treating cryonics as if it were sex with minors." He then puts this on his web page as if accusing opponents of reductio ad Hitlerum makes him look good.
  44. 44.0 44.1 Rationality, Cryonics and Pascal's Wager (Roko, lesswrong.com, 08 April 2009)
  45. Ted Williams' frozen head for batting practice at cryogenics lab: book (Nathaniel Vinton, New York Daily News, 2nd October 2009).
  46. Alcor Sues to Block Book Expose of Ted Williams Cryonics (Ethics Soup, 06 October 2009)
  47. Pascal's Wager and cryonics (merkle.com)
  48. The Pascal's Wager Fallacy Fallacy (overcomingbias.com)
  49. Pascal’s Wager taken out of deep freeze (Michael Cook, BioEdge, 24 Oct 2009
  50. Bar conversation with a RationalWikian.
  51. Smith, A.U. (1957) "Problems in the Resuscitation of Mammals from Body Temperatures Below 0°C" Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 147(929):533-544 (14 pages.) Excerpt: "Two of the galagos [bushbabies] regurgitated and inhaled bicarbonate from the stomach during administration of artificial respiration. The other two galagos which had been treated with bicarbonate and then frozen for 45 minutes seemed to make an excellent recovery after thawing. One of them regained an appetite as well as normal posture and behaviour. Within 24 hours they both died. At post mortem the stomach was normal, but in one animal the duodenum and jejunum contained bloodstained fluid. In both instances there was oedema of the lungs and froth in the trachea. This may have been a terminal event. Survival may have been limited by some other physico-chemical or physiological derangement which, if diagnosed, might well have been susceptible to treatment. It was therefore decided to postpone further experiments on freezing the larger mammals until the effects on other organs of freezing in vivo and in vitro were better understood." (p. 538) Figure 60 on Plate 25 ("A frozen galago is being rewarmed with diathermy. It lies inside a Perspex tube surrounded by the output coil of the diathermy apparatus. Artificial respiration is being given by insufflating air into a tracheal cannula.") is awesome.
  52. Most notably Miles the Beagle, suspended for an hour in 1987. (dead link — anyone got a good ref?)
  53. Stuck Pig (Bijal P. Trivedi, Wired 14.07)
  54. E. Riga and J. M. Webster. "Cryopreservation of the Pinewood Nematode, Bursaphelenchus spp." J. Nematol. 1991 October; 23 (4): 438–440.
  55. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20086136
  56. Ask the expert: Jon Costanzo (NovaScience Now, PBS, April 2005)
  57. Frozen Flies Safeguard Research, Screwworm Eradication Efforts (ScienceBlog, 04 Feb 2005)
  58. Reviving a Dead Fly Magic Trick
  59. 'Resurrection bug' revived after 120,000 years (Andy Coghlan, New Scientist, 15 June 2009)
  60. Ma W., et al. (2006) "Cryopreservation of adherent neuronal networks" Neuroscience Letters, 403(1-2):84-9.
  61. http://singularityhub.com/2011/01/23/food-freezing-technology-preserves-human-teeth-organs-next/
  62. Pichugin Y, Fahy GM, Morin R Cryopreservation of rat hippocampal slices by vitrification Cryobiology. 2006 Apr;52(2):228-40. http://www.21cm.com/pdfs/hippo_published.pdf
  63. 63.0 63.1 Hasegawa A, Mochida N, Ogasawara T, Koyama K. Pup birth from mouse oocytes in preantral follicles derived from vitrified and warmed ovaries followed by in vitro growth, in vitro maturation, and in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril. 2006 Oct;86 Suppl 4:1182-92. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16963048
  64. Fahy GM, Wowk B, Wu J, Phan J, Rasch C, Chang A, Zendejas E. Cryopreservation of organs by vitrification: perspectives and recent advances. Cryobiology. 2004 Apr;48(2):157-78.
  65. Fahy GM, Wowk B, Pagotan R, Chang A, Phan J, Thomson B, Phan L Physical and biological aspects of renal vitrification Organogenesis. 2009 Jul;5(3):167-75. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781097/
  66. Plastination versus Cryonics (Gwern Branwen, gwern.net)
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Community
Tools
support