News About People And Organizations In The Cryonics Industry -- May 2006
Alcor receives its 74th patient. Alcor's 74th patient arrived on March 1, 2006. The patient suffered sudden cardiac arrest sometime during the night of Feb. 27 or 28 at his home in Ohio. Undiscovered until found by his wife on the morning of the 28th, the patient, an Alcor member, was first examined by paramedics. The Coroner's office initiated an investigation, but after some discussion, the patient's wife waived an autopsy. Since the patient arrived at Alcor after a delay of between 34 and 42 hours since arrest, cryoprotective measures were minimal.
Alcor's Chief Research Scientist Sends Research Paper To Peer-Reviewed Journal. Sergey Sheleg, Chief Research Scientist at Alcor, has finished a research paper based on research data from the research project "Dynamics of hypoxic brain damage after normothermic cardiac arrest." The paper shows an absence of autolytic (self-induced) damage in the brain up to six hours after cardiac arrest at room temperature (20° C), but signs of apoptosis (cell self-destruction) appear after nine hours.
Former Alcor Bookkeeper Incarcerated. Convicted of embezzling $177,000 while a bookkeeper at Alcor, Tim Reeves was present at a sentencing hearing on March 31, 2006. Reeves was ordered to serve 12 months in the County Jail, to be followed by 5 years of supervised probation, with restitution to be determined by a hearing in May. Reeves read a statement in court expressing his remorse. He was immediately taken into custody to begin his sentence.
Alcor Expands. Alcor expanded into unit 105 of its building on April 1, 2006. The additional space will give Alcor a separate dedicated space for its transport vehicle, building and stocking transport kits, and free up space for research. Observes Alcor Executive Director and Acting Director Stephen Van Sickle, "...it also allows us to substantially increase our capabilities. For the first time in my experience, Alcor now has adequate technical and laboratory space."
Events. Alcor is holding a conference on October 6-8, and registration begins in May. Those visiting the conference announcement on the Alcor web site may be able to take advantage of early rates. Guest speakers will include Aubrey de Grey, PhD, Nanomedicine author Robert Freitas, and Sergey Sheleg, PhD.
Further information about Alcor may be found by visiting the organization's web site at www.alcor.org. To receive Alcor News by email send a blank email message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the single word subscribe in the subject line. Alcor United at www.alcorunited.org provides online forums for existing and potential Alcor members and interested members of the public to discuss issues relating to cryonics and to Alcor.
American Cryonics Society
ACS recently commissioned a complete redesign of its web site. The newly redesigned version can now be seen online at www.americancryonics.org.
Cryonics Institute receives its 72nd and 73rd patients. Regrettably, CI's 73rd patient had to undergo an autopsy and refrigeration prior to being sent to CI facilities. The Cryonics Institute's 72nd patient was an 84-year-old mother of two, and was able to receive more helpful treatment, not least because of the efforts of cooperative family members, and also because of the assistance of three CI members in the vicinity.
Annual Meeting At CI Facility. The next annual general meeting of the Cryonics Institute will be Sunday, September 24, 2006 at the CI Facility. All members are encouraged to attend. Seating is limited, and non-members wishing to attend should contact the Cryonics Institute beforehand for further information.
Two Director positions are currently open and are expected to be voted upon at the meeting.
Robert Ettinger, former President and Vice President of both the Cryonics Institute and the Immortalist Society, and widely celebrated as the founder of the cryonics movement, plans to retire as a CI Director at the coming September gathering.
Policy Changes in CI/SA Standby Funding. In policy developments, it was announced earlier this year that as of 2006, Cryonics Institute Members may fund Suspended Animation (SA) Standby with life insurance. CI Members with insurance policies worth $100,000 thus have full access to cryopreservation services proved by Suspended Animation, regarded by many as the most advanced such supplier in the world today.
CI Changes Long-Standing Funeral Director Policy. In a major policy change, CI president Ben Best issued the following succinct restatement: "Funeral directors are no longer asked to do washout or perfusion of any kind. Funeral directors should inject the patient with heparin, apply CPR-like chest compressions for at least 5 to 10 minutes. The patient should be cooled and shipped to Michigan as soon as possible."
Best added, "Asking funeral directors to do perfusions and washouts has resulted in shipping delays and has a great potential to worsen problems by reperfusion injury. The quality of these perfusions and washouts can be very variable and we do not want to delay cooling or shipment."
Further information about the Cryonics Institute may be found by visiting the organization's web site at www.cryonics.org.
Suspended Animation Announces New General Manager. On March 5th, 2006, Dr. Bary Wilson became the new General Manager of Suspended Animation, Inc. Dr. Wilson was the first person to definitively identify the hormone melatonin in human beings.
Wilson has been a founder or co-founder of Columbia Magnetics and National Science and Technology, has led research groups in the United States and elsewhere, has served on the Board of Directors of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, and has written or co-written well over one hundred scientific papers and several books.
Dr. Wilson recieved his B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Washington, and his Ph.D. at St. Bartholomew's Medical School at the University of London. He was a Post Doctoral Associate in Chemistry at MIT, scientist and project manager at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 1978, joined the Ener1 Group as a CEO and Chief Scientist in 2002.
Cryonics Society of Canada
Canadian Anti-cryonics Legislation Draws Protests. In 1990, British Columbia enacted an anti-cryonics law as Section 57 of Bill 42 (Cemetery and Funeral Services Act). Under the heading "Arrangements Forbidden" in Part 5, Section 57, it states: "No person shall offer for sale or sell any arrangement for the preservation or storage of human remains based on cryonics, irradiation or any other means of preservation or storage, by whatever name called, that is offered or sold on the expectation of the resuscitation of human remains at a future time."
The law, re-written in 2004 as Section 14 of Bill 3, and viewable online does not explicitly forbid cryonics procedures as such, merely the sale of such services. The law nonetheless has made it difficult for individuals living in that area to find cooperative funeral directors for assistance. As a result, protest against the legislation has arisen, claiming it to be an unwarranted interference with Canadian citizens' rights to dispose of their postmortem remains as they wish.
Immortality Institute Calls For Anthology Submissions. In 2004, the Immortality Institute, a registered not-for profit organization, published its first book, "The Scientific Conquest of Death". The book, an anthology of essays on the science and philosophy of engineering a radically extended human life span, featured essays by Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Dr. Michael D. West, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Dr. Raymond Kurzweil, Dr. Marvin L. Minsky, Dr. Brian Wowk, Max More, and CI President Ben Best.
The Institute is now calling for abstracts of possible contributions to a forthcoming second anthology on the science and ethics of life extension.
Deadline for this call is Friday June 30th 2006, but early submissions are strongly encouraged. If the abstract submitted is acceptable, the final essay will be due on August 6th 2006. Authors will not receive any royalties or other remuneration from sales of the book, but will maintain all intellectual property rights over their writings, and are asked to defer other publication until the book has been published. Visit the Immortality Institute's web site at www.imminst.org for further details.
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