Fifth Alcor Conference
on Extreme Life Extension

Alcor: providing human cryopreservation services since 1972


Speaker Abstracts

Gregory Benford
Cryonics in the Long View

If we make it at all, we shall emerge into a society quite different from ours. How can we envision that? And how can it help us to do so?

Kat Cotter, D.C.
Extending Your Healthspan Now

What can be done right now to help you take control of your own aging process? Hear from the director of The Longevity Bootcamp - the first conference on aging designed for the general public. At the last Bootcamp (held this year) fifteen world-renowned experts in various fields of anti-aging, longevity and life extension research shared the knowledge they've spent their lifetimes gaining, knowledge about the latest information on how to potentially slow aging. Dr. Cotter brings you the best of the best from this conference—cutting-edge information and the best advice distilled from two days of presentations. Topics will include current and potential future breakthroughs in nutrition, diet, life-extending supplementation, exercise, HGH and other hormones, stress reduction, diagnostic screenings and preventive tests.

Aubrey de Grey
Engineering negligible senescence: rational design of feasible, comprehensive rejuvenation biotechnology

We now have a detailed understanding of where and how our natural maintenance and repair systems fail to work indefinitely, and also a large arsenal of tools that can potentially be used to improve them. Hence, we can at last approach the goal of extreme life extension with a hard-headed, engineering frame of mind. I have recently joined with several noted biogerontologists to explore how extreme life extension ("negligible senescence") can be engineered in the foreseeable future. In this talk I will describe the components of our proposed strategy, with emphasis on the two areas in which I am most heavily involved (mitochondrial mutations and lysosomal aggregates).

Greg Fahy
Organ Cryopreservation Research at 21st Century Medicine

21st Century Medicine is the only organization actively pursuing the cryopreservation of whole organs. Current efforts are based on a number of major advances in fundamental cryobiology, including toxicity control, ice control, chilling injury control, and carrier solution development, plus significant advances in surgical techniques and perfusion technology. The result has been the ability to perfuse whole kidneys with cryoprotectants at concentrations that formerly were uniformly fatal, but which currently produce little or even no injury, despite absence of formerly-mandatory supportive drugs. 21st has also begun a similar, full-time program devoted to brain cryopreservation, which will be described.

Robert A. Freitas, Jr.
Nanomedicine: Impact on Global Mortality

Each year, medically preventable natural deaths impose terrible costs on humanity, including the destruction of vast quantities of human knowledge and human capital. Future medical technologies, especially nanomedicine, may permit us first to arrest, and later to reverse, the biological effects of aging and most of the current causes of natural death. Respirocytes (artificial red cells) and microbivores (artificial white cells) provide examples of the new capabilities that medical nanorobotics may offer in the decades to come.

Steven B. Harris
Improvements in Rapid Cooling to Save the Brain

The protective effect of pre-existing hypothermia against ischemic injury has been long known. What is relatively recent, however, is the observation that hypothermia applied after the ischemic insult has already happened can still provide nearly miraculous benefits in assisting brain recovery. For example, dogs subjected to more than 5 min of normal body temperature cardiac arrest, like humans, experience severe brain damage and death when given conventional treatments, but if they are put into mild hypothermia after even 17 minutes of normothermic cardiac arrest, they can be resuscitated without detectable brain damage.

Rudi Hoffman
The Affordable Immortal: How YOU can fund the new science of Biostasis

Cryonic suspension immediatly upon legal death may be a way to preserve individual lives. It is now possible to use the leverage of life insurance to pay for the costs of suspension. It is also possible to create an instant estate that can go to your family and can also be structured to fund a trust which can be available for you upon "reanimation." Various kinds of insurance will be discussed, and trade-offs and costs of term insurance, Universal Life, Whole Life, and Variable Life will become clear. You won't want to miss this explanation of "Why Insurance Is Not Boring Anymore!"

David A. Kekich
New Venture Capital Solution For Life Extension Projects

Traditional venture capital can help extend our lives by about 15 years. A longer term funding approach might buy us 1500. Even though more venture capital now goes to biotechs than ever before, only about 10% goes to start-ups. And hardly any of it is invested in life extension research. DEALS™, TransVio Technology Ventures' new patented venture capital tool could change that. Funding can finally start now for critical longer-term projects. DEALS™ eliminates almost all the investor's risk, and actually pays them to participate… while providing entrepreneurs with all the funding they need through the life of their projects.

Ray Kurzweil
The Singularity is Near

Communication bandwidths, the shrinking size of technology, our knowledge of the human brain, and human knowledge in general are all accelerating. Three-dimensional molecular computing will provide the hardware for human-level "strong" AI well before 2030. The more important software insights will be gained in part from the reverse-engineering of the human brain, a process well under way. Once nonbiological intelligence matches the range and subtlety of human intelligence, it will necessarily soar past it because of the continuing acceleration of information-based technologies, as well as the ability of machines to instantly share their knowledge. Intelligent nanorobots will be deeply integrated in the environment, our bodies and our brains, providing vastly extended longevity, full-immersion virtual reality incorporating all of the senses, experience "beaming," and enhanced human intelligence. The implication will be an intimate merger between the technology-creating species and the evolutionary process it spawned.

Ray Kurzweil
A Bridge to a Bridge to a Bridge

Ray Kurzweil describes how you can live to see (and enjoy!) the "Singularity," a profound transformation in what it means to be human, which will arrive by mid century. The leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease) do not appear out of the blue. They are the end result of processes that are decades in the making. You can understand where you are personally in the progression of these processes and end (and reverse) the lethal march towards these diseases. Ray Kurzweil presents a program he devised in collaboration with longevity expert Terry Grossman, M.D. that describes how longstanding imbalances in our metabolic processes can be corrected before you "fall off the cliff." This information is not "plug and play," but the knowledge is available and can be applied through a comprehensive and concerted effort. Ray and Terry's Program for a Long and Healthy Life is a bridge to the full blossoming of the biotechnology revolution, which in turn will be a bridge to the nanotechnology--AI (artificial intelligence) revolution. The latter revolution will radically redefine our concept of human mortality.

Jerry Lemler
Alcor at 30: Where Do We Go From Here?

Being proud of three decades of stability is one thing--being complacent is another. This presentation will trace the foundation's antecedent roots, and offer the viewer/listener a glimpse of what's in store around the bend ahead.

Max More
Mind the Gap: Strategic Scenario Analysis for Your Second Life

Max More crossed the Atlantic abyss, moving from England to Southern California. Others have made much more dramatic cultural relocations, such as Aboriginal Australians who have moved to New York City. Those of us who require biostasis to make it into the further future, will make a dramatic jump. The longer we are in suspension the more disruptive the change and the harder the adjustment. To make this jump and maximize our chances of psychologically successful revival, we have the responsibility to prepare ahead of time. Part of this means financial planning and "LifePact" type arrangements. This talk will focus on strategic approaches to post-revival flourishing. This includes using scenario thinking, using cognitive psychology to overcome limited thinking, and identifying and developing skills for innovation and the capacity to adapt to novel environments & circumstances.

Christine Peterson
Judging Life Extension Technologies

Because life extension technologies are drawn from a wide variety of technical fields, it's difficult for individuals to judge which ones are worth pursuing. We'll look at the most challenging ones and ask how a layperson can go about making these confusing choices: which supplements to take, which prescriptions to ask for, and whether to arrange for biostasis (cryonics). The goal here is not to give the answers, which vary for each person, but to sketch how we can each approach the challenge of making these tough decisions, given that mainstream sources of information often lag far behind the latest research.

Michael Rose
Prospects for Biological Immortality

Since 1992, the study of biological immortality has been transformed from a dubious curiosity to an active focus of theoretical and experimental research. If biological immortality is defined as the absence of a sustained increase in rates of mortality as a function of age, then it is now an established scientific fact. Some organisms attain biological immortality early in life. In most organisms, biological immortality arises very late in life, after a prolonged period of rising mortality rates, or aging. This late-life immortality can be explained in terms a late-life plateau in the force of natural selection. This three-phase pattern of mortality leads to a new perspective on the extension of life and the attainment of biological immortality.

Stephen Spindler
Chipping away at the mysteries of aging: What you don't eat can't hurt you

The fewer calories eaten (provided malnutrition is avoided) the slower animals age, and the lower their death rate from cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. For the past several years we have been using gene-chips to monitor the expression of tens of thousands of genes at a time. Our results suggest that shifting to a low calorie diet very rapidly begins to reverse deleterious age-related changes in gene expression, and move animals to an apparently younger profile. Gene-chip profiling has given us a practical way to initially screen pharmaceuticals and nutrients for their ability to prevent the onset of age-related diseases, and to actually slow aging itself.

Brian Wowk
Issues and Technologies for Long-Term Tissue Storage

Tissue preservation has life extension applications ranging from stem cell storage to organ transplantation, and ultimately suspended animation. Cryopreserved tissues must be stored at temperatures low enough to stop chemical reactions, but not so low that organs suffer thermal stress fractures. Successful cooling, storage, and rewarming requires navigating a difficult course through problems of chemistry, thermal stress, and ice crystal nucleation. Current knowledge of this field will be reviewed, and technologies for storage of large masses at temperatures other than liquid nitrogen will be discussed.

 

TUTORIAL ABSTRACTS

Greg Fahy and Brian Wowk
Extreme Life Prolongation at Cryogenic Temperatures

This tutorial will review the basic principles of cryobiology and then explore what is known about how long living systems can be kept in a state of low temperature suspended animation under various conditions, with particular emphasis on the safety of storage at temperatures above the temperature of liquid nitrogen. Time will be set aside for questions and answers about any aspect of cryobiology that may be of interest to the audience.

Aubrey de Grey
Cancer: why it is now the main barrier to extreme life extension, and a revolutionary new approach to defeating it indefinitely

The genomic instability that underlies cancer makes it enormously harder to combat indefinitely than any other aspect of aging. Its only clear-cut "Achilles heel" is the absolute need to stabilise telomeres (usually with telomerase); if this can be prevented with total certainty by deleting (not just suppressing) a vital gene, cancer will be prevented. However, many of our normal cells need telomerase for their normal function. I will explain why existing anti-cancer approaches are unlikely ever to postpone cancer by more than a decade or two, and then present a radical, feasible solution, involving the periodic re-seeding of our various stem cell pools with cells whose telomeres have been re-lengthened ex vivo.

Ralph C. Merkle
Nanotechnology: how it will transform medicine and enable repair of cryopreserved tissue

Nanotechnology -- the ability to easily and inexpensively arrange atoms and molecules in most of the ways permitted by physical law -- will revolutionize medicine. It will let us build molecular medical tools able to directly address the fundamental cellular and molecular causes of disease and ill health. Combining this new ability to directly arrange and rearrange molecular structure with immobilization of unhealthy tissue by cryopreservation will permit extended analysis and repair. This approach avoids the rapid deterioration that can limit the time available for medical procedures when damaged tissues are kept at normal temperatures. Total repair of even extensively damaged tissue will, for the first time, be feasible.

Jerry Lemler and Alcor Staff
The New Alcor Cryonic Suspension Protocols

How are cryonics services actually delivered today, and how will they be delivered tomorrow? Dr. Jerry Lemler, Alcor's President and CEO, along with personnel who have participated in numerous cryonics cases, will explain improvements that have been achieved in patient care; and legal, financial, medical, and political obstacles that must be overcome in order to offer optimal cryopreservation with minimal risk.