Alcor News Bulletin
                  Number 13: July 1st, 2003

             Intermediate Temperature Storage:
                    A New Era at Alcor

Maintaining patients at an intermediate temperature means
keeping them warmer than liquid nitrogen, but cold enough to
inhibit biological decay. For years we have wanted to provide
this option. On June 14th, we came much closer to our goal.

Why Intermediate Temperature Storage is Necessary

If cryoprotective perfusion is performed successfully with a
high terminal concentration, residual amounts of water in
solution in the brain tend to solidify instead of forming ice
crystals. When we use the vitrification solution which is now
standard for all Alcor neuropatients, the entire brain should
become a glassy solid as its temperature drops below the
"glass transition point" around -125 degrees Celsius.

Traditionally, we have maintained our cryopatients at -196
degrees, the temperature of liquid nitrogen. We use liquid
nitrogen because it is cheap, nontoxic, convenient, and
requires no refrigeration equipment at our facility. The
liquid is "precooled" when it is delivered. Unfortunately, it
is colder than we would really like it to be.

When a cryopatient makes the long journey from -125 to -196
degrees, some portions of the brain inevitably tend to cool
faster than others. This creates thermal stress which can
result in fracturing. We use a "crackphone" to sense and
record vibrations which we believe are an accurate indication
of fracturing events.

Proponents of nanotechnology believe that fracturing will be
relatively easy to repair in the future compared with
cellular damage, but still we would like to prevent it. The
problem probably can be minimized or even eliminated if the
patient isn't allowed to get so cold, and is held at a
temperature just below the glass transition point. In other
words, we would like our patients to be cold enough to
vitrify, but not so cold that they start to fracture.
Unfortunately the only easy way to achieve this has been by
using an expensive laboratory freezer--until now.

A New Way to Maintain an Intermediate Temperature

On June 14th, in Rancho Cucamonga, California, biophysicist
Brian Wowk of 21st Century Medicine gave a remarkable
presentation attended by all Alcor board members and many
staff members. Dr. Wowk has developed a simple, reliable
design for an intermediate temperature storage device using a
heavy-gauge metal container enclosed in a jacket of closed-
cell insulating foam fitted with two 2-watt heaters. The
insulating jacket is then immersed in liquid nitrogen, and
the heaters are run variably by an external controller to
maintain the desired temperature inside the metal liner,
which conducts heat and minimizes the thermal gradient.

According to Dr. Wowk, seven of his storage devices will fit
beside each other within the diameter of a typical "bigfoot"
dewar of the design that Alcor uses. The initial cost of
building each storage device will be around $2,000, but a
greater expense will be incurred in the long term as the
heating elements will increase the total boiloff of liquid
nitrogen in the enclosing Dewar. Also, because of the foam
insulating jacket, each intermediate temperature storage
device will occupy a greater volume compared with a standard
neuro container. However, we believe that many of our members
may feel that a higher payment for longterm care is a very
reasonable tradeoff if Dr. Wowk's design minimizes or
eliminates fracturing.

Alcor has purchased Dr. Wowk's first prototype and will be
testing it for reliability and boiloff. After we have the
numbers, we will be able to offer intermediate temperature
storage probably as an extra-cost option. We can't estimate
the precise cost at this time, but Alcor News will provide
additional updates in the future.

This is the most exciting development in cryonics since the
advent of vitrification, and we're especially pleased by its
simplicity. We believe there is an excellent chance that this
will become the preferred method of patient care at Alcor.


            Charles Platt Steps Down as C.O.O.

After serving for slightly less than three months as Alcor's
Chief Operating Officer, Charles Platt notified the board of
directors on June 18th that he was not willing to continue
his management duties. He said he had never felt very
comfortable being a manager.

Platt will continue to pursue several projects for Alcor as
an independent contractor. These include:

1. Editing and distributing Alcor News on a monthly basis.

2. Writing and designing a fund-raising appeal to address
Alcor's current operating deficit and help pay for facility

3. Revising and producing a final version of the transport
manual, of which a preliminary version was distributed to
attendees at Alcor's training sessions last March.

4. Establishing a new and equitable membership discount
scheme for existing Alcor Cryotransport Technicians (ACTs).

5. Managing Alcor's email service and distribution lists.

6. Participating as a member of the Alcor Facility Expansion
subcommittee, which is evaluating each step of our major
expansion project (to be reported in detail in the next
issue of Cryonics magazine).

7. Participating in the design, development, and fabrication
of a new collapsible portable ice bath, with Cindy Felix,
Alcor's new facility manager and crafts person (see below).

8. Establishing a new Alcor web site with revised text.

9. In addition, Platt will be available as often as possible
to assist with cryonics cases when necessary.

10. He will be available to to teach at the next training

While Charles Platt has spent most of his professional life
as a freelance writer and is the author of 41 books and more
than 300 magazine features, he has also involved himself in
cryonics on a part-time basis for more than ten years and was
a cofounder of CryoCare Foundation. His decision to serve as
Director of Suspension Services at Alcor in August, 2002 was
the first time he had participated in cryonics on a fulltime,
paid basis. He continues to live in Northern Arizona where he
will return to writing projects and real-estate ventures.

Platt left Alcor with a list of 33 unfinished tasks (in
addition to the ones itemized above). Many of these tasks
were described in a recent article which he wrote for
Cryonics magazine. They will be shared by Jerry Lemler MD
(our C.E.O.), Larry Johnson (our new C.O.O.), Todd Huffman
(our new laboratory assistant), Cindy Felix (the new facility
manager), Mathew Sullivan (director of suspension readiness),
and Hugh Hixon (Alcor fellow).


           Personal From Dr. Jerry Lemler, C.E.O.

It is with sincere regret that the Alcor Foundation has
accepted the resignation of its Chief Operating Officer
Charles Platt. This man of tremendous action has enhanced
our suspension capabilities many times over and has been
able to take complex projects (documents, plans, theories)
and break them down into component parts where they can be
understood, addressed, and eventually formulated into action
plans. This ability will certainly be missed.

We are fortunate, however, that Charles will continue his
role in several ongoing projects, and it is my hope that
with the success of these he might be coaxed into some type
of permanent part-time arrangement with Alcor so we all may
benefit from this man's many skills. This was initially, in
fact, Charles' desire when he first approached me back in
September of last year, prior to my cajoling him into
considering a more active role.

                 New Chief Operating Officer

With the resignation of Charles Platt, the vacancy in the
Chief Operating Officer's position has been filled by former
Director of Clinical Services Larry Johnson. Though Larry
has been with the organization but a short period of time,
he has demonstrated a remarkable ability to absorb much of
the knowledge he needs (specifically with respect to
cryonics), that when coupled with his outstanding paramedic
and management of paramedic skills should bode well for him
in his new position. Charles Platt, likewise, has groomed
Larry to take his place, and I know will be of continuing
assistance to him in his new role. I hope all of you will
support Larry in his new capacity and wish him well, as we
all do here in Scottsdale.

          Training Exercises Scheduled for October

After the great success of the first ACT Training session at
the Creekside Resort in Mayer, Arizona in March of this
year, Alcor management has secured, through David Pizer, the
Creekside Lodge for our second and final ACT training event
to be held over the weekend of Friday, October 24 through
Monday, October 27.

This will be a more compact event, and while there will be
less time for socializing among ACT participants, we hope
the training to be every bit as intense and robust as during
the March six-day session. Coordinating this event on
Alcor's behalf are Dr. Jerry Lemler and new Chief Operating
Officer Larry Johnson, with logistical and tactical support
(once again) from Paula Lemler. The specific modules that
comprise the curriculum will be formulated within the next
two to three weeks at which time a more general announcement
will be made and sent to all ACT roster members. Please be
aware if you are currently an ACT, and you have not
participated in a cryonics case or a training session within
the past two years, Alcor may review your eligibility for a
continuing discount on your membership dues. We will be
writing to all our ACTs about this in the near future.

October is a beautiful time of the year in Mayer, which is
located approximately one hour north from the Phoenix area.
If you are interested in participating in our October
session, please contact Paula Lemler at

                    C.E.O. Health Status

I am continuing to receive monthly in-patient chemotherapy
treatments for my malignant lymphoma. Thus far he I am
responding to the treatments, although at intervals still
tire from being anemic and having white cell counts and
platelets drop somewhat below normal. My prognosis in the
longrun continues to be quite good, with a stated five year
survival rate at over seventy percent.


                  Todd Huffman Joins Alcor

On June 5th, Alcor acquired a research assistant who just
completed his B.Sc. in neuroscience and made the Dean's List
at California State University at Long Beach with a 3.5 grade
point average. His name is Todd Huffman, and he has relocated
in the Phoenix area where eventually he expects to do
graduate work. At Alcor he has started providing overdue help
for Hugh Hixon in our lab.

Todd has already served as co-coordinator of our Southern
California transport team and participated in the rapid
sequence of five California Alcor cases that began last
November. His EMT training, which he received during high
school, enabled him to be a particularly effective member of
the team.

At Alcor he has been learning details of perfusate
composition and tubing circuits, and will be researching
intermediate temperature storage while developing an
inventory control system and participating in the design of
our expanded lab.

Todd tells us that he became interested in Cryonics "when I
was 13 and read an article in Skeptic magazine, which also
mentioned the Extropians and gave the URL of their web site."
He joined the Extropian mail list and eventually attended two
of their conferences, the first being in 1998. He considers
himself primarily a life extensionist, "with cryonics as a
backup strategy in case life extension therapies are not
developed soon enough." He became an Alcor member this year.

Todd remains available to participate in Southern California
cases when necessary, and will be helping in our operating


                 Cindy Felix Joins Alcor

After the departure of James Sikes, Alcor needed a new
facility operations manager and hired Christopher Thomas for
this position (as reported previously in Alcor News).
Unfortunately health problems prevented Christopher from
continuing with us, but in the meantime our job ad was still
running at and continued to attract resumes. One
of them was from a crafts person named Cindy Felix.

Cindy is now an Alcor employee, maintaining our facility and
building prototypes of new equipment. Her first assignment
was to create a noncollapsible ice bath with a welded steel
frame, for our new California van-ambulance. After that she
built a patient cooling device to be used in conjunction
with the ice bath. Currently she is fabricating protective
boxes for handheld DuaLogR units which record patient
temperature during the transport phase. Cindy has also
completed a major cleanup of our workshop and has supervised
maintenance of our Chevy Suburban (our primary retrieval
vehicle in the Phoenix area).

Cindy says that she has "a lifelong interest in figuring out
how things work." She maintains her own workshop at home and
is proficient with the tools that will be necessary in
fabrication tasks at Alcor. "And I'm motivated," she adds.
"I like working here, because Alcor appreciates its
employees and shows that they are appreciated." She also
enjoys having the freedom to take initiative on a diverse
range of projects. Although she knew very little about
cryonics before starting the job, she now feels excited by
being involved in something "which seems as if it could
become a part of history. I like the idea of making things
that can be used in cryonics cases in the future."

We're glad that Cindy joined us, and her positive effect on
the facility is already visible.


                 Facility Expansion Report

Alcor's expanded facility ultimately will include a greatly
enlarged patient storage area, a bigger operating room (with
two tables and a duplicate set of pumps), a lab area that is
more than double the size of our current lab, and extra
office space. Although the floor plan was approved early
this year, construction has been delayed by problems such as
locating an affordable bulk-storage liquid-nitrogen tank. In
addition we have unresolved issues regarding the ideal crane
system for transfer of patients between Dewars.

While these issues were under consideration, we contracted
for preliminary work on a new conference room (the old
conference room will become our new operating room), a
"guest room" where team members can get some rest during
long overnight procedures, a storage room for remote-standby
kits, a new office in the old public-relations area (which
will become the principal visitor entrance to the building),
and two cubicles which are taking over our existing lobby so
that temporary helpers and volunteers will have desks where
they can work.

The new conference room has been completed, the guest room
and storage room are almost complete, the cubicles are
waiting for texturing and painting, and the new office and
visitor lobby have not been started yet. The next issue of
Cryonics magazine will contain a more detailed exploration of
our facility plans.


       Update on STASIS (Standby/Transport Ambulance
        for Surgical Intervention and Stabilization)

Progress completing the conversion of our truck for
medical/surgical use has been slowed by the intense summer
heat in Phoenix, with daytime temperatures exceeding 110
Fahrenheit. Tim Carney has been getting up at 5AM to work on
finishing the interior of the vehicle, having completed the
installation of insulation and power outlets. The next step
will be to install medical equipment and a generator.


                 Southern California Update

On June 16th, the Southern California team members met at
Applied Effects, the special-effects company cofounded by
team member Regina Pancake. The new van that was purchased
for Southern California is now kept permanently at Applied
Effects and has been fitted with an alarm system. Team
members test-lifted the noncollapsible ice bath that had been
supplied to them from Alcor and determined that the rubber
mat on the floor of the van should be scrapped, along with
the fiber insultation beneath it. A new floor of 3/4-inch
plywood layered with linoleum of Formica may be fitted as a
substitute. During the meeting, team members practiced with
dummy meds supplied by Alcor, familiarized themselves with
the alarm system on the van, and learned the precise storage
location of meds kit, washout solution, and other essentials.
Scuba tanks of compressed air are being considered as a
substitute for oxygen or an active air compressor, to drive a
Thumper in conjunction with the ice bath. The Southern
California team is active and can always use additional
assistance. Send email to if you are
interested in participating.


             The Unexpected Death of Paul Segall
                      by Charles Platt

Cryonics pioneer Paul Segall died on June 23rd, 2003 from an
aortic aneurysm. He was chairman and CEO of BioTime, Inc,
which owned a $1 million life insurance policy on Dr. Segall
and will be looking for a successor, according to a report in
the San Francisco Business Times.

Sources in the cryonics field allege that Dr. Segall was
cryopreserved by Trans Time, an almost-dormant cryonics
organization located in the Bay Area. Since no formal report
was issued, I attempted to verify the story. This turned out
to be difficult. When I dialled the contact number listed on
the Trans Time web site I reached a recording telling me to
call Jackson Zinn of the "International Cryonics Foundation."
At that number I reached someone who answered the phone by
saying, "Office." When I asked his name, he said "Bill."
While a TV played in the background and the voice of a child
seemed audible, Bill told me that Zinn was unavailable. He
suggested that if I wanted information, I should call Alcor

Instead I called BioTime and spoke to Mark Voelker, a former
Alcor director who now works for that company. Mark told me
that no one at BioTime wishes to comment on any connection
between Paul Segall and cryonics.

However, Segall's involvement with cryonics is well
documented in the book Living Longer, Growing Younger which
he coauthored with Carol Kahn (published by Times Books in
1989). This book contains an entire chapter on cryonics and
mentions Segall's participation on behalf of the Cryonics
Society of New York in the case of Steven Jay Mandell on July
29th, 1968. Subsequently he helped in other New York cases
until he relocated to Berkeley, California, in 1971. There he
linked up with Art Quaife, the founder of Trans Time. Eight
years later Segall was listed as a team member in the case of
an anonymous patient reported in issue 16 of Cryonics

Segall pursued a variety of research projects through the
1980s. His work resuscitating hamsters from periods of
hypothermia was relatively unsuccessful, but he became widely
known for developing Hextend, often referred to as a "blood
substitute" but more properly known as a plasma volume
extender since it does not carry oxygen as a substitute for

The history of Hextend remains a contentious issue in the
cryonics field. Jerry Leaf, Mike Darwin, and other Alcor
members pursued a series of dramatic experiments with dogs at
Cryovita Laboraties in 1984, resuscitating the animals
successfully after maintaining them for hours at near-
freezing temperatures. Leaf and Darwin replaced blood in the
dogs with a substitute that provided some metabolic support,
and Alcor still uses a similar compound as its washout-
transport solution.

The Cryovita work was described briefly in Cryonics magazine
but was never formally published. A biochemist named Hal
Sternberg, who was collaborating with Segall on the hamster
resuscitation research, visited Cryovita and learned about
their blood substitute. Subsequently Segall and Sternberg
decided to perform dog experiments themselves using their own
blood substitute, which became known as Hextend.

Their first three experiments failed, but on the fourth try
they resuscitated a beagle after about 20 minutes without
vital signs. Segall presented this research at the annual
meeting of the Federation of American Societies for
Experimental Biology and reaped a huge amount of publicity on
television and in publications such as People magazine. In
collaboration with his wife, Hal Sternberg, and Harry Waitz,
he formed BioTime in 1990. The company did a successful IPO
in 1992 and remains probably the only enterprise founded by
life extensionists and cryonicists that has raised sufficient
capital to navigate the arduous process of testing a
product to obtain FDA approval.

Acquaintances of Segall suggest that one of his motivations
in Biotime could have been to raise money for future life
extension research. Whether this may still be possible
remains unclear; the company is trading as BTX on Amex for a
few dollars per share, and according to a report filed for
the quarter ending in March 2003, its total net loss since
its inception is slightly more than $34 million. However,
Hextend has been approved for use in human patients in the
United States and Canada, and it may yet have a promising

No one will confirm that Segall has been cryopreserved, but
if the site of his aneurysm was close to the aortic arch,
cryoprotective perfusion could have been difficult or
impossible, and a straight freeze without cryoprotectant may
have been necessary. This would be a tragic fate for a
cryonics pioneer who achieved exceptional business success
and was one of the most effectively vocal proponents of the
concepts of life extension.

Alcor News is written primarily by Charles Platt.
Contents are copyright 2003 by Alcor 
Foundation but permission is granted to reprint any whole 
news item, so long as Alcor is credited as the source and 
the reprint includes our URL at