Alcor News

Alcor News

News Blog of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

New Freitas Publications

Robert A. Freitas Jr., who will be speaking at our upcoming conference, has just published with three co-authors the most comprehensive analysis of the hydrogen abstraction tool (for diamond mechanosynthesis) ever written. It is published in the current issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry, a prestigious mainstream chemistry journal of the first rank. The abstract at the ACS website is here. BerhaneTemelso, the lead author and PhD graduate student at Georgia Tech, won the Foresight Distinguished Student Award for his work on this paper. Alcor’s support is proudly acknowledged at the end of the paper and helped make this fine work possible. They also have a second paper in progress, with the same co-authors (which include David Sherrill and Ralph Merkle), probably to go to the same journal, analyzing the hydrogen donation tool.

Rob continues working on his “magnum opus” paper on diamond mechanosynthesis –a comprehensive study of all reaction pathways needed to build a basic adamantane cage (the repeating unit of diamond crystal) using positionally-controlled chemistry, and also to build and recharge all the tools needed for this. The analysis uses good quality ab initio quantum chemistry methods, has been in progress for 2 years, and has required thousands of simulation runs (with each run typically needing 10-20 hours to complete on a 2-3 GHz computer). The study is now about 80-85% finished and sufficient useful pathways for building diamond have been found. The paper will be submitted and published sometime in 2007 and will provide the first well-checked clearly-defined theoretical procedure for building diamond (and building all necessary tools), using mechanosynthetic tools, that has ever been published.

Some of Rob’s recently published papers, which directly acknowledge Alcor’s support whenever format permits, are available online as follows:
(1) Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Pharmacytes: An Ideal Vehicle for Targeted Drug
Delivery,” J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol. 6(September/October 2006):2769-2775.
(Description of another new nanorobot, called the pharmacyte, published in a
mainstream peer-reviewed nanotech journal.)
(2) Berhane Temelso, C. David Sherrill, Ralph C. Merkle, Robert A. Freitas
Jr., “High-level Ab Initio Studies of Hydrogen Abstraction from Prototype
Hydrocarbon Systems,” J. Phys. Chem. A 110 (28 September 2006):11160-11173.
(3) Jingping Peng, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, James R. Von Ehr,
John N. Randall, George D. Skidmore, “Theoretical Analysis of Diamond
Mechanosynthesis. Part III. Positional C2 Deposition on Diamond C(110)
Surface using Si/Ge/Sn-based Dimer Placement Tools,” J. Comput. Theor.
Nanosci. 3(February 2006):28-41.
Full Paper
(The final Zyvex paper evaluating the use of our proposed dimer placement tool to add carbon atoms to build diamond structures — the paper reports that the tool should work well.)
(4) Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine and Nanosurgery,”
Intl. J. Surgery 3(December 2005):1-4.
Full Paper
(An invited editorial for a noted surgery journal, discussing nanorobotics for surgery.)
(5) Robert A. Freitas Jr., “What is Nanomedicine”” Nanomedicine: Nanotech.
Biol. Med. 1(March 2005):2-9.
Full Paper
(First paper in the first issue of the first major mainstream journal on nanomedicine.)
(6) Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Current Status of Nanomedicine and Medical
Nanorobotics (Invited Survey),” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 2(March
Full Paper
(An extensive invited survey article on the field of nanomedicine.)

Bill Voice Leaves Alcor

Just a quick notice that Bill Voice is no longer with Alcor. Bill worked with Alcor over a year, assisting with training, preparation, and casework. He has moved on to better and brighter things, going full time to nursing school. We wish Bill the best of luck in his future career.

Alcor’s Wealth Preservation Trust

A new presentation has been added to the Alcor conference which will be of interest to many Alcor members. Dr. Michael Riskin will be joined by Tanya Jones to discuss Alcor’s wealth preservation trust. This trust is intended to enable Alcor members to protect their assets while in cryopreservation and includes special provisions addressing the long-term financial needs of Alcor members. The presentation will provide a brief history of how this trust was developed and update you on its current status. There will be an overview of the financial aspects of the trust and how it is structured, including the ways it differs from other perpetual trusts.

Click here for full conference details

Peter Thiel pledges $3.5 Million to antiaging research

Peter A. Thiel, co-founder and former CEO of online payments system PayPal, Founder and Managing Member of Clarium Capital Management, a San Francisco-based hedge fund, and angel investor in social networking site Facebook, has announced his pledge of $3.5 Million to support scientific research into the alleviation and eventual reversal of the debilities caused by aging, to be conducted under the auspices of the Methuselah Foundation, a charity co-founded and Chaired by Dr. Aubrey de Grey.
Click here for full story

Christopher Polge Dies

Christopher Polge, who died on August 17 aged 80, attained scientific eminence at a remarkably early age: his discovery, whilst still a doctoral student, of how to preserve living cells and tissues at very low temperatures solved a long-standing and intractable problem in biology.

This breakthrough not only formed the basis for the new science of cryobiology but has also had profound and continuing practical implications for agriculture and medicine.

Click here for full story

Membership and Public Affairs

On August 31, 2006, Alcor had 809 members on its Emergency Responsibility
List. Four memberships were approved during this month, no memberships
were reinstated, no memberships were cancelled and no members were
cryopreserved. Overall, there was a net gain of four members this month.

121 info packs were mailed this month, 9 were handed out during facility
tours, making an average of 174 info packs sent per month in 2006 as
compared to 122 in 2005.

The 3rd quarter issue of Cryonics magazine has printed and will be mailed
the week of September 10.

Media in August
RAI documentary, Italy: Tanya Jones granted an interview to a production
company doing a one-hour documentary on the Posthuman era, investigating
how nanotechnology, cryonics, neural interfaces, stem cells research, and
psychopharmology will change human beings, and the ethical, philosophical
and religious implications.
Arizona Republic: Sergey Sheleg was interviewed for this local newspaper
with a focus on the relationship between his work at Alcor and his career
Biofutures: Owning Body Parts and Information, Duke University: A
professor at Duke University is developing a scholarly multimedia DVD-ROM
that explores key ethical issues that have emerged as a result of rapidly
changing relationships between commerce, human tissue, and biotechnology.

The purpose of the chapter on cryonics is to introduce students/readers to
the importance of “temporal manipulation” in laboratory settings. The
author’s goal is to show the continuity between Alcor and the kind of
biological research that goes on every major research institutions across
the U.S.

Training Update

Our most recent training session was held in southern California, with all
the regular members attending plus one new addition. Course curriculum
included our biohazard and communicable disease lecture, airway management
(including Combi-tube), medications, intraosseous IV placement training,
and manual cardiopulmonary support practice.

Our next stabilization training session will be held in Austin, Texas
later this month (September 23-24). We’ll be training both old and new
members of Alcor’s stabilization team, and are expecting to see a further
expansion of individuals available for standbys and stabilizations in this
newly-forming region.

We have also drafted our 2007 training schedule, which will continue our
policy of expanding into new regions. In addition to those regions
receiving training this year, (southern and northern California, Nevada,
Florida, Texas and the United Kingdom) we’re attempting to expand our
training program next year to include Australia, eastern and western
Canada, New England, and the Pacific Northwest.

We’re also scheduled to hold a Red Cross CPR class for local members and
anyone left in town after the upcoming conference. The class will be held
at the Alcor facility on Monday, October 9 at 10:00 am and will last about
four hours. Anyone interested in attending any of the upcoming training
sessions should RSVP to our Readiness Coordinator, Michelle Fry

Odds and Ends

Last Minute Cases
This month we have dealt with 2 possible last minute cases. Both of these
presented problems, one with significant post-mortem times, and so were
turned down. They were both “post mortem”. These sorts of call seem to
have the uncanny habit of coming on the weekend or late Friday. One of
the above mentioned calls came on Labor Day.

Wealth Preservation Trust Progress
We completed another round of answers on the draft for our trust attorney.
The draft should be made available for the Board and our local counsel
before the October conference. We’re still hoping to have one of the
presentations at the conference be on this wealth preservation issue and
the state of the trust development, but have not yet heard a definitive
answer. We’re holding a 30 minute speaking slot open for this purpose, and
should have an answer on this by the end of next week.

Pet Cryopreservation
The companion animal of one of our members was placed into our care when
the cat died suddenly. As is often the case with pet care, this was a
straight freeze; and the procedure was carried out with no complications.
Alcor now has 30 pets in its care.

Alcor Training Sessions

Location: Austin, Texas at the office of Steve Jackson at 3735 Promontory Point Drive,Austin, TX 78744
Date(s): September 23-24, 2006
Time(s): Training will be held from 9am-4pm both days. There will also be a Saturday evening dinner open to anyone interested in meeting Alcor members.
Location: Laughlin, Nevada at the Riverside Casino
Date(s): October 19-20, 2006
Time(s): Training will be held from 9am-4pm both days. There will also be an evening dinner on Friday, October 20th, open to anyone interested in meeting Alcor members.
Location: Northern California (Berkeley) at Café de la Paz, 1600 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709 (510-843-0662)
Date(s): November 11-12, 2006
Time(s): Training will be held from 9am-4pm both days. There will also be a Saturday evening dinner open to anyone interested in meeting Alcor members.
Location: United Kingdom at the home of Alan Sinclair, #4 Mt. Caburn Crescent, Peacehaven, E. Sussex, BN10 8DW UK
Date(s): May 5-7th, 2007
Time(s): Training will be held from 9am-5pm on Friday & Saturday, 9am-2pm on Monday. There will also be a Saturday evening dinner open to anyone interested in meeting Alcor members.
Contact Michelle Fry, Alcor Readiness Coordinator, to RSVP to either the training or the Saturday evening dinner:
(480) 905-1906, ext. 104