Alcor News

Alcor News

News Blog of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

Alcor Board Meeting in San Francisco, California

If you are curious about what happens at an Alcor board meeting we encourage you to attend this event on Friday, September 7, 2007, 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. This a great opportunity to meet Alcor Board Members and staff who are in the area to attend the Singularity Summit. Coffee, tea, water and hors d’oeuvres will be available during the meeting.

This meeting will take place at:
The Metropolitan Club
640 Sutter Street
San Francisco CA 94102
415/673.0600
see map

If you are interested in attending this meeting, please RSVP no later than Tuesday, September 4 as seating is very limited.

For more information or to ask questions, please contact D’Bora Tarrant, Alcor Front Office Administrator, at 877/462-5267 ext. 101.

From the August Administrative Reports

With assistance from several staff members (mainly Randal Fry & Regina Pancake), the facility was prepared for a visit from a Modern Marvels film crew, which took place on 07/30. Tanya Jones did the main interview and demonstration, with demo assistance from Chana de Wolf. The patient in cooldown happened to be scheduled for transfer to long-term care on that very day, and the film crew obtained footage from the hatch on the roof. The show focuses on “cold science” and includes a dry ice manufacturer, a plant where nitrogen and oxygen are liquefied, a national seed bank, and more. The skeptic interview selected pertaining to cryonics was Dr. Philip Keen, the former medical examiner for Maricopa County and the current medical examiner for Yavapai County.

The World Transhumanist Association conference in Chicago was a useful event for Alcor to attend. Throughout the 4-day conference, an Alcor member handed out Alcor literature and spoke with an estimated 50-75 people. Alcor waived the $150 application fee for those who applied during the conference or within 30 days following the conference.

Although no applications have been received yet, indications are good that several people will apply as a result of Alcor’s presence. Tanya Jones did a formal presentation (along with Ralph Merkle and Shannon Vyff) and networked with the crowd, accompanied by Steve Van Sickle. At least one positive blog post has resulted, which is a highly credible means of third-party advertising: http://sentientdevelopments.blogspot.com/

On July 31, 2007, Alcor had 825 members on its Emergency Responsibility List. Two memberships were approved during this month, no memberships were reinstated, three memberships were cancelled and one member was cryopreserved. Overall, there was a net loss of two members this month.

We have had a very good response to our Alcor Member Directory letter. We have had over 300 Members send their information in to be put in the Directory. It is scheduled to be completed before the October conference.

Reports submitted by Jennifer Chapman and Diane Cremeens

From the August Operations Report

In July, a last minute case was accepted, with the patient being a Canadian individual with a will stating he wished to be cryopreserved by Alcor and directing his estate to pay the bill. The Board chose to accept this case because of the clear statement of the individual’s wishes and because the funding was available. The estate’s executor prepared legal documentation, and he attempted to arrange the funds transfer while we concentrated on the preservation.

The patient, A-2309, was straight-frozen, because his unexpected death and the time delays in getting his body to Arizona from Canada, which placed him beyond the point where vitrification was possible. We instrumented the patient for acoustic monitoring and collected fracturing data on this case. The first fractures appeared, naturally, at higher than normal temperatures and will become interesting as we collect more information on any future, similar cases.

On the aspect of being paid for the case, the executor resigned his post in frustration after attempting to deal with the bank, and we have retained counsel to advise us on how to proceed.

During the past month, we also cryopreserved a member’s cat that died suddenly. We had been making arrangements to cryoprotect the animal, but those plans failed when the kitty died suddenly.

The Bigfoot-1 repair continues. This dewar was once was our bulk storage reservoir before it failed, and the repair was not entirely up to our standards, due to water being trapped inside the shell. Hugh Hixon has pumped down the vacuum in the dewar for more than 1,500 hours, reaching the temperature of 210 degrees C, in our attempt to remove the water collected in the system. Vacuum pressure was at 7 microns, as of Wednesday; and the plan is to see if the dewar will now hold a vacuum. We’ll disconnect the vacuum pump once the pressure has been stable for at least two weeks and then perform another fill test to see if the problem has been resolved.

Further organizing of the facility is also in progress. Regina Pancake and Randal Fry have been taking the initiative on this, and we look forward to greater order in the near future.

During the past month, I distributed copies of the wealth preservation trust to select members. We were most interested in sending it to members with relevant legal experience or those who have worked personally with attorneys to set up trusts of their own. I’ve received no comments on the draft yet, either from those members, their lawyers, or the attorney assisting us with the trust development. I will follow up on this shortly as well.

We are continuing to assist with the probate proceedings for patient A-1097. Renovations of the property bequeathed to Alcor are complete, and we have sent the paperwork necessary to listing the property for sale to the executor of the estate. We will be invoicing the estate for the renovations, with the expectation that these costs will be reimbursed early in the probate process.

The first of the reimbursement checks for the Reeves theft has arrived, the amount matching what the judge required. Initially, these checks will be split between operations and the endowment, until the operations portion is completely reimbursed, and then the full amount will be periodically transferred to the endowment.

Recently, I gave a presentation at the World Transhumanist Association conference in Chicago. Though this event was more sparsely attended than we’d hoped, the audience is certainly one of the more educated ones on cryonics. My talk was primarily on the engineering development we’ve done lately, which is a slight departure from my usual talk; but many of those folks had contributed to our whole-body vitrification matching grant. I felt updating them on our progress was important to maintaining the support of that community. I received more compliments on that talk than I ever have before, so I’m going to remember that blunt speak occasionally works. We anticipate several members and more conference attendees will result from our participation.

We filmed an episode of Modern Marvels, a History Channel program, which is focusing on innovative uses of cold. Overall, it went fairly well. The crew was excited to be able to film the transfer of patient A-2309 from the cool-down dewar to the long-term care dewar. It was a rainy day, so there was much fog to be seen. This episode is expected to air on September 25, 2007, but we will keep people posted if the date changes.
Report submitted by Tanya Jones.

On the Whole-Body Perfusion System

To expand upon the regrettably cryptic message posted recently on our whole-body perfusion system development, we are nearing completion on building the new perfusion system for whole-body vitrification. All of the necessary perfusion elements have control systems now, i.e. the computer can control the temperature, pressure, flow, refractive index and more. We are at the point of adding the alarm conditions and constructing the user interface. We fully expect to have this prototype available for demonstrations by the conference, in time for the facility tours.

We are still working on the new operating table design, and this perfusion system is independent of that.

We must yet rigorously test the new system to make sure it works as intended. The current state of this project is something that we will discuss at the conference as well, so that people understand what they are looking at during the tours.

Conference Registration Rate to Increase 09/01

View excerpts from the 2006 conference DVD
Register Today for $395
Rate will increase after Friday, Aug. 31

Join us in Scottsdale, Arizona, for the 7th Alcor Conference October 5-7, 2007, and discover the world’s leader in the most ambitious life extension endeavor ever: CRYONICS.

Don’t miss this weekend of presentations about the cryopreservation process, the possibility of repairing cryopreserved individuals, and how present day technology and research are moving the industry forward. A compelling speaker lineup highlights the rich history of the cryonics industry, addresses religious and ethical considerations, and offers expert answers to your common questions.

Possibilities for living longer will also be explored. Ever wonder whether regenerative medicine developed from stem cell technology can stop age-related diseases? Find out from Dr. Michael West of Advanced Cell Technology, a leading biotechnology firm making headlines around the world. Plus, gain inside information about the human aging experiment conducted at the Kronos Science Laboratory.

Registration includes all meals, a tour of the Alcor Foundation, and opportunities to make lasting friendships with Alcor members, supporters and staff. The next Alcor conference will not be until 2009, so don’t miss this opportunity.

Register by Friday, August 31st to receive the $395 rate.

Program Covers These Topics:
Steve Bridge – Why We Are Here and Where We Are Going
Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D. – Is it Politically Safe for a Biologist to Support Cryonics Publicly?
Steven Harris, M.D. – Rapid Hypothermia Induction Methods and Brain Oxygen Requirements in Resuscitation and Cryonics
Chris Heward, Ph.D. – The Kronos Longitudinal Aging Study: The Measurement of Human Aging
Calvin Mercer, Ph.D. – Cryonics and Religion: Friends or Foes?
Ralph Merkle, Ph.D. – Molecular Nanotechnology and the Repair of Cryopreserved Patients
Christine Peterson – Life Extension: Good News, Bad News, Surprising News
Michael West, Ph.D. – Immortal Cells: The Prospect of Regenerative Medicine
Brian Wowk, Ph.D. – Common Questions about Cryobiology and Cryonics
David Crippen, M.D., Tanya Jones, Leslie Whetstine, Ph.D., Aschwin de Wolf – Human Cryopreservation and Critical Care Medicine Panel

Visit These Links for More Information or to Register:
Complete Speaker and Event Details
Register by August 31st at $395
Reserve Hotel – Special Room Rate Expires 09/15
Sponsor the 7th Alcor Conference
We hope to see you there!

Annual Board Meeting in September

Annual elections will be held at the September 7, 2007 Board meeting. This meeting will be held in the Northern California area. All Alcor Board meetings are open to the public and we encourage everyone to attend. Please revisit this blog later in the week for more details about time and location.

Special Note: Alcor representatives will be attending the Singularity Summitt in San Francisco on September 8 & 9.

Online Hotel Reservations for Alcor Conference

We’ve received some feedback that attendees of the 7th Alcor conference are occasionally receiving an error message when attempting to reserve a hotel room at the Hilton Resort.

If you are experiencing difficulty reserving your hotel room online, please contact Alcor’s conference planner:
Connie Gutierrez
480-990-1887
connie@mcsource.net

Or Alcor:
Jennifer Chapman
877-462-5267 x 113
jennifer@alcor.org

You can also select “no preference” when asked what room type you prefer (king or double bed), as this is based on availability. If you have a strong room type preference, contact us.

And remember, the deadline for reserving your hotel room at the group rate of $152 per night is September 15th . Alcor currently has only 40 room nights left in its guaranteed room block (each night’s stay is 1 room night), so make your reservations today.

Watch excerpts – 6th Alcor Conference DVD set

Excerpts from the 6th Alcor Conference DVD set are now available online.

– Brian Wowk discusses the relationship between cryonics and advanced tissue regeneration technology.
– Aubrey de Grey shares his opinion about offering a cryonics prize for scientists.
– Ralph Merkle explains how the cryonics experiment is similar to clinical trials to determine whether cryonics will work.
– Get a sneak peak of Robert A. Freitas’ theoretical nanorobots.
– Tanya Jones and Steve Van Sickle explain advancements and research projects underway at Alcor.

All this and more is available in the actual 2-disk DVD set.
Watch Now
Order Now

7th Alcor Conference-Endeavor for Life – Registration Deadlines

October 5-7, 2007
Scottsdale, Arizona
Hilton Scottsdale Resort

REGISTER ONLINE NOW
Registration of $395 ends August 31st; September 1st & after $495

Join us to discover the world’s leader in the most ambitious life extension endeavor ever: CRYONICS. Learn about the cryopreservation process, the possibility of repairing cryopreserved individuals, and how present day technology and research are moving the industry forward. A compelling speaker lineup highlights the rich history of the cryonics industry, addresses religious and ethical considerations, and offers expert answers to your common questions.

Possibilities for living longer are also explored. Ever wonder whether regenerative medicine developed from stem cell technology can stop age-related diseases? Find out from Dr. Michael West of Advanced Cell Technology, a leading biotechnology firm making headlines around the world. Plus, gain inside information about the human aging experiment conducted at the Kronos Science Laboratory.

Registration includes all meals, a tour of the Alcor Foundation, and opportunities to make lasting friendships with Alcor members, supporters and staff. The next Alcor conference will not be until 2009, so don’t miss this opportunity.
———————————
Speaker topics:
Steve Bridge – Why We Are Here and Where We Are Going
Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D. – Is it Politically Safe for a Biologist to Support Cryonics Publicly?
Steven Harris, M.D. – Rapid Hypothermia Induction Methods and Brain Oxygen Requirements in Resuscitation and Cryonics
Chris Heward, Ph.D. – The Kronos Longitudinal Aging Study: The Measurement of Human Aging
Calvin Mercer, Ph.D. – Cryonics and Religion: Friends or Foes?
Ralph Merkle, Ph.D. – Molecular Nanotechnology and the Repair of Cryopreserved Patients
Christine Peterson – Life Extension: Good News, Bad News, Surprising News
Michael West, Ph.D. – Immortal Cells: The Prospect of Regenerative Medicine
Brian Wowk, Ph.D. – Common Questions about Cryobiology and Cryonics
David Crippen, M.D., Tanya Jones, Leslie Whetstine, Ph.D., Aschwin de Wolf – Human Cryopreservation and Critical Care Medicine (Panel)
———————————
Attendees called last year’s event:
“Entertaining and Educational”
“Straight-Forward, Easy to Understand”
“Engaging and Credible”
“Thorough and Upbeat”
“In many ways it was the best cryonics conference I have ever attended. The real quality was in the combination of intelligent, interesting people who were there, from speakers to long-time cryonicists to people meeting cryonicists for the first time.”
— Steve Bridge, former Alcor President
———————————
Complete speaker and event details
Register NOW ($395 rate expires August 31st; September 1st & after $495)
Reserve Hotel (Special room rate for a limited time)
Sponsor the 7th Alcor Conference