Alcor News

Alcor News

News Blog of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

Readiness

We have ordered fourteen ice bath frames, which once constructed, will bring our ice bath inventory to 16. These new design icebaths fold into a package that is transportable by air, but is inexpensive and rapid to assemble. This is the first step, and one of the longest manufacturing lead-time items, in building our new stabilization kits.

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Engineering Development

After tests with the cold stage of the new perfusion system, the cold
stage has been returned to the manufacturer for modification or possible
replacement. While it was cooling deep enough, it was not fast enough or
even enough for our purposes. The modifications will allow larger volume
and faster gas flow. Additional changes are being made to the wiring
bus of the Advance Cryoprotection System.

The new ATP system has been successfully tested with liquid. We are
currently going through an iterative process of packing it in a
shipping case along with the required perfusate. Indications are, as
we had hoped, we will be able to include the entire system in one
shipping case.

Administrative Report

Financial
We collected a donation of $10,000 to redesign our stabilization kits and a $25,000 directed donation for Mike Perry to conduct a preliminary investigation into chemopreservation for cryonics purposes.

We also received an unrestricted donation of $50,000 from a member who wishes to support Alcor’s operations. It is unusual for us to receive unrestricted donations in this amount, and we appreciate this member’s support.
The names of the all donors are confidential.

Membership
On December 31, 2007, Alcor had 838 members on its Emergency Responsibility List. Six memberships were approved during this month, one membership was reinstated, one membership was cancelled and no members were cryopreserved. Overall, there was a net gain of six members.

Applicants
At the end of this month Alcor had 54 applicants for membership.
22 new applicants were added, seven applicants were converted to members and no applicants were cancelled, resulting in a net gain of 15 applicants for this month.

Information Packets
159 info packs were mailed this month and 13 were handed out during facility tours or from special request. The average total of 129 info packs sent per month in 2007 is compared to 164 in 2006.

New Patient
One of our members, A-1864, was involved in a homicide on January 1, 2008. He was the victim, and we spent several days involved in difficult negotiations for his release from the Medical Examiner’s office. Because of the circumstances of death, a complete autopsy was required. We did negotiate for early release of his brain. The patient’s body was delivered after the Medical Examiner completed the necessary investigation.

Update on Recent Progress

When the Alcor management changed in September 2005 to the current team, we developed a new policy of not talking about what grand plans we have for the organization, instead choosing to talk about things that we have completed. We implemented this policy change because the management team (consisting of Steve Van Sickle, Jennifer Chapman, and myself) were disappointed members. We were all weary of the empty promises, the distinct lack of improvement in technical capability and the lack of responsible fiscal oversight. We very deliberately set out to rebuild Alcor into an organization of which we could be proud, and we were enthusiastic about bringing positive change. Though it is a lengthy process, in my opinion we are succeeding, and we’d like to present a little perspective on the changes of late and on the challenges yet ahead.

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Paper Published

A new scholarly paper has been published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology, reporting on work conducted here at Alcor by Dr. Sergey V. Sheleg and Hugh Hixon. The paper is available online:

Stability and Autolysis of Cortical Neurons in Post-Mortem Adult Rat Brains
It consists of a histological study of rat brains after prolonged global ischemia (such as results from cardiac arrest), something rarely studied in the scientific literature but of great importance to cryonics. A more detailed review of the paper is available on the website of the Institute for Evidence-Based Cryonics here.