Alcor News

Alcor News

News Blog of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

Research and Development

Whole-Body Vitrification System (Technical Version)
During the on-going development of the perfusion process control system, we found it necessary to remove one of the controllers from the system. We found the particular controller to be providing unreliable signals at low RPM speeds, in particular the signal we were using to determine main pump flow rates. The inconsistency was due to frictional effects as the pump rollers hit the pump shoe and the rotation rate slowed. Because we use a linear look-up table to estimate the flow rates, addressing this inconsistency would require a non- linear look-up table to fix.

Because non-linear look-up tables are hard to maintain and because we had another alternative available, we decided to remove that particular controller. This, in turn, necessitated modifying the code to accommodate this change and some re- wiring of the system. Fortunately, this means that we have a reduced amount of third-party hardware and wiring, and the control functions are actually easier.

The main issue with this removal is that we needed a new way to calculate flow rates, but a solution was readily at hand. We were able to take the main pump control module, which still had seven open channels for future scalability, and use its analog output signal to make the flow calculations (once again using a linear lookup table). Changes were tested with the perfusate process controller driving the main pump, using the controller to cause pressure changes following a sinusoidal curve.

Transport and Readiness

Supply Kits
The estimated costs to update supply kits are being reviewed by management. We expect to order all the remaining portions necessary to complete them in the near future. In the meantime, we have items in stock that require packaging corrections and sterilization before they are put into their proper positions inside the supply kit.

Los Angeles Training
The Los Angeles training went well. Regina Pancake included 3D animations ideal for training showing intubations, combi-tube insertion, Easy I-O, and the FAST I-O.

Ice Bath Production
Our ice bath liners are in production now. The prototype pattern sent out to the vendor was completed. These will work very well for our rescue litter based ice baths. We are limiting them to six at this time due to the current open question of which way to develop the Icebath/Thumper combo that we are researching with Suspended Animation.

Administrative Updates

Info Pack Statistics
88 info packs were requested this month, 5 were handed out during facility tours or from special request. The average total of 175 info packs sent per month in 2008 is compared to 129 in 2007.

Membership Statistics
On November 30, 2008, Alcor had 874 members on its Emergency Responsibility List and 56 applicants for membership. Five memberships were approved during this month, no memberships were reinstated, three memberships were cancelled and no members were cryopreserved. Overall, there was a net gain of two members.


We hosted a crew of about nine people for filming of “Science Impossible” for the History Channel, a new series to air in the spring. This piece includes interviews with Aubrey de Grey, Ray Kurzweil and Robert Lanza, among others.

We were also visited by a reporter from Cronkite News Service, who writes stories that are published in newspapers all over the state. The article is titled: Some banking on cryonically freezing after death