Alcor Care Services Manager R. Michael Perry, PhD, gave a 30-minute interview on Close Up Radio on February 18. It is available on the web at
On February 23, Alcor turned 49 years old. If you’re read my recent two-part article in Cryonics on organizational longevity, you’ll know that’s already a relatively impressive run. We will have to keep the organization humming for decades to come but next year’s 50th anniversary offers a good opportunity to celebrate Alcor’s longevity. It might not be too much of a stretch to hope for an Alcor-50 in-person conference in 2022 (perhaps 18 months from now). If that doesn’t work out, we still have the option of an online event. Although not the same as in-person, I’ve attended several excellent online conferences. As people gain more experience, they keep improving.
If you have been flourishing financially, you might think about making a major 50th-year gift for Alcor. The organization can always use new resources to improve our ability to serve, cryopreserve, and care for members and patients. Gifts will be well-used to sustain and build Alcor’s member-focused capabilities.
There are more promising research opportunities than we can fund despite some remarkable contributions to the Research Fund in recent years. (Such as our current RAPID initiative.) The Endowment would benefit from being both replenished and strengthened. I have made modest contributions to both those funds and encourage others to do so. Alcor would also benefit from more resources to build response capabilities and to grow membership to bolster the organization.
Alcor Ambassador & CEO Emeritus
Curious about the number of Alcor members and patients, where they are, and how many are neuro and who many whole body? You can find the numbers for the end of the previous month on the website here:
But that what you find there may not satisfy. Here’s a more complete update, as of January 31, 2021:
Members: 1,338 (“Member” here means a person with full contractual and financial arrangements to be cryopreserved by Alcor.) 641 neuro; 655 WB; 12 N/WB.
Associate Members: 304
Patients: 181 (N: 115; WB: 62; N/WB: 4; 134 males; 47 female.)
There were 96 applicants in the process of becoming members.
How are members distributed internationally? After the US, not surprisingly the country with the largest number of (full) members is our neighbor, Canada. Third place goes to the United Kingdom with 40. Here’s the full list:
Australia 11 5 3
Austria 1 0 0
Belgium 1 0 0
Brazil 1 0 0
Bulgaria 1 0 0
Canada 70 8 3
China 0 0 1
Croatia 2 0 0
Czech Republic 0 2 0
Finland 1 0 0
France 1 0 1
Germany 20 2 0
Hong Kong 2 0 0
Hungary 1 0 0
Israel 1 0 1
Italy 1 0 0
Japan 4 2 1
Luxembourg 1 0 0
Malaysia 1 0 0
Mexico 5 0 0
Monaco 1 0 0
Netherlands 1 1 0
New Zealand 1 0 0
Norway 2 0 0
Portugal 4 0 1
Puerto Rico 1 0 0
Slovenia 0 1 0
Spain 5 0 2
Sweden 1 1 0
Switzerland 2 1 0
Taiwan 1 0 0
Thailand 3 0 1
UK 40 5 3
USA 1151 68 164
Totals 1338 96 181
A new documentary that strongly features Alcor was released on YouTube on December 28. Imagine Beyond: Who Wants to Live Forever? allows us to present some of the case for cryonics, bolstered by good filming and supportive comments from others about life extension. It’s unfortunate that the description uses inappropriate terms such as “forever” and “eternal life’. Even so, this is a positive 15-minute piece. Just two days after release, it already has almost 300,000 views.
Filmed at Alcor in November, the production was complicated by the pandemic which meant only one videographer on location, with the producer and director talking to her and to interview Max More via video from England. Thanks to Anna Spelman for shouldering the burden of filming and pulling it off with excellence.
Documentary on YouTube.
In order to advance the science and reputation of cryonics, Alcor plans to conduct ongoing research to develop novel and near-future products related to cryopreservation procedures and protocols. The RAPID team is developing relationships and contracts to procure recently deceased human cadavers, which are not Alcor members or patients, but are already earmarked for medical research. The idea is to procure one to two cadavers per month to conduct research. We would go a “light standby” to enable fast access to cadavers.
The RAPID initiative will support cryonics research in multiple ways. Most immediately, it will help advance research into liquid ventilation – using a patient’s lungs as a heat exchanger to induce very rapid hypothermia. Animal studies along cannot take LV development to the next level due to different chest anatomy. LV research will include cooling rate control; chest compression studies; and timing and sensor feedback.
RAPID will also enable research comparing chemical fixation to perfusion and will support rewarming studies. Another benefit will be a great improvement in cryonics-specific surgical training. That includes raising and cannulating the carotids; cephalic isolation; raising and cannulating the femoral arteries; field neuro procedure training; median sternotomy training; and alternate surgical approaches.
Alcor is requesting donations through gofundme. All donors will receive quarterly reports from Alcor regarding the progress with fundraising and milestone achievements rising from the RAPID program! Please donate today to support Alcor’s RAPID initiative. Alcor is a non-profit, federally tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation and your donation may be tax deductible. Donate here. For more information, see the presentation here.
A-2705 was a 67-year-old male with neuro cryopreservation arrangements who used the death with dignity laws in his state to legally terminate his life. His cause of death was kidney failure. He was pronounced legally deceased in August in the state of Washington at 17:17 hrs on T-0 days.
A field cryoprotection (FCP) was performed before the patient was transported to Alcor. Dry ice cooldown was initiated in the field at 23:49 hrs on T-0 days. Cryogenic cooldown was initiated at Alcor at 15.05 on T+1 days and terminated on T+5 at 18.33. The patient underwent a CT scan while remaining under liquid nitrogen. At the time of writing, A-2705 is still in a small dewar with the transfer to long-term storage yet to take place.
It has been about five months since I last wrote an update on the COVID-19 situation in Arizona. For those living here or considering moving here to be closer to Alcor, it’s time for a current look at the situation.
Between my June 10 and June 16 posts, COVID cases in Arizona went up from 29,852 to 39,097 to a total of 40,924 – what seemed like a rapid pace. At that time, Arizona was one of the top 5 states for new cases and new deaths, and the peak was still several weeks away. The 7-day moving average (7-DMA) had run up from 339 on May 27 to 1,356 on June 17. Daily cases reached its peak (so far) on June 29 at 5450. At that time, Arizona ranked #20 in cases per capita and #23 in deaths per capita. Our worst day so far saw 103 deaths on July 17. How does that compare to today and to the rest of the country? (NOTE: By “cases” I mean reported positive diagnostic tests. That someone has tested positive does not mean they are sick or feel sick.)
Just one month ago, the situation looked relatively encouraging. In that month, the number of new cases has accelerated hard, as it has in many states, and the number of new deaths has also been moving up, although more slowly. Today, Arizona has 291,696 cases with today’s increase of 4,471 being the largest in months. The 7-DMA is 3166. We are now well into the red zone with 43.5 daily new cases per 100,000 (25 is considered critical). After doing badly, Arizona has been falling in the ranks of cases per capita and is currently at #25 and is closing in on the average (mean) for the USA as a whole.
The 7-DMA for new deaths has risen from 10 one month ago to 24.3 today.
The positivity rate on diagnostic tests has risen from 5.4% (or 7%, depending on the source) to 12% (or 10.5%). The infection rate has been rising since it reached a low in August.
In the last month, the number of people hospitalized has risen from 947 to 2266. ICU headroom use has risen from 19% to 46% and is close to reaching the “medium” level according to Covidactnow.
But is Arizona doing better or worse than other states? Is it a place to come to or to stay away from? The states with the most Alcor members are California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona. In recent months, Arizona has been doing better than Texas and Florida, although both of those states have been doing better than average. California, so far, despite having the second-largest number of identified cases has been suffering from lower population-adjusted cases and deaths. Like many other states, however, the curves are rising quickly. Among these states, currently none looks likely to be much better or worse than the others.
These four states all look relatively good if you compare them to the country as whole and many specific states. COVID-19 growth appears to not only be resurgent but disproportionately affecting more rural areas. Maine and Vermont, so far, have fared quite well, whereas states such as North and South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Kansas are seeing high growth in daily cases and high infection rates.
How will COVID-19 play out in Arizona? I’m not going to guess. We have seen trends reverse themselves abruptly and dramatically. Cases in Arizona have been accelerating despite far more people wearing masks (compared to the spring and summer). The influx of “snowbirds” from states with much faster growth in cases could kick up our own numbers drastically. The coming vaccines – and better treatments than we had in the last peak – could hold down the growth in deaths.
At Alcor, we continue to take precautions. Some staff are working entirely from home; others in part. We are still not giving in-person tours, having replaced them with filmed “virtual tours”. Fortunately, we haven’t had a cryopreservation in months, so haven’t had to worry about airplane travel.
Stay safe. And contact Alcor’s Medical Response Director if you have any serious medical issue, COVID-related or otherwise.
A-2037 was a 78-year-old male with neuro cryopreservation arrangements. He was found deceased in his home in Arizona. The cause of death per the death certificate was environmental heat exposure complicated by hypertensive cardiovascular disease. The length of time between cardiac arrest and pronouncement of legal death is an unknown number of days.
The member had no information such as an ID bracelet or wallet ID to let responders know that he was an Alcor member. He was sent to the state funeral home while the medical examiner searched for any family or someone to take possession of his remains. Through this process, they contacted his financial advisor, who was aware of the member’s cryopreservation arrangement and contacted Alcor’s emergency answering service to notify us at 11:07 hrs on T-0 days.
The patient was picked up from the state funeral home at approximately 14:00 hrs. The cephalic isolation took place at Alcor at approximately 15:00 hrs after the patient arrived at Alcor. Cryogenic cooldown was initiated at 15:27 hrs and terminated at 11:20 hrs on T+10 days. The patient was later transferred to long-term maintenance.
Alcor will not be able to revive any patients for many decades to come. Although that time is a long way off, we should be thinking about it and planning for it now. For one thing, that’s part of Alcor’s mission: “Future restoration of good health and reintegration into society for all patients.”
Cryonics will be less scary to some if we have a clearer picture of the challenges revived patients will face and the ways we can prepare for them. The Reintegration Working Group (RWG) aims to develop ideas and plans relating to:
- Asset trusts and future-income trusts
- “Memory books” and ways to fill in any missing memories
- Legal structures to allow patients to claim their identities and their status as persons
- An organizational culture that fosters interest in and desire to help those who return from biostasis.
- Supporting and protecting newly revived patients as they gradually reintegrate into the new world
- Facilitating contact with other revived cryonauts, if this is desired.
Are you interested in this work? If so, what can you contribute? If you want to inquire about participating, email me.