Alcor News, April 2006
Your source for insider’s info April 2006, #50
After literally years of effort, finally everything was in readiness and our patients were moved into a new, much roomier location in our building on April 19. (Actually, all but one patient, who was moved over the following morning, April 20.) A crane service handled the main details. Some half-dozen 9,000-lb Bigfoot dewars were gently hoisted by forklift and crane and deposited in their new location. This seemed a thoroughly routine task for the movers and was completed in about two hours. We are all pleased that the move was largely uneventful and our patients are safely placed in their new location (see photo). [MP]
This issue of Alcor News is coming out a bit later than planned due to a heavy work load over the past few weeks, particularly the move of our patients (see below). We thank the reader for patience and hope to be back on a regular schedule soon. [MP]
This bulletin is sent via email to anyone who requested it. Please do not reply to this message. Send comments, suggestions, or complaints to the editor, Mike Perry, (). Subscribe/unsubscribe information is at the end of this newsletter. Contents are copyright 2006 by Alcor Foundation.
Authors This Issue: Jennifer Chapman [JC], Diane Cremeens [DC], Tanya Jones [TJ], Mike Perry [MP], Sergey Sheleg [SSH], Steve Van Sickle [SVS], Website Working Group [WWG].
One of our members (A-1237) suffered a sudden cardiac arrest sometime during the night of Feb. 27- 28 while at his home in Ohio. He lay undiscovered until his wife checked on him at 9:30 local time on the morning of the 28th. Paramedics were called, and the Coroners office initiated an investigation. After some discussion the wife wanted to waive the autopsy. (The Coroner had a policy that any autopsy would be fully invasive.) Luckily this option was allowed and the autopsy was avoided. Toxicology samples were taken to assist in the determination of causes of death.
The patient arrived at Alcor at about 11:30 a.m. Mar. 1. With a delay of between 34 and 42 hours since arrest, there was no cryoprotection. Instead we decided to take a few moments to establish acoustic monitoring of the brain, a slight change from our previous protocol in this sort of case; cryogenic cooling then commenced. This is Alcors 74th patient.
Another case was expected soon for a new member who had signed up with terminal cancer, and discussions continued for several weeks, as we attempted to arrange the stabilization well. Unfortunately, all this planning was for naught: the member contacted us late in March to cancel the arrangements. [TJ]
Alcor’s Chief Research Scientist, Sergey Sheleg, finished the research paper About autolysis of the CNS neurons based on research data from the research project Dynamics of hypoxic brain damage after normothermic cardiac arrest and will send it to the peer-reviewed research journal Pathology International for publication. The paper interestingly shows an absence of autolytic (self-induced) damage in the brain up to six hours after cardiac arrest at room temperature (20 C), but signs of apoptosis (cell self-destruction) appear after nine hours.
Dr. Sheleg also started work on a new research project. He will be analyzing the intracellular damage (damage within the cells) of brain tissue using electron microscopy. His analysis will compare tissues that were cryopreserved with different cryoprotectants (M22 vitrification, glycerol, and direct freezing in liquid nitrogen). In this way we can compare the quality of preservation obtained with (1) our new vitrification protocol, (2) an earlier method using glycerol, and (3) straight freezing with no cryoprotection. [SSH]
Tim Reeves Incarcerated
The sentencing hearing of Tim Reeves on March 31 was attended by Tanya Jones and Stephen Van Sickle. Convicted of embezzling some $177,000 while a bookkeeper at Alcor, Reeves must now serve 12 months in the County Jail, to be followed by 5 years of supervised probation, with restitution to be determined by a hearing in May. The judge allowed that he could participate in a work furlough program, provided he meets its qualifications. Reeves read a statement in court expressing his remorse and asking for mercy. He requested the opportunity to contact Alcor to apologize, but was directed by the Court not to contact the victims. He was immediately taken into custody to begin his sentence, though that was something of a formality as he is currently serving 60 days for a DUI conviction. [SVS]
Alcor has received the settlement paperwork for the long-standing case involving a Florida member who was cryopreserved in 2004. We get uncontested custody of the patient, the $100,000 cryopreservation minimum, and $77,500 of our attorney fees. This money has been deposited in our lawyers escrow account, and once we review and sign some final documents, he will be sending us a check. [SVS]
Alcor Conference Registration
Registration for Alcor’s conference on October 6-8 will begin in May. Check the Alcor website (www.alcor.org) in a few weeks to take advantage of early rates. [JC]
Alcor took possession of unit 105 of its building April 1. This unit, with minimal modification, will allow us a separate and dedicated space for storing the transport vehicle, building and stocking transport kits, building perfusion tubing packs, and mixing perfusate. All of the lab space we currently have and the old Operating Room will be used exclusively for research. This space in turn will include small and large perfusion labs, a cryobiology and biochemistry lab, and a laboratory instrument room.
This is enough work space to keep several researchers working simultaneously full time. The usefulness of this space is not just that it allows us to forego some planned construction, but it also allows us to substantially increase our capabilities. For the first time in my experience, Alcor now has adequate technical and laboratory space. [SVS]
Bulk Tank Now in Service
Alcor’s bulk tank (the tank that holds spare liquid nitrogen) needed to be repaired before moving our patients. Like other containers of cold liquids, the tank is a double-walled vessel with a vacuum between the walls for insulation. The tank was prepared and received its first fill of liquid nitrogen. Some further problems developed but these fortunately were not too difficult to fix, and the tank is now in service.
The 900-gallon tank will be important to our expanding operation and should reduce the frequency of liquid nitrogen deliveries while providing a reservoir for use, among other things, in patient cooldowns. [MP, TJ]
Alcor held a training session in Peacehaven, England on the weekend of March 11-12. It went extremely well, with around 25 UK and German attendees. Members of both Alcor and Cryonics Institute were trained in the Alcor stabilization protocols, as well as a few non- members. We made the decision to train anyone who wished to attend so we could continue promoting the Cryonics UK team. Training covered many topics and included a full walk- through of the stabilization process with participation by a portion of the trainees.
We intend to make UK training a regular portion of our annual training schedule and will be upgrading their stabilization equipment at the first opportunity.[TJ]
On March 31, 2006, Alcor had 789 members on its Emergency Responsibility List. Six memberships were approved during this month, no memberships were reinstated, two memberships were cancelled and no members were cryopreserved. Overall, there was a net gain of four members this month. [DC]
Next Board Meeting
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, 2006, at 11:00 AM (MST). Board meetings are typically held on the first Saturday of the month at the Alcor facility (7895 East Acoma Drive in Scottsdale, AZ). Members and the public are encouraged to attend.
Have you ever thought about joining the Alcor team? We have opportunities for licensed Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians, Registered Nurses, Lab Technicians and more to join our nationwide Transport Team. Participation is on a contractual basis. You’ll be given cryonics training enabling you to participate in our patient rescue and transport cases. Licensed professionals do not have to be Alcor members to join our team. We welcome your expertise and interest. Send your resume to:
Alcor members have a new forum where they can meet and chat with other members. Get to know other cryonics supporters in your area and around the world by visiting Alcor United (www.alcorunited.org).