X-Message-Number: 28584
From: "mike99" <>
Subject: Report on the Alcor Conference 2006 [Part 2]
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 14:48:28 -0600

NOTE: In Part one of this report, I neglected to mention the Saturday panel
discussing "Cryonics Organizations Today" in which BEN BEST of the Cryonics
Institute, MELODY MAXIM of Suspended Animation, and TANYA JONES of Alcor
explained issues and accomplishments of their respective organizations.

Sunday 8 October

Sunday was anything but a day of rest! Back-to-back presentations by
scientists BRIAN WOWK and GREGORY FAHY featured detailed reports on
cryogenic research, including electronmicrographs of brain sections that
allowed the audience to see how normal brain tissues compare with those that
were frozen using different cryoprotectants. At some point the sheer volume
of technical data, graphs and explanations began to freeze my brain without
need of liquid nitrogen. Fortunately, both Brian and Greg are charming
individuals who recognized that they were presenting to a mixed audience,
not a gathering of their scientific colleagues, so they took pains to
explain many of the background concepts needed so the audience could grasp
the implications of their research.

Then STEPHEN VAN SICKLE, Alcor Executive Director, gave a rather detailed
report on the state of cryopreservation today and the future direction
envisioned by Alcor. Vitrification research, which had already been
explained by Drs. Wowk and Fahy, is the key element in the compound of
improvements described by Van Sickle. Other elements include the development
of improved emergency standby and transport equipment (some of which we
would see later that afternoon during the Alcor site tour).

Next, Alcor CEO TANYA JONES gave a solo presentation on legal and financial
issues facing cryonicists who wish to preserve some of their wealth through
legal trusts. Alcor is developing a Wealth Preservation Trust for Alcor
members. It is designed to allow members to protect their assets while in
cryopreservation. One problem with such funds has always been the murky
legal doctrine (which varies from one US state to another) regarding
"perpetuities" (i.e., a trust or other such legal entity that is intended to
continue without end). Alcor's Wealth Preservation Trust has a term limit of
350 years from the date of an individual member's deanimation. When
questioned about this limit, Jones said that it was a legal requirement to
have such a limit. Furthermore, in the opinion of many cryonics experts,
this limit was not too short for the development of reanimation technology.
Even though Jones' co-presenter Dr. Michael Riskin had to cancel his
appearance, leaving her to handle the entire presentation alone, she did
very well. After watching her performance, I understood why former Alcor CEO
Dr. LEMLER had introduced her by saying that hiring Tanya Jones was the
smartest thing he had done at Alcor.

What more can I say about this sterling conference? Only this: I welcomed
Alcor's announcement that conferences are going to be held annually from now
on. I hope to attend every one!

Michael LaTorra

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