X-Message-Number: 6127
Date:  Mon, 29 Apr 96 11:50:32 
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS Re: "Dehydration" (Chemopreservation)

David L. Evens (#6124) wrote:
>Chris Benatar () wrote:
>: In the April issue of Scientific American (p72) there is an article about
>: insects preserved in amber. The following paragraph from the article
>: seems of relevence:
>: The sample contained exquisitely preserved cells, many with even the
>: mitochondria intact. The tissues were dehydrated, yet they had ***not
>: shrunk***, as one would expect with the water gone. The process by
>: which resin "fixes" tissue, so that it retains its original size, is still a
>: mystery.
>: Perhaps if we could isolate the process or chemical involved in this we
>: could have dehydration as a serious option. The only question then
>: would be to do with toxicity.
>: Any comments??
>The biggest problem I see is reversibility, as (at least partially) the 
>problem with all chemical types of preservation.  It's quite obvious how 
>to reverse freezing, but how do we get the resin out and the water back 
>in in such a way as to not destroy the tissue?
For the long term, however, "reversibility" in this sense should not
be the problem. A mature nanotechnology should be able to 
recover all relevant information that is preserved in the sample, and 
from there, recreate the original organism as far as possible 
(probably the original material could be used too, for those who find 
that important). The main problem then should be 
simply be whether the important structures are preserved in 
inferable form. For the full resuscitation of an organism,
brain tissue must be inferably preserved, including the 
structural details that encode memory and 
other personality elements.

The finding suggests that even blind nature
may have stumbled upon a means of preserving
a sentient organism so as to permit resuscitation. (If not 
that, it seems hopeful that at least the species could be recreated.) 
Chemopreservation, if it could be trusted, should have several 
advantages as an alternative to cryonics such as lower cost and easier 
maintenance (no danger of a Chatsworth-style meltdown, for instance).

Mike Perry 

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