X-Message-Number: 9023
From: Ettinger <>
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 20:54:28 EST
Subject: research

On the basis of what I currently think I know--including yesterday's post by
the COO of 21CM--the cryonics research situation appears to be somewhat as

1. The Immortalist Society and the Cryonics Institute are
supporting/conducting modest amounts of research on several fronts:

a) Yuri Pichugin & associates in the Ukraine are working with cat
heads--finishing the studies of cracking limits and then going on.

b) CI off-site work, with the help of a veterinarian, is using rabbit heads at
present and studying various procedures and solutions, including some Visser-
related. This work has been slowed down by pressure of other obligations, but
should pick up speed again before long.

c) On our agenda (with ideas ready to be tested) are several cryonics-related
research items, both engineering and biological. One concerns intermediate-
temperature storage, which may assume some importance if vitrification becomes

We make no claims or predictions concerning any of this. We do what we can
with what we have. We are certain to gain information, and with luck some of
it will be important.

(Brian Rowley's work with fruit flies is anti-senescence, not cryonics, as is
Doug Skrecky (financing himself).)

2. Twenty First Century Medicine (along with related organizations and
individuals, led by Mike Darwin) is working on research related to cryonics as
well as to conventional medicine, and has Greg Fahy as a consultant--and
pehaps in charge of some part/phase of the work. Greg is (additionally?) doing
grant-supported work under the auspices of a university. It thus appears that
he is not available to work for Prometheus or anything similar. 21CM has and
plans no connection with Prometheus, and no coordination of research.

3. BioTime is trying to push the boundary of recoverability, but as far as I
know has no special strategy for reaching reversible cryogenic storage.

4. Alcor and ACS have research programs about which I have little or no

5. The general "community" of cryobiology is doing the usual sporadic work,
some of which may be useful to us. 

6. Prometheus appears nominally moribund, if not dead. There appears to be no
possibility of coordination of research among 21CM, Fahy, and Prometheus or
equivalent. Since the POSSIBLE salvage of some of the Prometheus pledges
deserves some attention, let's ask how this might be approached. It won't be
easy, after the let-down.

First, Paul Wakfer has proven what was always obvious--that people in cryonics
can "afford" MUCH more money for research than has actually been raised. All
they need is motivation or a charismatic leader--plus a realistic and credible
plan, which has been and is still lacking. (I don't think there should be any
time targets. Our leading expert, Greg Fahy, indicated that kidney
vitrification was just around the corner--ten years ago.) 

As for a new leader in fund-raising, the only name that comes to mind is Jim
Halperin. As for the vehicle, it should probably be a new nonprofit
organization. (Or possibly the existing vehicle mentioned by Thomas

The plan--there's the rub. Even if a dynamo like Halperin can arouse
enthusiasm without time targets, who will provide the technical leadership,
with Fahy out of this part of the picture? Only two possible answers suggest
themselves to me at the moment.  

a) With enough money floating around, one or more of the conventional
cryobiology crowd might be reborn.

b) Possibly we could import Dr. Pichugin or/and similar talent from abroad. Or
possibly they could remain abroad, and apply these large amounts of money with
seven-fold leverage to do the work there.

Robert Ettinger

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