Scientists’ Open Letter on Cryonics

Signatories encompass all disciplines relevant to cryonics, including Biology, Cryobiology, Neuroscience, Physical Science, Nanotechnology and Computing, Ethics and Theology.

The signatories, speaking for themselves, include leading scientists from institutes such as MIT, Harvard, NASA and Cambridge University to name a few.

To whom it may concern,

Cryonics is a legitimate science-based endeavor that seeks to preserve human beings, especially the human brain, by the best technology available. Future technologies for resuscitation can be envisioned that involve molecular repair by nanomedicine, highly advanced computation, detailed control of cell growth, and tissue regeneration.

With a view toward these developments, there is a credible possibility that cryonics performed under the best conditions achievable today can preserve sufficient neurological information to permit eventual restoration of a person to full health.

The rights of people who choose cryonics are important, and should be respected.

Sincerely (69 Signatories)

[Signature date in brackets]

Gregory Benford, Ph.D.
(Physics, UC San Diego) Professor of Physics; University of California; Irvine, CA [3/24/04]

Alex Bokov, Ph.D.
(Physiology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio) [6/02/2014]

Alaxander Bolonkin, Ph.D.
(Leningrad Politechnic University) Professor, Moscow Aviation Institute; Senior Research Associate NASA Dryden Flight Research Center; Lecturer, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ [3/24/04]

Nick Bostrom, Ph.D.
Research Fellow; University of Oxford; Oxford, United Kingdom [3/25/04]

Kevin Q. Brown, Ph.D.
(Computer Science, Carnegie-Mellon) Member of Technical Staff; Lucent Bell Laboratories (retired); Stanhope, NJ [3/23/04]

Professor Manfred Clynes, Ph.D.
Lombardi Cancer Center; Department of Oncology and Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Georgetown University; Washington, DC [3/28/04]

L. Stephen Coles, M.D., PhD
(RPI, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon University) Director, Supercentenarian Research Foundation Inglewood, California [10/7/06]

Jose Luis Cordeiro, MBA, PhD
The Millennium Project, Venezuelan Director; Founding Faculty, Singularity University, NASA Research Park, California; and Adjunct Professor, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia [02/07/06]

Daniel Crevier, Ph.D.
(MIT) President, Ophthalmos Systems Inc., Longueuil, Qc, Canada; Professor of Electrical Engineering (ret.), McGill University & École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal, Canada. [4/7/05]

Antonei B. Csoka, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh Development Center, Magee-Womens Research Institute [9/14/05]

Paulo H. R. de Castro, M.D., Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [01/29/16]

Aubrey D.N.J. de Grey, Ph.D.
Research Associate; University of Cambridge;Cambridge, United Kingdom [3/19/04]

Wesley M. Du Charme, Ph.D.
(Experimental Psychology, University of Michigan) author of Becoming Immortal, Rathdrum, Idaho [11/23/05]

João Pedro de Magalhães, Ph.D.
University of Namur; Namur, Belgium [3/22/04]

Thomas Donaldson, Ph.D.
Editor, Periastron; Founder, Institute for Neural Cryobiology; Canberra, Australia [3/22/04]

Christopher J. Dougherty, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist; Suspended Animation Inc; Boca Raton, FL [3/19/04]

K. Eric Drexler, Ph.D.
Chairman of Foresight Institute; Palo Alto, CA [3/19/04]

Lluís Estrada, MD., Ph.D.

Ex Head of the Clinical Neurophysiology Section (retired) at the University Hospital Joan XXIII of Tarragona, Spain. [11/21/2015]

Robert A. Freitas Jr., J.D.
Author, Nanomedicine Vols. I & II; Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, Palo Alto, CA [3/27/04]

Mark Galecki, Ph.D.
(Mathematics, Univ of Tennessee), M.S. (Computer Science, Rutgers Univ), Senior System Software Engineer, SBS Technologies [11/23/05]

D. B. Ghare, Ph.D.
Principal Research Scientist, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India [5/24/04]

Ben Goertzel, Ph.D.
(Mathematics, Temple) Chief Scientific Officer, Biomind LLC; Columbia, MD [3/19/04]

Peter Gouras, M.D.
Professor of Ophthalmology, Columbia University; New York City, NY [3/19/04]

Rodolfo G. Goya, PhD
Senior Scientist, Institute for Biochemical Research (INIBIOLP), School of Medicine,, National University of La Plata, La Plata city, Argentina. [11/22/2015]

Amara L. Graps, Ph.D.
Researcher, Astrophysics; Adjunct Professor of Astronomy; Institute of Physics of the Interplanetary Space; American University of Rome (Italy) [3/22/04]

Raphael Haftka, Ph.D.
(UC San Diego) Distinguished Prof. U. of Florida; Dept. of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Gainesville, FL [3/22/04]

David A. Hall, M.D.
Dean of Education, World Health Medical School [11/23/05]

J. Storrs Hall, Ph.D.
Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, Los Altos, CA
Fellow, Molecular Engineering Research Institute, Laporte, PA [3/26/04]

Robin Hanson, Ph.D.
(Social Science, Caltech) Assistant Professor (of Economics); George Mason University; Fairfax, VA [3/19/04]

Steven B. Harris, M.D.
President and Director of Research; Critical Care Research, Inc; Rancho Cucamonga, CA [3/19/04]

Michael D. Hartl, Ph.D.
(Physics, Harvard & Caltech) Visitor in Theoretical Astrophysics; California Institute of Technology; Pasadena, CA [3/19/04]

Kenneth J. Hayworth, Ph.D. (Neuroscience, University of Southern California) Research Fellow; Harvard University; Cambridge, MA [10/22/10]

Henry R. Hirsch, Ph. D.
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1960) Professor Emeritus, University of Kentucky College of Medicine [11/29/05]

Tad Hogg, Ph.D.
(Physics, Caltech and Stanford) research staff, HP Labs, Palo Alto, CA [10/10/05]

James J. Hughes, Ph.D.
Public Policy Studies Trinity College; Hartford, CT [3/25/04]

James R. Hughes, M.D., Ph.D.
ER Director of Meadows Regoinal Medical Center; Director of Medical Research & Development, Hilton Head Longevity Center, Savanah, GA [4/05/04]

Ravin Jain, M.D.
(Medicine, Baylor) Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA [3/31/04]

Subhash C. Kak, Ph.D.
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA [3/24/04]

Professor Bart Kosko, Ph.D.
Electrical Engineering Department; University of Southern California [3/19/04]

Jaime Lagúnez, PhD
NGS and Systems biologist for INSP (National Institutes of Health of Mexico) and CONACYT (National Science and Technology Council). [11/21/2015]

James B. Lewis, Ph.D.
(Chemistry, Harvard) Senior Research Investigator (retired); Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute; Seattle, WA [3/19/04]

Marc S. Lewis, Ph.D.
Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in Clinical Psychology. Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin of Clinical Psychology. [6/12/05]

Brad F. Mellon, STM, Ph.D.
Chair of the Ethics Committee; Frederick Mennonite Community; Frederick, PA [3/25/04]

Ralph C. Merkle, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Computing; Georgia Tech College of Computing; Director, GTISC (GA Tech Information Security Center); VP, Technology Assessment, Foresight Institute [3/19/04]

Marvin Minsky, Ph.D.
(Mathematics, Harvard & Princeton) MIT Media Lab and MIT AI Lab; Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences; Professor of E.E. and C.S., M.I.T [3/19/04]

John Warwick Montgomery, Ph.D.
(Chicago) D.Théol. (Strasbourg), LL.D. (Cardiff) Professor Emeritus of Law and Humanities, University of Luton, England [3/28/04]

Max More, Ph.D.
Chairman, Extropy Institute, Austin, TX [3/31/04]

Steve Omohundro, Ph.D.
(Physics, University of California at Berkeley) Computer science professor at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana [6/08/04]

Mike O’Neal, Ph.D.
(Computer Science) Assoc. Professor and Computer Science Program Chair; Louisiana Tech Univ.; Ruston, LA [3/19/04]

R. Michael Perry, Ph.D. Computer Science
Patient care and technical services, Alcor Life Extension Foundation [9/30/09]

Yuri Pichugin, Ph.D.
Former Senior Researcher, Institute for Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine; Kharkov, Ukraine [3/19/04]

Peter H. Proctor, M.D., Ph.D.
Independent Physician & Pharmacologist; Houston, Texas [5/02/04]

Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., J.D., M.B.A.
Responsible for launching several satellite communications companies including Sirius and WorldSpace. Founder and CEO of United Therapeutics. [5/02/04]

Klaus H. Sames, M.D.
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Center of Experimental Medicine (CEM) Institute of Anatomy II: Experimental Morphology; Hamburg, Germany [3/25/04]

Anders Sandberg, Ph.D.
(Computational Neuroscience) Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University; Stockholm, Sweden [3/19/04]

Sergey V. Sheleg, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist, Alcor Life Extension Foundation; Scottsdale, AZ [8/11/05]

Stanley Shostak, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences; University of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh, PA [3/19/04]

Rafal Smigrodzki, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief Clinical Officer, Gencia Company; Charlottesville VA [3/19/04]

David S. Stodolsky, Ph.D.
(Univ. of Cal., Irvine) Senior Scientist, Institute for Social Informatics [11/24/05]

Gregory Stock, Ph.D.
Director, Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society UCLA School of Public Health; Los Angeles, CA [3/24/04]

Charles Tandy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Humanities and Director Center for Interdisciplinary Philosophic Studies Fooyin University (Kaohsiung, Taiwan) [5/25/05]

Peter Toma, Ph.D.
President, Cosmolingua, Inc. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Inventor and Founder of SYSTRAN. Director of International Relations, Alcor Life Extension Foundation. Residences in Argentina, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland and USA [5/24/05]

Natasha Vita-More, PhD
Professor, University of Advancing Technology, Tempe, Arizona, USA. [11/22/2015]

Mark A. Voelker, Ph.D.
(Optical Sciences, U. Arizona) Director of Bioengineering; BioTime, Inc.; Berkeley, CA [3/19/04]

Roy L. Walford, M.D.
Professor of Pathology, emeritus; UCLA School of Medicine; Los Angeles, CA [3/19/04]

Mark Walker, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Philosophy; Trinity College; University of Toronto (Canada) [3/19/04]

Michael D. West, Ph.D.
President, Chairman & Chief Executive Office; Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.; Worcester, MA [3/19/04]

Ronald F. White, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy; College of Mount St. Joseph; Cincinnati, OH [3/19/04]

James Wilsdon, Ph.D.
(Oxford University) Head of Strategy for Demos, an independent think-tank; London, England [5/04/04]

Brian Wowk, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist 21st Century Medicine, Inc.; Rancho Cucamonga, CA [3/19/04]

Selected Journal Articles Supporting Cryonics:

First paper showing recovery of brain electrical activity after freezing to -20°C. Suda I, Kito K, Adachi C, in: Nature (1966, vol. 212), “Viability of long term frozen cat brain in vitro“, pg. 268-270.

First paper to propose cryonics by neuropreservation: Martin G, in: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine (1971, vol. 14), “Brief proposal on immortality: an interim solution”, pg. 339.

First paper showing recovery of a mammalian organ after cooling to -196°C (liquid nitrogen temperature) and subsequent transplantation: Hamilton R, Holst HI, Lehr HB, in: Journal of Surgical Research (1973, vol 14), “Successful preservation of canine small intestine by freezing“, pg. 527-531.

First paper showing partial recovery of brain electrical activity after 7 years of frozen storage: Suda I, Kito K, Adachi C, in: Brain Research (1974, vol. 70), “Bioelectric discharges of isolated cat brain after revival from years of frozen storage“, pg. 527-531.

First paper suggesting that nanotechnology could reverse freezing injury: Drexler KE, in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (1981, vol. 78), “Molecular engineering: An approach to the development of general capabilities for molecular manipulation“, pg. 5275-5278.

First paper showing that large organs can be cryopreserved without structural damage from ice: Fahy GM, MacFarlane DR, Angell CA, Meryman HT, in: Cryobiology (1984, vol. 21), “Vitrification as an approach to cryopreservation“, pg. 407-426.

First paper showing that large mammals can be recovered after three hours of total circulatory arrest (“clinical death”) at +3°C (37°F). This supports the reversibility of the hypothermic phase of cryonics: Haneda K, Thomas R, Sands MP, Breazeale DG, Dillard DH, in: Cryobiology (1986, vol. 23), “Whole body protection during three hours of total circulatory arrest: an experimental study“, pg. 483-494.

First detailed discussion of the application of nanotechnology to reverse human cryopreservation: Merkle RC, in: Medical Hypotheses (1992, vol. 39), “The technical feasibility of cryonics“, pg. 6-16.

First successful application of vitrification to a relatively large tissue of medical interest: Song YC, Khirabadi BS, Lightfoot F, Brockbank KG, Taylor MJ, in: Nature Biotechnology (2000, vol. 18), “Vitreous cryopreservation maintains the function of vascular grafts“, pg. 296-299.

First report of the consistent survival of transplanted kidneys after cooling to and rewarming from -45°C: Fahy GM, Wowk B, Wu J, Phan J, Rasch C, Chang A, Zendejas E, in: Cryobiology (2004 vol. 48), “Cryopreservation of organs by vitrification: perspectives and recent advances“, pg. 157-78. PDF here.

First paper showing ice-free vitrification of whole brains, the reversibility of prolonged warm ischemic injury without subsequent neurological deficits, and setting forth the present scientific evidence in support of cryonics: Lemler J, Harris SB, Platt C, Huffman T, in: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, (2004 vol. 1019), “The Arrest of Biological Time as a Bridge to Engineered Negligible Senescence“, pg. 559-563. PDF here.

First discussion of cryonics in a major medical journal: Whetstine L, Streat S, Darwin M, Crippen D, in: Critical Care, (2005, vol. 9), “Pro/con ethics debate: When is dead really dead?“, pg. 538-542. PDF here.

First demonstration that both the viability and structure of complex neural networks can be well preserved by vitrification: Pichugin Y, Fahy GM, Morin R, in: Cryobiology, (2006, vol. 52), “Cryopreservation of rat hippocampal slices by vitrification“, pg. 228-240. PDF here.

Rigorous demonstration of memory retention after cooling to +10°C (59°F). Alam HB, Bowyer MW, Koustova E, Gushchin V, Anderson D, Stanton K, Kreishman P, Cryer CM, Hancock T, Rhee P, in: Surgery (2002, vol. 132), “Learning and memory is preserved after induced asanguineous hyperkalemic hypothermic arrest in a swine model of traumatic exsanguination“, pg. 278-88.

Review of scientific justifications of cryonics: Best BP, in: Rejuvenation Research (2008, vol. 11), “Scientific justification of cryonics practice”, pg. 493-503. PDF here.

First successful vitrification, transplantation, and long-term survival of a vital mammalian organ: Fahy GM, Wowk B, Pagotan R, Chang A, Phan J, Thomson B, Phan L, in: Organogensis (2009, vol. 5), “Physical and biological aspects of renal vitrification” pg. 167-175. PDF here.

First demonstration of memory retention in a cryopreserved and revived animal: Vita-More N, Barranco D, in: Rejuvenation Research, (2015, vol. 18), “Persistence of Long-Term Memory in Vitrified and Revived Caenorhabditis elegans“, pg. 458-463. PDF here.

First demonstration of whole brain vitrification with perfect preservation of neural connectivity (“connectome”) throughout the entire brain: McIntyre RM, Fahy GM, in: Cryobiology, (2015, vol. 71), “Aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation“, pg. 448-458. PDF here.

Note: Signing of this letter does not imply endorsement of any particular cryonics organization or its practices. Opinions on how much cerebral ischemic injury (delay after clinical death) and preservation injury may be reversible in the future vary widely among signatories.

Contact: contact@evidencebasedcryonics.org

Understanding Cryonics: Part 1 – Good Science? Or Science Fiction?

In this, the first in a series of feature articles I will be publishing on the topic of cryonics, we will look at the very basics of the technology and dispel many of the common myths regarding the ‘fantasy’ of cryonic suspension and re-animation.

First, to get rid of the most commonly perceived myth, no, Walt Disney was NOT cryonically suspended. In fact, his body (including his head – more on the significance of this later) was cremated and his ashes set to rest at the now infamous Forrest Lawn Cemetery in rural Los Angeles; very close to the final resting place of pop icon Michael Jackson.

Alcor Life Extension Foundation
Alcor Life Extension Foundation public relations manager Paula Lemler looks over storage units which contain liquid hydrogen in Scottsdale, Ariz., Wednesday, July 30, 2003. (AP Photo/Tom Hood)

The most notable person who was cryonically preserved is former baseball legend, Ted Williams. After his death in 2002, his head was surgically removed and preserved using one of the fascinating cryotechnologies called neuro suspension, which we will begin to explore now.

There are two basic types of cryonic suspension: full-body suspension, and suspension of only a subject’s head, commonly referred to as neuro-suspension. The goal of Full-body suspension is typically to revive the subject at a future time, when the affliction which set about their cardiac arrest is cured and it is reasonably deduced that they could regain a seemingly normal life.

The goal of neuro-suspension is to preserve only the brain with the hope that once human cloning technology is perfected and commonplace in our society, the subject’s DNA can be used to clone a new body and that the memories, emotions, and personality of the suspended brain can be placed into the healthy clone.

Sound far fetched? Maybe. But, before we jump to conclusions, we should at least take a much closer look at the science and technology behind cryonics so that we can make an informed and educated opinion on the subject, right? After all, the science is very real and the technology to suspend people does exist and is, in fact, in practice all over the world.

Are those people signing up to be frozen (or worse, decapitated then frozen) all crazy? Are the doctors and scientists that spend and dedicate their lives to this science nuts too?

In order to properly examine the reality of cryonics and all of the elements that go into a successful suspension, we have to understand the legality of the field and the science that drives it. Foremost in this discussion, we must understand that it is against the law to cryonically suspend any human before they are legally dead – and yes, there are (at least from strict legal and medical viewpoints) several different types of death.

Legal death occurs anytime the heart stops. This is an important distinction because there are thousands of people who legally die and are brought back by medical science every day through the use of defibrillators, bypass machines, pacemakers, and even good old fashioned CPR.

Clinical death, or total death, as it is sometimes referred to, does not occur until all brain function stops. This is the point where most medical professionals agree any attempt at resuscitation is futile since irreparable brain damage is likely to have occurred due to a prolonged lack of oxygen and/or blood circulation.

These definitions lay the platform that allows hope for the science of cryonics. The science thrives because it is believed that by properly preserving a human body at or just after the time of legal death, successful reanimation can be achieved, provided no irreversible damage is done to the cells, organs, brain, or nervous system of the subject during suspension. The preservation process, called vitrification within the industry, is the key to having any hope of successful resuscitation.

Because it is so crucial that no physical damage be done to the subject body during vitrification, the subject is not simply dipped into a vat of liquid nitrogen at the time of death. While this would immediately cease all cellular degeneration and preserve the body without further decay, it would not prevent the water content in the body from forming ice crystals which could expand causing catastrophic and irreparable damage to veins, cells, and organs. Therefore, as part of the vitrification process, shortly after a declaration of legal death, doctors immediately begin removing the water from the subject body and replacing it with a glycerol-based chemical, called a cryoprotectant. This ‘human anti-freeze’, has proven far more efficient at preserving the intricacies of the human body during suspension then did the earliest methods used. It is also sadly the reason why the people suspended earliest in the science’s history, are far less likely to ever be successfully revived, and why most scientists and cryobiologists believe any attempts at future revivals will be done on a last in, first out basis. Not because a longer period of suspension would be any more detrimental to the revival efforts, but because earlier subjects were not preserved using the methods now known to prevent crystallization during suspension and therefore have much less chance of being revived without fatally catastrophic physical damage being done to the body.

Now that we know what cryonics is, what it hopes to accomplish, and how a subject is prepared, my next article will focus on the process of vitrification and the storage of the subjects. The third article in this series will detail the storage facilities themselves, as well as the future of nanotechnology and how it is expected to revolutionize the prospect of revivals. The forth and possibly final article in this series, will recap what we know, highlight any other potential future breakthroughs in the science or the technology that drives it, and divulge when the first human revivals might be realistically expected. I hope you’ll join me for each of them as we explore this fascinating science and what miraculous possibilities successful cryonics could unleash for mankind.

About the author..

Dorian Lassiter
Dorian Lassiter is the author of numerous articles, short stories and suspense novels. He is the divorced, 39-year-old father of 3, and…

Understanding Cryonics: Part 2 – Vitrification & Storage

Article first published at Technorati.com

In part 1 of ‘Understanding Cryonics’, we took a brief look at the science and technology behind freezing the recently dead with the hope of reviving them at a future time. As I learned while researching this piece, and as I hope you gathered as well, the theory of it does hold some logical promise. At first, I was especially resistant to the concept of people signing up to be decapitated immediately after death and having only their heads preserved until cloning becomes as commonplace as open heart surgery. But, after pondering it for a bit, this method of preservation actually began to make even more sense to me then whole body suspension. I mean, why go through all of that, wait to have cancer cured, only to come back into a 70-year-old body that’s likely to have something else go fatally wrong with it at any time? So I rationalized that at least until I could be cloned into a younger, healthy, vibrant body, why bother coming back at all? And if it never happens, oh well, I mean I’m already dead, right? So what if it takes a few more years in limbo to be able to come back with a full life to look forward to, instead of just buying a few more years?

Alcor Life Extension Foundation
Alcor Life Extension Foundation public relations manager Paula Lemler looks over storage units which contain liquid hydrogen at the cryogenics lab in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Tom Hood)

The term vitrification means many things to many different schools of science (I know, I Googled it). For the purposes of cryonics, vitrification means simply the process of preparing a subject to withstand temperatures as low as -130 degrees Celsius (-202 F) and to prevent the formation of ice crystals in a suspended body at those temperatures. Most commonly used today is a glycerol-based solvent which is inserted into the subject body to replace the water which would freeze when flash frozen and destroy tissue, cells and organs, making the subject body unrecoverable. The downside is, this glycerol-based solvent does not work in preserving complete organs. There is a company, however who has revolutionized a proprietary cocktail which has already been successful in vitrifying a rabbit kidney, cry suspending that kidney to -135C, rewarming it, and transplanting it into a healthy rabbit. That rabbit lives on and is quite healthy to this day.

So what exactly happens to a cryo-subject once their heart stops? I thought you’d never ask! An emergency response team of skilled cryo technicians from whichever cryo facility the subject signed on with rushes to the recently deceased and begins the preliminary vitrification process. At this stage, they maintain oxygen and blood flow through the body (simulating life support) until the body can be brought to the cryo facility for complete vitrification. The body is packed in ice and injected with large doses of heparin (an anticoagulant) which prevents the blood from clotting while in transport. A team of skilled cry biologists is waiting once the team arrives at the facility with the new subject and they commence the complete vitrification process, preparing the body for storage.

The vitrification procedure takes about four hours as all of the water is delicately removed from the subject body and replaced with glycerol-based cryoprotectant. Once that process is complete, the body is cooled on a bed of dry ice until it’s core temperature reaches a balmy -130C (-202 F), thereby completing the vitrification process. Next, the subject (either whole body, or just the head) are placed into an individual container which is then lowered into a bigger stainless steel tank upside down, Bodies are placed in the cryo tanks upside down in the even the tank leaks, the brain will remain protected longest.

Neurosuspension clients are simply set to rest at the very bottom of the tanks, which hare filled with liquid nitrogen at a temperature of about -196 C (-320 F) for long-term storage and preservation. Additional liquid nitrogen is occasionally added to replace the minute quantities that are lost due to evaporation. Each of the large Stainless steel tanks is capable of supporting 4 whole-body suspension subjects, and 6 neurosuspension subjects simultaneously.

As you might have imagined by now, subscribing to a cryo facility isn’t a cheap undertaking. Some facilities used to charge a monthly fee of about $400, but over time, family members die, or forget, or estates and trusts dry up, leaving the facility to hold the bag for the rest of…well…for a very long time. As a result, most facilities now charge a flat rate of around $200,000 for a whole body suspension and about $50,000 to preserve only the head and brain. A $500 annual membership is also required during the life of the subject at many such facilities to offset administrative costs associated with being ready for the subject’s legal death. Additional fees are also incurred depending on where the subject is at the time of legal death, and how far the emergency response team needs to travel to retrieve the body and transport it to the storage facility.

Hopefully, we all now have a better understanding of the vitrification and storage processes that go into the two types of cryosuspensions, as well as a general idea of the fees that are involved for anyone who is interested in being preserved. In segment 3 of this series, we will explore the inner workings of some of the more notable cryo-storage facilities in The United States. For you bean counters out there who just must always be crunching the numbers, we will also endeavor to ascertain how much time, effort and expense that goes into the daily operation of such a facility, despite the fact that the residents aren’t exactly screaming for extra blankets or a fresh bedpan.

About the author..

Dorian Lassiter
Dorian Lassiter is the author of numerous articles, short stories and suspense novels. He is the divorced, 39-year-old father of 3, and…