How come people here are not very interested in cryonics/brain preservation?

Hi everyone,

I’m new to the forum. Some great stuff here and I’ve learned a lot. Personally, I’m still rapa-curious because of financial constraints and risk aversion, although I share your goals, and will likely look into hopping on the rapamycin train in the coming years.

I’ve noticed that there isn’t much discussion about cryonics or brain preservation here. I’m curious as to why that is? Are there any particular reasons why people don’t seem to be interested in this topic?

Here’s my reason for being surprised. Rapamycin is being studied as a potential life-extension drug in humans. There is also lots of discussion about other speculative life-extension supplements/medicines here. However, rapamycin is also pretty much unproven in humans. So, it only really makes sense if one is willing to take a financial risk on an unproven product.

Cryonics/brain preservation is a different kind of life extension that is also wholly unproven. It is basically the gamble that if one preserves themselves upon dying, future technology will be able to bootstrap (a) a cure to what killed you and (b) the ability to revive people who are preserved with contemporary technology. Most likely, if revival ever comes to fruition, the technology would involve AI and things that are difficult for us to imagine today.

Actually, cryonics/brain preservation is, in a sense, lower risk than rapamycin and many of the supplements discussed here, because it only starts when you’re dead anyway. There is no concern for side effects, so less to lose! (Unless you’re more concerned than most about worse-than-death outcomes upon revival, which most people do not seem to be, but that would make sense).

There are some relatively low-cost options out there for cryonics. Cryonics Germany is free. Oregon Cryonics has options from $1000-$28,000. Cryonics Institute costs about $30,000.

There is some overlap between the fields. For example, James Clement was a former board member at Alcor and he is now running trials of the efficacy of rapamycin at his nonprofit Betterhumans.

So I’m curious: what do you all think about cryonics/brain preservation? Any interest in pursuing it for yourself?

Curious to hear any thoughts! =)


For starters, many cryogenic companies have been proven to be fraudulent and/or incompetent after the fact. They looked great until they didn’t. I really don’t think the technology is up to speed on this.


Thanks for the response! That was true of the companies started in the 1960s. They didn’t have a good financial model and at least one of the companies was very scammy. Since the 1970s Alcor and Cryonics Institute have survived with no preserved people thawing as far as I know. Anyway, even factoring in a probability of the organization going under (certainly always non zero), might still be worth it given the alternative.

I wont say a lot about cryonics and if anyone promotes it i may not waste my time in responding, but it seems something i would not wish to be involved in even if it might work.

Interesting! Mind explaining why?

We try to be pretty science-based here, and not so much science-fiction. The site is very much focused on things we can do now (or in the near future) that has a good probability (as demonstrated by scientific studies) to be helpful in improving healthy longevity. We all have limited time and financial resources, so we want to focus on good investments of both. For me at least, Cryonics doesn’t make that cut. Basically the general scientific consensus is that cryonics has a 1 in a billion chance of being successful - and by that I mean its just a really long shot with poor odds. There are better things to bet on that are available now, or soon, and provide benefit in this life. I guess the issue is that resources (time/money) are finite and limited, so you focus on the best bets, highest reward to risk ratio (while you are living).

When it gets to the point that they can freeze mice for a year and resuscitate them, I’ll be more interested.

I won’t speak for other people here (I’m sure there are a wide variety of opinions), but I think Richard Miller provides a good viewpoint on it, and he’s a person who is very aggressively pro-longevity and who runs the National Institutes of Aging Intervention Testing Program (the lead program that has done most of the really rigorous rapamycin lifespan studies in mice).

More about Richard Miller here:

and here:

I recommend you listen to what he has to say about cryonics: He starts off by saying something to the effect of “To be honest, I think cryonics is bunk…”


Interesting! Not sure if that scientist knows much about the relevant cryobiology. For example, he mentions crystalline deposits damaging cells but ice damage is addressable with cryoprotectants, and preventable via vitrification. Of course vitrification brings its own problems like severe dehydration. And perfusing cryoprotectants into the brain is much easier said than done. Thanks a lot for the pointer and response.

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I went to a longevity conference in December and a company that does nothing but study low temperature survival (the only company I believe that does this) and I’m aware of lots of progress in the area of low temperature research… but its still so early in the area and the focus is really on translating it to damage repair for heart attacks etc.

I know of no serious researchers in the longevity field that consider cryonics (as futurists envision its application) something that that is really going to help anyone in any foreseeable future…

I recommend you review this info on Fauna Bio - and check out their videos on youtube: The Longevity Summit, News & Update - #10 by RapAdmin


Interesting. Here are some serious researchers in the longevity field who I’ve encountered who think that cryonics might be useful:

  • Greg Fahy
  • Reason (author of the blog Fight Aging)
  • Aubrey de Grey

Or perhaps you don’t consider these people serious?

I think the idea is that the damage caused by current preservation methods is severe but our repair technology in the future has the potential to be really really good.

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Imagine waking up centuries from now just to realize how stupid you are compared to everyone else around, and you’d be asking questions like “what version of Windows are we on now?” And they would all smile, communicating to each other using telepathy-embedded circuitry that had been implanted in the uterus before their birth. That sounds like no fun to me.

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That sounds like a pretty general argument against life extension. Surprised to hear it on a life extension forum!

I want to live as long as possible in a state of health, but at some point, its inevitable, we will all die.


I agree it’s very very likely we will all die because I think near-term LEV is very very unlikely. But that doesn’t mean that cryonics/brain preservation couldn’t work. In that case, people who are preserved could come back to life.

I guess I just find it interesting that people on this forum are not very interested. Because I’m too risk-averse to use rapamycin given its current state, but it seems many of the users here are too risk-averse to use cryonics/brain preservation in its current state. I guess there are different types of risk aversion! Thanks so much for engaging.


I would be more interested if it were a realistic option in my lifetime. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great that people are working on this. My personal goal is actually more “Life expansion” than “life extension.”


I mean preservation is happening today and anyone is accepted if they have the funds. So in a sense, it seems like it might be a realistic option, although I obviously don’t know your circumstances.

If you are waiting for the milestone where a human is actually preserved and revived, then yes I agree that is not going to happen in your lifetime (or at least very very unlikely).

The gamble of cryonics is choosing to be preserved before that milestone is reached. If revival is already possible, then choosing to be preserved would be pretty much common sense and not very interesting. In fact, cryonicists call this hypothetical possibility something else - “suspended animation” - to distinguish it as not cryonics.

Life expansion sounds pretty great!


OK - Greg and Reason are serious scientists, Aubrey is a computer scientist by training, which is fine, but I think he misses a lot (ie. is overly optimistic) on the “translational” aspects to humans. But I guess I’d be more convinced if any of them were actually working on doing mice cryopreservation and resuscitation full time as bench scientists.

I have heard Laura Deming is now working on a cryonics startup now almost full time… but don’t know much about it.


If I had 28k lying around, I’ll fly to Israel to try the intervention of Shai Efrati.

And why do we have to explain lack of interest?


“Preservation” is sort of happening today… you can freeze tissue in some form, but who knows how well that tissue (e.g. brain tissue) retains any information? More likely its just mush when you defrost it.

It seems that what is marketed at “preservation” is only preservation if you can demonstrate that it can be returned to functional form again. Nobody has really done that in any serious and significant way. I think this is the fundamental issue - in my mind “freezing” is nowhere near “preservation”. "Preservation implies that you can get the thing that is preserved back into functioning / usable form. And that is a long way from being demonstrated from what I’ve heard.

Perhaps when we’re near death and have extra funds, and no other immediate prospects to extend healthy lifespan, it might make sense. But, until then its really just a distraction from things that can improve your life in the shorter term.


Although I’m seeking a combination of healthspan and life extension and not against the unlikely idea of “longevity escape velocity” inherently, I’m fine if I die without a backup from sheer chance. I’m still not fully convinced about the plausibility of science in the first place over the seemingly more scientifically plausible alternatives.

Let’s assume I’m completely wrong somehow hypothetically.

Now even if I change my mind, not sure if CI instead of Alcor would more likely be my pick. I can’t be sure but Alcor may be shady.

No company has lasted for a long enough time operationally, so I don’t even like the chances - it seems essentially throwing down $100k in the drain. Let me explain.

The current protocols from my understanding will damage personality traits even in the incredibly unlikely event of a resurrection assuming the science is even plausible. I’m not sure I’d be okay with that over the alternative since it won’t be me. It’s not even a gamble if it’s not a desired outcome if you “win” - it’s a 100% chance losing deal.

Any company marketing some implication of true resurrection would be considered misleading and shady to me. If you’re going to deal with shady people who are willing to misrepresent themselves - I suggest generally avoiding it over paying them naively.

Necrosis of neurons and their irreversible morphological changes likely can be detected within 4 hours after death due to ischemia [1]. Moreover, global changes in cell metabolism [2] and gene expression after death [3][4] can impede the recovery of normal nerve cell function. The number of non-functional nerve cells during freezing in laboratory conditions depends on storage time and reaches 40% already after one year of storage [5]. Damage of 5% of neurons in the human forebrain [6] in a stroke event leads to negative personality changes [7]. Therefore, it should be expected that freezing the human brain even under ideal conditions will also lead to irreversible personality changes.

  1. Neuronal necrosis after middle cerebral artery occlusion in Wistar rats progresses at different time intervals in the caudoputamen and the cortex - PubMed
  2. Biochemistry changes that occur after death: potential markers for determining post-mortem interval - PubMed
  3. Tracing the dynamics of gene transcripts after organismal death - PubMed
  4. Selective time-dependent changes in activity and cell-specific gene expression in human postmortem brain - PubMed
  5. High Fidelity Cryopreservation and Recovery of Primary Rodent Cortical Neurons - PubMed
  6. Time is brain--quantified - PubMed
  7. Personality change after stroke: some preliminary observations - PubMed

Yeah, I agree that preservation quality is critical. This is why I said “cryonics/brain preservation” from the beginning – I think that preservation methods need to be better. However, progress in this area is happening today. Check out:

Brain Preservation Foundation -
Tomorrow Biostasis -
Nectome -