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:
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.
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.
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.
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 . Moreover, global changes in cell metabolism  and gene expression after death  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 . Damage of 5% of neurons in the human forebrain  in a stroke event leads to negative personality changes . Therefore, it should be expected that freezing the human brain even under ideal conditions will also lead to irreversible personality changes.
- Neuronal necrosis after middle cerebral artery occlusion in Wistar rats progresses at different time intervals in the caudoputamen and the cortex - PubMed
- Biochemistry changes that occur after death: potential markers for determining post-mortem interval - PubMed
- Tracing the dynamics of gene transcripts after organismal death - PubMed
- Selective time-dependent changes in activity and cell-specific gene expression in human postmortem brain - PubMed
- High Fidelity Cryopreservation and Recovery of Primary Rodent Cortical Neurons - PubMed
- Time is brain--quantified - PubMed
- 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:
I’d like to see actual hard “progress” first that deals with this core issue which will almost certainly happen in the utmost ideal situation with generously given hypothetical plausibility, before even thinking about it. It should be pretty easy for anyone including the companies to advertise this and eventually have a pub somewhere.
I prefer seeing the pubs to avoid the situation of - if I just read this “article” or “blog” or “video” if that makes sense. No offense - I simply don’t like reading through content intended for a layman’s audience for certain things.
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.
Not sure how you can know this. Seems like an area of considerable uncertainty. Would be curious to hear your reasoning.
Necrosis of neurons and their irreversible morphological changes likely can be detected within 4 hours after death due to ischemia
Your citation says 6 hours. Complex topic, happy to discuss it in more depth. Anyway, preservation can be started within minutes in a case with medical aid in dying. No need to wait 6 hours. California Man Becomes the First ‘Death With Dignity’ Patient to Undergo Cryonic Preservation
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
Not sure this article says what you said it says – “Cell viability was not substantially affected by the duration of cryostorage, as cells frozen in CS10 for over a year exhibited only a small decrease in viability compared to vials stored for a few days”. Fig 8a has a non-significant effect.
Separately from this article, there is very good evidence that cells and tissues can be stored at liquid nitrogen temperature for years or decades. See for example many people preserving eggs/sperm/embryos/ovarian tissue etc in this way.
The main question is not storage duration but getting to and from liquid nitrogen temperature without damage. Which is much trickier and will lead to damage. That is the core gamble of contemporary cryopreservation.
Damage of 5% of neurons in the human forebrain  in a stroke event leads to negative personality changes
It’s obviously the case that damaging neurons leads to personality/memory changes. But the brain is fairly robust. See for example the findings that memory and personality can be maintained even after a hemispherectomy for intractable epilepsy: Why would you remove half a brain? The outcome of 58 children after hemispherectomy-the Johns Hopkins experience: 1968 to 1996 - PubMed
I’m still not fully convinced about the plausibility of science in the first place over the seemingly more scientifically plausible alternatives.
Not sure what you mean here. What is the alternative?