News from February 2016
Freezing normally damages cells, but this defrosted rabbit brain was in a near-perfect state
Kenneth Hayworth, Brain Preservation Foundation
A mammal brain has been defrosted from cryogenic storage in an almost perfect state for the first time. This breakthrough, accomplished using a rabbit brain, brings us one – albeit tiny – step closer to the prospect of reanimating a human brain that has been cryogenically preserved.
After death, organs begin to decay, but we can delay this by cooling these tissues, just like freezing food. But in the same way that a frozen strawberry becomes soggy when defrosted, it is difficult to perfectly preserve mammals at cold temperatures. We, and strawberries, contain large amounts of water, which freezes into ice crystals that damage cells.
Cryoprotectants can prevent this ice damage, working like medical-grade antifreezes and preventing organs from freezing. This works in small worms and rabbit kidneys, but it needs to be administered quickly, which usually causes brains to dehydrate and shrink.
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Cryonics Institute is pleased to inform you of the coming of the Dr. Robin Hanson as a guest speaker for the 40th Anniversary of our Organization. Dr. Hanson is a Professor of Economics at the George Mason University in the US and a researcher at the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University. He is an expert on prediction markets and the social implications of future technologies, and nano-technology and their influence on the economy and society. Politically he supports futurity -- a society where policy decisions are made based on open prediction markets. He has a doctorate in social science from California Institute of Technology, master's degrees in physics and philosophy from the University of Chicago, and nine years experience as a research programmer, at Lockheed & NASA.
Professor Hanson has over 2800 citations, with a citation h-index of 25, and over sixty academic publications, including in Algorithmica, Applied Optics, Communications of the ACM, Economics Letters, Economica, Econometrica, Economics of Governance, Foundations of Physics, IEEE Intelligent Systems, Information Systems Frontiers, Innovations, International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Evolution and Technology, Journal of Law Economics and Policy, Journal of Political Philosophy, Journal of Prediction Markets, Journal of Public Economics, Maximum Entropy and Bayesian Methods, Medical Hypotheses, Proceedings of the Royal Society, Public Choice, Science, Social Epistemology, Social Philosophy and Policy, and Theory and Decision.
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