Alcor life extension site relaunch

My friend, Charles Platt, told me to check out the relaunch of Alcor's site. Alcor, as you may know, is a life extension foundation. When an Alcor member dies, his or her body is stored in tanks of liquid nitrogen in the hopes that future technology will be able to revive them (the foundation currently has 67 patients in "cryostasis"). The big advance in cryopreservation is ice-free preservation (vitrification), which greatly reduces cellular damage that freezing causes.

Myth 2: Cryonics freezes people.

The current technology favored by Alcor is vitrification, not freezing. Vitrification is an ice-free process in which more than 60% of the water inside cells is replaced with protective chemicals. This completely prevents freezing during deep cooling. Instead of freezing, molecules just move slower and slower until all chemistry stops at the glass transition temperature (approximately -124°C). Unlike freezing, there is no ice formation or ice damage in vitrified tissue. Blood vessels have been reversibly vitrified, and whole kidneys have been recovered and successfully transplanted after cooling to -45°C while protected with vitrification chemicals.

 Images Kidney
Left: A rabbit kidney suspended in a transparent solution of vitrification chemicals, but without vitrification solution inside it, is frozen solid at a temperature of -140°C.

Right: Another kidney with vitrification solution inside it is preserved without freezing at the same temperature of -140°C.