Will forty-five years of work and then centuries of leisure one day become the norm? Will we face mass unemployment, mass leisure or overpopulation? Sharing insights from his upcoming book Future Imperfect at the 6th Alcor Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, Dr. David Friedman navigated through the many potential consequences of an extended lifespan.
The anthropic principle tells us we should not be surprised to find that the laws of physics allow for life to exist, because here we are. In the same respect, for cryonics patients who are reanimated, there are a number of advanced technologies they should not be surprised to find in existence when they awake. J. Storrs Hall offered some predictions of what one could we expect to discover in such a historical context in his 2006 Alcor Conference presentation “A Door Into Summer.”
Cryonics researchers Chana de Wolf and Aschwin de Wolf
Moderated by Aschwin de Wolf, the critical care medical panel of the 7th Alcor Conference addressed the current status on laws that affect the practice of cryonics, the ethical debate concerning non heart-beating organ donation (NHBD), and comparisons between organ procurement procedures and cryonics. Questions were fielded by participants Tanya Jones (Alcor’s Chief Operating Officer), David Crippin (Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical center) and Leslie Whetstine (Ph.D. in Health Care Ethics).
Christine Peterson writes, lectures, and briefs the media on coming powerful technologies, including nanotechnology and life extension. She is Founder and Vice President, Public Policy, of Foresight Nanotech Institute, the leading nanotech public interest group. In 1991 she coauthored Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution (Morrow, full text online), which sketches nanotechnology’s potential environmental and medical benefits as well as possible abuses.
She serves on the Advisory Board of the International Council on Nanotechnology, the Editorial Advisory Board of NASA’s Nanotech Briefs, and on California’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Nanotechnology. For years she directed the Foresight Conferences on Molecular Nanotechnology, organized the Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes, and chaired the Foresight Vision Weekends. Her presentation at the 7th Alcor Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona focused on longevity research relating to her new life extension website Healthactivator.com.
Alcor Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Chapman and Chief Operating Officer Tanya Jones
Tanya Jones has participated in the cryopreservation of over half of Alcor’s 78 cryopreserved patients. She started her career at the life extension organization over a decade ago and her experience as the Chief Operating Officer is effectuating innovative change within the organization. As the leader of Alcor’s emergency response capability, she is actively responsible for elevating the level of care. She shared details of present-day initiatives to provide the state-of-the art in cryonics technology at the 7th Alcor Conference.
Dr. Michael West serves as President and Chief Scientific Officer of Advanced Cell Technology and is Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He has extensive academic and business experience in age-related degenerative diseases, telomerase molecular biology and human embryonic stem cell research and development. He founded Geron Corporation of Menlo Park, California and from 1990 to 1998 he was a Director and Vice President, where he initiated and managed programs in telomerase diagnostics, oligonucleotide-based telomerase inhibition as anti-tumor therapy, and the cloning and use of telomerase in telomerase-mediated therapy wherein telomerase is utilized to immortalize human cells. At the 7th Alcor Conference he gave a presentation on the prospect of regenerative medicine.
Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist seeking a cure for human aging. He has recently published a book on the topic entitled Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime. He is open and supportive of his arrangements to be cryopreserved with Alcor Life Extension, and at the 7th Alcor Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona he discussed his decision to make it known in a presentation entitled “Is It Safe for a Biologist to Support Cryonics Publicly?”
Bruce Klein, Tanya Jones, and Aubrey de Grey at the 6th Alcor Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona
Tanya Jones, Alcor’s Chief Operating Officer, has been actively involved with the organization since 1990. She has devoted a decade of work to cryonics overseeing the cryopreservation process, improving procedures, and managing Alcor’s day-to-day operations. She held the titles of Program Architect and Director of Communication at the Foresight Nanotech Institute and has participated in the cryopreservation procedures of half of Alcor’s patient population. At the 6th Alcor Conference she gave a talk on the efforts to provide and protect the wealth preservation trusts necessary to support and eventually revive cryopreserved patients.
Brian Wowk presenting at the 6th Alcor Conference in Scottsdale
Brian Wowk is a Senior Scientist at 21st Century Medicine, Inc. where he studies the low temperature preservation of tissues and organs for medical use. He was a co-founder with Dr. Gregory Fahy of technology permitting successful cryonic temperature preservation of the mammalian kidney. Cryobiology studies show steady progress in the quality with which brain information can be preserved under ideal conditions. However the absence of demonstrable reversibility, and the vast variety of conditions under which cryopreservations can take place, introduce uncertainty in the “information theoretic” paradigm of cryonics. At the 6th Alcor Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, Dr. Wowk gave a talk on the basis of cryonics in the science of cryobiology, while deconstructing several popular myths of cryobology.
Aubrey de Grey presenting at the 6th Alcor Conference in Scottsdale
Aubrey de Grey is the editor of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s only peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging, he is an advocate of research seeking answers to how molecular and cellular metabolic damage brings about aging and ways humans can intervene to repair and/or obviate that damage. At the 2006 Alcor conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, he gave a presentation on how implementing Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence might be viewed as a precursor to the prospect of reviving patients from cryonic suspension.
Robert Freitas presenting at the 6th Alcor Conference in Scottsdale
Robert Freitas is the author of Nanomedicine, a book series exploring the potential medical applications of molecular nanotechnology and medical nanorobotics. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, and previously worked as a Research scientist at Zyvex Corporation.
Dr. Freitas believes the advent of medical nanorobotics in coming decades will create a revolution in medical treatment, giving doctors the ability to rapidly eliminate microbial infections and cancer, repair and recondition the human vascular tree, and replace chromosomes in individual cells thus reversing the effects of genetic disease and aging. His presentation at the 6th Alcor Conference was entitled “Nanomedicine and Medical Nanorobots: The Path Forward.”
Ralph Merkle and Tanya Jones answering questions from the audience at Transvision 2007
Ralph Merkle co-invented public key cryptography, for which he received the ACM Kanellakis Award, the IEEE Kobayashi Award, and the 2000 RSA Award in Mathematics. He is directly involved in the research of molecular manufacturing, also called nanotechnology or molecular nanotechnology. The central objective of which is the design, modeling, and manufacture of systems that can inexpensively fabricate most products that can be specified in molecular detail. Such systems are today theoretical, but should revolutionize 21st century manufacturing.
Dr. Merkle is a distinguished professor at the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology and previous nanotechnology researcher and theorist at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and Zyvex corporations. He has served for several years as an executive editor of the journal Nanotechnology, chaired both the Fourth and Fifth Foresight Conferences on Molecular Nanotechnology, and won the 1998 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology for theory. At the 6th Alcor conference in Scottsdale, Arizona he delivered a talk entitled “Nanotechnology and Cryonics,” outlining the intersection between the two developing fields of science.