Living…without Breathing?

People need oxygen to live. Without it, cardiac arrest and brain injury will occur. Until recently, just four to six minutes without oxygen caused brain cells to die. But now, a new life extension technology promises to keep non-breathing patients alive for a much longer period…maybe even up to 30 minutes.

New Life Extension Technology

In 2006, Dr. John Kheir treated a little girl who suffered from severe pneumonia. Unfortunately, it caused her lungs to bleed and reduced her oxygen levels. She experienced brain damage. Before Dr. Kheir could hook her up to a heart-lung machine, she passed away. Afterward, Dr. Kheir began searching for an oxygen-substitute to use for life extension purposes. Recently, he and his research team at Boston Children’s Hospital designed tiny microparticles that can be used to swiftly provide oxygen into a person’s bloodstream.

How’s it Work?

The microparticles have a size of 2 to 4 micrometers, making them invisible to the human eye. They contain a pocket of oxygen gas which has “three to four times the oxygen content of our own red blood cells.” This gas is surrounded by a layer of fat-based lipids. When entered into the bloodstream, the lipids deform.

“[The] deformable particles…dramatically increase the surface area for gas exchange and are able to squeeze through capillaries where free gas would get stuck.” ~ Dr. John Kheir, Injecting Life-Saving Oxygen Into a Vein, Science Daily, June 27, 2012

The idea is to inject these microparticles into the bloodstream via a syringe. In other words, they would be portable and thus, could be used in the hospital as well as carried by emergency personnel in the field.

The Bottom Line

The microparticles have already proven successful with life extension for poorly oxygenated animals, restoring blood oxygen saturation to “near-normal levels” within a matter of seconds. For animals that experienced blocked tracheas, the microparticles kept them alive for 15 minutes without breathing while simultaneously reducing their risk of cardiac arrest and internal injuries. It’s believed the microparticles could work for as long as 30 minutes.

“This is a short-term oxygen substitute — a way to safely inject oxygen gas to support patients during a critical few minutes. Eventually, this could be stored in syringes on every code cart in a hospital, ambulance or transport helicopter to help stabilize patients who are having difficulty breathing.” ~ Dr. John Kheir, Injecting Life-Saving Oxygen Into a Vein, Science Daily, June 27, 2012

We here at Guerrilla Explorer have a deep interest in life extension technologies like cryonics. So, we’re excited about these microparticles. 15 to 30 minutes may not sound like much, but when a life is on the line, it’s an eternity. If it’s as successful with people as it is with animals, it could ultimately save millions of lives.

Uploading…of the Human Mind?

Mind uploading isn’t exactly a new idea. But technology is improving so quickly now that it’s starting to move out of the realm of science fiction and into reality.

Mind Uploading: Is it Possible?

Until recently, mind uploading was confined to the world of fiction. However, new developments may change that. The other day, Russian media mogul Dmitry Itskov unveiled his “Avatar” project. He hopes to perform mind uploading by putting a human mind into a robot within ten years. In thirty years, he hopes to develop hologram bodies. Here’s more on mind uploading from

The Pentagon’s new Avatar project, unveiled by Danger Room a few weeks back, sounds freaky enough: Soldiers practically inhabiting the bodies of robots, who’d act as “surrogates” for their human overlords in battle.

But according to Dmitry Itskov, a 31-year-old Russian media mogul, the U.S. military’s Avatar initiative doesn’t go nearly far enough. He’s got a massive, sci-fi-esque venture of his own that he hopes will put the Pentagon’s project to shame. Itskov’s plan: Construct robots that’ll (within 10 years, he hopes) actually store a human’s mind and keep that consciousness working. Forever…

(See for more on mind uploading)

The Key to Immortality?

Flatworms have the ability to regenerate seemingly forever. Could they hold the key to human immortality?

Do Flatworms hold the Keys to Immortality?

Here’s more on flatworms and immortality from The Telegraph:

Experts from Nottingham University managed to create a colony of more than 20,000 flatworms from one original by chopping it into pieces and observing each section grow into a new complete worm…

“Our data satisfy one of the predictions about what it would take for an animal to be potentially immortal,” Aziz Aboobaker, who led the research. “The next goals for us are to understand the mechanisms in more detail and to understand more about how you evolve an immortal animal.”…

(See Flatworms could hold key to immortality for the rest)

The Cryonics Man?

On January 12, 1967, Dr. James Bedford passed away. A few hours later, he became the first person in history to have his body frozen with intent of future resuscitation. So, where is the Cryonics Man today?

The Strange Science of Cryonics?

Cryonics is the science of freezing a deceased subject in the hopes of reviving that same subject in the future. The idea is to keep the subject in a state of preservation until technology advancements allow for resuscitation as well as a cure for whatever killed the subject in the first place. While cryonics procedures currently take place after death, suspended animation, similar to the phenomenon of human hibernation, may someday be possible. Regardless, cryonics supporters believe that they can ultimately cheat death.

Cryonics is a very new and somewhat controversial science. Most historians trace it to Robert Ettinger’s 1962 book, The Prospect of Immortality. While Ettinger was probably more influential, Evan Cooper deserves much credit for his work, Immortality: Physically, Scientifically, Now, as well as for his founding of the Life Extension Society.

The First Cryonics Patient?

In June 1965, the Life Extension Society announced a strange promotion that took the world by storm. It offered to cryopreserve a single subject, free of charge. At the time, Dr. James Bedford was a psychology professor at the University of California. He suffered from a terminal case of kidney cancer. He submitted an application and was subsequently selected as the promotion winner. Eighteen months later, on January 12, 1967, Dr. Bedford died. A few hours later, his body was frozen by Robert Prehoda, Dr. Dante Brunol, and Robert Nelson. That day, Dr. Bedford became the first cryonics patient in history.

The Cryonics Man created much excitement and Robert Nelson’s organization, the Cryonics Society of California (CSC), began taking on additional patients. This lasted until 1979. In what would become known as the Chatsworth Disaster, nine cryonics patients maintained by the CSC were discovered to have thawed due to a lack of funds. Understandably, the growth of the cryonics industry slowed in the aftermath. But what happened to Robert Nelson’s first patient, Dr. James Bedford? Was he thawed at Chatsworth?

Where is the Cryonics Man today?

Fortunately, Dr. Bedford had been transferred to a separate facility just six days after being frozen. Thus, his body escaped the Chatsworth Disaster. Since his death, he has been on quite the journey. He spent two years at the Cryo-Care facility in Arizona, four years at the Galiso facility in California, four years at Trans Time, and five years being kept privately by his son. In 1982, he was moved to his current residence at Alcor Life Extension Foundation. Dr. Bedford remains the only person frozen prior to 1973 that remains frozen today.

Cryonics is often viewed as a LIFO science. In other words, “Last In, First Out.” Preservation technologies should continue to improve, making future patients easier to revive. It will take additional scientific advancements to revive earlier subjects who were preserved with more primitive techniques. This is undoubtedly the case for Dr. Bedford. His brain was injected with DMSO rather than the anti-freeze products used today. Thus, it probably wasn’t well-protected from ice formation. Still, a 1991 report prepared by Alcor states that “it seems likely that his external temperature has remained at relatively low subzero temperatures throughout the storage interval.”

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

Despite the promise of cryonics, it is not widely used today, thanks to the large expense required to maintain care. In order to avoid another Chatsworth, cryonics companies require full payment for all future storage costs, which could range for decades or even centuries. Alcor charges as much as $200,000 for whole body cryopreservation. Head and brain preservation only is still pretty steep at $80,000. It should be noted that life insurance is an option to spread out the cost over time.

Due in part to the steep cost, there are only some 200 human cryonic subjects today, with 106 and 103 maintained by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation and the Cryonics Institute, respectively. KrioRus, located in Russia, maintains 17 human subjects while Trans Time hosts 3 subjects. However, I expect these numbers to rise dramatically in the future as more and more people seek out extended lifespans. Centuries from now, those who seek out cryonics treatment may someday reawaken, a second chance of life at their fingertips. And when they do, they’ll have one man to thank for leading the way…the Cryonics Man, Dr. James Bedford.