Alcor Conference – Steven Harris

[Alcor Conference – Table of Contents]

[Recap]

Steven Harris is a researcher developing “Rapid Body Cooling for Prevention of Brain Damage.” Rapid body cooling technologies are important to both cryonics and emerging short-term treatments. Hypothermia induced by lowering the body temperature by 4 degrees Celsius in five minutes could allow sufficient time for medical care workers to work to treat a patient, say, after a stabbing wound or other life-threatening injury.

Post-resuscitation hypothermia was discovered by accident in 1980 in dogs. Brain damage can be prevented and the animal resusciated after clinical death. The first human clinical trials failed, because it took too long to start cooling the patient’s body. Two other trials have been positive, including resusciation of cardiac-arrest patients.

Harris is working on a technology to rapidly cool the body. Using Cold Perfluorocarbon Liquid Lung Lavage, Harris has been able to lower the temperature 5.3 degrees in 5 minutes in a dog. The next day, the dog was up and active again.

[Commentary]

This is an incredibly exciting technology, but Harris seemed to be very pessimistic about popularizing it. According to Harris, because of short patents and socialism, new resuscitation technologies are difficult to develop and spread. There were a lot of technical details in the talk, and the speaker had to skip over many of them when time ran out. He ended with a video of a dog that appeared to be fine 24 hours after use of the technology.

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).

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