Biostasis2021 Conference Results
The European Biostasis Foundation (EBF) board members, together with Tomorrow Biostasis’ team, several industry experts and people interested in Cryonics aka Biostasis, met for the Biostasis2021 Conference. The conference took place on the 22–24th October 2021 at the Careum Auditorium in Zurich, Switzerland. Let’s have a look at the results: 2 full days of sessions, 19 Biostasis experts, around 50 on site attendees and 1000 online unique viewers. And, on the last day, attendees and speakers visited EBF’s long term storage facility construction site, the first facility for cryopreserved patients in Europe. Biostasis2021 Conference was very successful, bringing together the world’s leading experts and generating hope and excitement for the future of Biostasis. We would like to thank everyone who was part of the Annual Biostasis Conference.
Biostasis2021 Conference started on the 22 October at 10 am. All attendees and speakers met in the main Auditorium of Careum Auditorium, an event location in the heart of Zurich. Since last year’s edition was online, all participants were glad to finally have the chance to meet in person and network.
Dr. Emil Kendziorra, EBF’s Chairman of the Board and Tomorrow Biostasis’ CEO and Co-Founder, opened the conference, welcoming everyone who joined the conference on site and online. He underlined Biostasis2021 main goals: enhance education around the topic, promote scientific research and practical applications and create a stronger Cryonics community not only within Europe, but the world.
Biostasis in Australia and China
The first speaker after Emil’s opening remarks, was Peter Tsolakides, Founder, Director and Chairman of Southern Cryonics. Tsolakides spoke of the business model and legal framework used for their Biostasis facility, built in 2020 in Dover Heights, Australia. The facility will receive the cryogenic storage dewars in less than a month and will be able to store up to 600 patients.
The second speaker of the day was Aaron Drake, Director of Research and Chief Specialist at Yinfeng Institute for Biological Sciences, China. Former Alcor Cryogenic expert, in the past Drake helped the Yinfeng Institute set up the facility. Drake described the technical specifics of Biostasis in China. Additionally, he underlined two point:
- At Yinfeng institute, family members have full access to every step of the cryopreservation process. If they want, they can watch the procedure.
- After the process is completed, the family often makes a little ceremony, leaving food and flowers in front of the dewar containing the cryopreserved relative. Organizing a sort of “funeral”.
Drakes’ presentation pointed out how we should keep in mind the importance of the human aspect and the emotional sphere of the patient’s family.
Organ cryopreservation and Biostasis law
Dr. Ramon Risco Delgado, Professor at the Engineering University of Seville, was this year’s third speaker. At last year’s conference, he talked about two problems related to organ cryopreservation. This year he explained how they managed to solve their first problem (3D CPA mapping) with the use of High intensity Focused Ultrasound. He and his students are now concentrating on the second problem: how to obtain a fast and uniform rewarming of a whole organ. His presentation was followed by several questions both from the attendees on site and online.
Jordi Sandalinas, lawyer with a focus on space law, talked about the “Adoption of Minimum Standards in the European Union to Allow Legal Effectiveness of Cryopreservation Procedures and Transportation”. He analyzed the global notions of Biostasis and underlined the importance of creating a globally accepted definition and shared knowledge around the topic.
Alcor Life Extension Foundation’s progresses
In the afternoon, Michael Benjamin, Research Associate at Advanced Neural Biosciences, presented some very interesting Preliminary Results from the Alcor Meta-Analysis Project. Benjamin has been analyzing Alcor’s patients since its very beginning and creating an online portal with all the extracted data. This portal will be useful to improve cryopreservation processes by understanding the best cases. Additionally, it will give an idea of how to better target people interested in Biostasis. The Alcor Life Extension Foundation is currently the biggest Cryonics company by number of members both cryopreserved and subscribed. This project will surely produce interesting and useful insights.
Finally, one of the most anticipated talks took place. Max More, Alcor’s Ambassador and President Emeritus, after serving as CEO and President for about 10 years, talked about their most up-to-date research and procedures — both recent, current, and planned, improvements in procedures and institutions, and communication and funding strategies. He covered several topics: their first cases of clients who chose death with dignity, response and field cryoprotection kits in Canada and the UK, improved legal protections, technical improvements in the Patient Care Bay and operating room, and planned changes in the member application and servicing processes. Max More also pointed out the importance of case reports for any Biostasis company that wants to have increasingly better techniques and results. He concluded by noting the 2022 conference to celebrate Alcor’s 50th year.
After a first day filled with interesting talks and high engagement of the on-site and online public, the attendees met again on the morning of 23 October for the second day of talks and presentations.
First speaker of the second day was Dr. Roman Bauer, lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, University of Surrey. Dr. Bauer talked about the future and opportunities of cryopreservation, not only for cryonics but also for cells, tissues and organs. He showed computational predictions and simulations from the data he and his team collected and integrated with machine learning.
Another very interesting talk concerning future possibilities was held by David Wood, Chair of London Futurists. Wood considered several possible future scenarios in the Biostasis world that could lead it to both failure and success. He analysed what could happen in case of a scandal, a research breakthrough or a productive partnership (for example with organizations focused on organ preservation and donation). Finally, he talked about the benefits that would come out of a philosophy breakthrough. How would the Biostasis world change if the general public would stop seeing human cryopreservation as a selfish choice and would instead perceive it as moral, vital and positive for everybody?
Dr. Emil Kendziorra on EBF and Tomorrow Biostasis
After Wood’s talk, Dr. Emil Kendziorra took the stage. He represented EBF and Tomorrow Biostasis, talking about their specific roles and responsibilities in the European Biostasis sphere.
Tomorrow Biostasis is a startup. It’s responsible for the formation and training of the standby team and its transportation to the patients to perform the cryopreservation procedure. Finally, Tomorrow Biostasis is in charge of the marketing side, customer service and community building.
On the other hand, EBF is a non-profit organization. It takes care of the oversight of Tomorrow Biostasis and of the long term storage of the members. Currently, EBF is building a facility in Rafz, Switzerland, only half an hour from Zurich. A visit to the construction site of the facility was available for conference attendees on the third and last day. Additionally, EBF promotes Biostasis research and development. Its current main goals are to improve the Biostasis response to non-ideal cases and to develop an Intermediate Temperature Storage system.
Finally, Dr. Kendziorra gave a preview of the Biostasis App that Tomorrow Biostasis will soon release. This app will be equipped with an emergency trigger. It will also help with all the necessary documentation. You can see Emil’s complete talk on the video below.
Wealth management and best practices
In the afternoon Rafael Hostettler, founder and CEO of the Humanoid Robot company Devanthro, presented a topic that many were waiting for. Hostettler talked about strategies that Biostasis members could consider, before being cryopreserved, to assure economical wealth after their revival. In fact, once patients are declared legally dead, they lose the ownership of their wealth. What can they do to keep some wealth aside, considering that the future economical scene will probably be different from the current one? Some tips: choose goods whose value has been always increasing (like gold, diamonds, art pieces). Donate part of them to museums, with the hope of receiving them back after revival. Make low risk and long term investments. Consider possible environmental and social changes. Divide your resources.
Following, Eric Vogt, one of the founders of the International Cryomedicine Experts (ICE), talked about “The ABCs and XYZs of SST”. After conducting more than 100 cryopreservation all over the world, Vogt has collected a great amount of experience and useful advice that he shared during his talk. He pointed out how time is always the key. Biostasis companies have to make sure that their standby teams start the process as soon as possible after the patient’s legal death, with all legal documentation ready.
Finally, the last speaker to talk was Aschwin de Wolf, owner and Chief Executive Officer Advanced Neural Biosciences. His talk was about how to possibly improve the Biostasis case outcomes. Since we don’t know yet how revival will work, it is hard to measure how successful a cryopreservation procedure is. For now, we look at CT scans to measure the ice formation inside the brain. Supposedly, the lower the amount of ice, the better the brain is cryopreserved. Some activities Biostasis companies could implement to assure a faster response are: the creation of local first responsibilities capabilities and frequent check-ins with older and sick members.
On the last days, attendees and speakers had a chance to visit EBF’s facility. Two busses drove the people interested to the construction site in Rafz, about half an hour from Zurich. Dr. Emil Kendziorra showed people around, answering all questions.
The facility will be functional at the end of February and will focus on biomedical research in the field of Biostasis.
By the end of the three days, all the speakers and the attendees were excited about the insight they gained from the Biostasis2021 Conference. The talks were interesting and very promising and the Biostasis worldwide community had a chance to meet, share and network. Engagement and commitment were high, both from the on site and online attendees, who participated with a great amount of comments and questions to the speakers.
The Biostasis community is growing and we are sure that this field will continue developing, showing us incredible results. If you as well are interested in seeing where research will bring us, join next year’s conference!
Biostasis 2022 will take place on 21–23 October 2022.