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About Alcor: Our History

In 1964, a physics professor named Robert Ettinger published  The Prospect of Immortality  , a book that promoted the concept of cryonics to a wide audience. Ettinger subsequently founded his own cryonics organization.

In 1972, Alcor was incorporated as an Alcor Society for Solid State Hypothermia in the State of California by Fred and Linda Chamberlain. (The name was changed to Alcor Life Extension Foundation in 1977.) The nonprofit organization was conceived as a rational, technology-oriented cryonics organization that would be administered in a fiscally conservative manner by a self-perpetuating Board. Alcor advertised in direct mail and offered seminars to attract members and draw attention to the cryonics movement. The first of these seminars attracted 30 people.

On July 16, 1976, Alcor made its first human cryopreservation. That same year, research in cryonics began with the initial funding provided by Manrise Corporation. At this time, the Alcor office consisted of a mobile surgical unit in a large van. Trans Time, Inc., a cryonics organization in the San Francisco Bay Area, provided long-term patient storage until Alcor began its own storage in 1982.

In 1977, the articles of incorporation were archived in Indianapolis by the Institute of Advanced Biological Studies (IABS) and Soma, Inc. IABS was a nonprofit research firm run by a young cryonics enthusiast named Steve Bridge, while Soma was conceived as a for-profit organization. Organization for the provision of cryopreservation and human storage services. Its president, Mike Darwin, later became president of Alcor. Puente filled the same position many years later. IABS and Soma moved to California in 1981. (Soma disbanded, while IABS merged with Alcor in 1982.)

In 1978, the Cryovita laboratories were founded by Jerry Leaf, who had been teaching surgery at UCLA. Cryovita was a for-profit organization that provided cryopreservation services for Alcor in the 1980s. During this time, Leaf also collaborated with Michael Darwin on a series of hypothermia experiments in which dogs were resurrected without measurable neurological deficit after hours in deep hypothermia, only a few degrees above zero degrees centigrade. The blood substitute that was developed for these experiments became the basis of the wash solution used in Alcor. Together, Leaf and Darwin developed a model of transport waiting for cases of human cryonics in order to intervene immediately after a cardiac arrest and minimize ischemic injury. (The leaf was cryopreserved by Alcor in 1991;

Alcor grew slowly in its early years, before the concept of nanotechnology helped legitimize the possibility that future science could repair cell damage caused by freezing. The organization had only 50 members in 1985, the year in which it hosted its third patient.

In 1986, some of Alcor’s members formed Symbex, a small investment firm that financed a building in Riverside, California, for Arror to rent. That same year, Eric Drexler introduced the concept of nanotechnology in his reference book, Engines of Creation  . Alcor moved from Fullerton, California, to the new building in Riverside in 1987.

Alcor cryoconservers the pet of one member in 1986, and two people in 1987. Three human cases were handled in 1988 and one in 1989.

By 1990 Alcor had grown to 300 members. In response to concerns that California facilities were too small and vulnerable to earthquake risk, the organization purchased a building in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1993 and moved it to their patients in 1994.

In 1997, after a substantial effort led by then President Steve Bridge, Alcor formed the Patient Care Trust as a completely separate entity to manage and protect funds for cryopresents. Alcor is still the only cryonics organization that segregates and protects the financing of patients in this way.

In 2001, Alcor adapted the cryoprotective formulas of the published scientific literature to a more concentrated formula capable of achieving ice-free preservation (vitrification) of the human brain (“neurovitrification”).

Near the end of 2002, Alcor embarked on an ambitious expansion project, assuming another unit in its Scottsdale building (where the remaining units are currently rented to other tenants). The first issue of an online newsletter, Alcor News, was distributed at the end of 2002. During 2003, new staff members joined the organization and work continued to create a new patient care center, operating room and laboratory area. A truck was purchased to convert it into an ambulance that would be large enough to allow surgical procedures. Alcor made radical changes in his medications to adjust to the results of the resuscitation research,

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