Bio-File is a program of LifeNaut’s that has recently been launched to provide storage of viable cells for a number of life-extension purposes, and this blog will closely follow this program, both to promote it and provide additional visibility into its goals, methods, and growth of participation. Any who have something constructive to contribute are invited to do so. The purpose of this page is not to debate the pros and cons of cell storage, but rather to pursue the subject on the assumption that storing cells for a wide range of purposes is valid, and the only questions revolve around how to best accomplish it, and benefit from the end results.
Further, there is no interest in comparing Bio-File with other programs, unless they are coupled with a mindfile program such as LifeNaut is, with Terasem. This is a holistic, system-oriented approach to life extension, not a serves-all-purposes program for the general public, whose interests might range from near-term cloning to genetic analysis as a specialized interest area of its own.
Thank you for understanding that the reason for this blog is to add to the store of knowledge about how valuable LifeNaut’s programs are, and to encourage participation in them, particularly Bio-File. Sublinks of Bio-File’s that may be helpful to access directly from this introductory posting are (1) How it works, (2) Benefits, (3) Cost, and (4) Frequently Asked Questions.
One intriguing paragraph from the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page was as follows:
What is vitrification?
Vitrification is the transformation of a substance into the form of “glass” (as opposed to ice). By using a special cryoprotectant, Cryostor™, we are able to prevent damage to cells due to ice formation. Instead of forming ice crystals that can pierce the delicate membranes and organelles inside your cells killing them, the Cryostor™, basically allows cells to be frozen exactly as they were before freezing, alive, yet with their biological clocks stopped.
Intrigued with this, we searched for Cryostor™ and found it was marketed by VWR. Through a series of further searches, we came on a webpage of VWR’s on “Inhouse Media”, which states:
“Samples were cryopreserved in either Cryostor solutions or media + DMSA formulations. Samples were harvested, centrifuged and suspended in cold CryoStor media for cryopreservation. Samples cryopreserved in the CryoStor series yielded survival levels of 50% or greater vs. culture media + DMSO. In addition to improved survival levels, samples cryopreserved in CryoStor typically yield greater cell function and more rapid reentry into cell cycle and cell division.”
That sounds very positive, and including that is the launching point for far more in the way of helping you, the reader, to see how carefully planned Bio-File’s program is, and why you might be interested in participating. The two us us (Fred and Linda Chamberlain) are already subscribers to and participants in this program, and our interest in understanding as well as we can what’s involved is strictly for the purpose of our own benefit and that of others who might read these postings (we are in no way employed by LifeNaut or involved in the management or operation of its Bio-File Program).
EXPERIENCE WITH USE OF KIT
The instructions were easy to follow. Overnight shipping was included, both ways. We made sure our mouths were clean one hour before sampling, as the instructions advised. Then, following the instructions, we gargled with mild, salty water from a “Gargle” vial for sixty seconds, and expelled the contents of our mouths back into same vial.
The instructions then told us to add colored protective solution from a vial clearly marked “Do Not Gargle”, to the larger vial, and tighten the vial cap with the sample very securely. There was a second set of two vials, so then the process was repeated. The instructions said to “recycle” the “Do not Gargle” vials. Not being absoutely sure if this meant “get rid of them” or “send them back so we can resterilize them”, we put them back into the shipping container. (We’ll update this paragraph to indicate what was intended, once we find out which one of these was desired.)
We had already filled out the very simple form that went with the samples, and placed it in a plastic envelope that was glued under the top cover, (that’s where all the paperwork was, when the box was first opened). The bottom of the box had a foam insulating pad, and we left that in place during the sampling. After the samples were ready to be shipped back, we squeezed the cooling pack to activate it as instructed, and placed it in the bottom of the box, on the foam insulating pad.
Next came the cardboard shock-protection insert, with the two larger sample vials (and the two empty “do not gargle” vials). A second foam insulating pad went on top of the vials, to keep the samples cold, and the box was closed and taped shut. It was “ready to go”.
The best time to take the samples, we figured out, was mid-afternoon, Monday through Friday, so we could get the boxes over to a local Fedex in time for pick up at about 5 p.m. We took the packages to the Fedex store, where they helped get the shipping authorization properly placed on the outside of the pack and made sure the package was closed up the right way.
The instructions told us we could use a “drop off” pickup point for to ship the samples back, but we wanted to make sure it was done just right, so we went to a store that could assure us a pickup took place each day (around 5 p.m.)
The pictures below give you a visual preview of what to expect. We followed the instructions closely and found the whole process was easy. The salt water gargle was not highly salty or unpleasant in any way (not like what you might do when you’re treating a sore throat, for example).
As you’ll see from the initial part of this page, the VWR “CryoStor” media used by LifeNaut for Bio-File cryoprotection is highly effective, and we felt every confidence that the same care had gone into planning the sampling media and shipping with cooling packs. At an earlier time, we were involved with a company storing cells at liquid nitrogen tempeatures, where physicians took biopsies and used cooled culture media in vials to ship the samples. This kit, by comparison, is way ahead of what we were using, at that time.
Enjoy the pictures, and seriously consider LifeNaut’s Bio-File program for your own cells. As mentioned above, we’re ‘strictly participants’, not employees or contractors of LifeNaut’s, and certainly not “paid to advertise” LifeNaut. We’re just ‘happy campers’ with our viable cells safely on their way to the future, a couple of cryonics activists who got involved with trying to avoid death over 40 years ago, and now tremendously enthusiastic about everything Terasem is doing, especially its LifeNaut Bio-File Program.
Fred & Linda Chamberlain