Why Vampires Live So Long

NYTimes: Two teams of scientists published studies on Sunday showing that blood from young mice reverses aging in old mice, rejuvenating their muscles and brains. As ghoulish as the research may sound, experts said that it could lead to treatments for disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.

wallpaper-true-blood-bottle-1600The key papers are here and here and here. Some of the papers are pointing to a specific protein but the last paper suggests that simple transfusions also work and that raises a number of issues of public policy. As Derek Lowe notes:

Since blood plasma is given uncounted thousands of times a day in every medical center in the country, this route should have a pretty easy time of it from the FDA. But I’d guess that Alkahest is still going to have to identify specific aging-related disease states for its trials, because aging, just by itself, has no regulatory framework for treatment, since it’s not considered a disease per se.

…You also have to wonder what something like this would do to the current model of blood donation and banking, if it turns out that plasma from an 18-year-old is worth a great deal more than plasma from a fifty-year-old. I hope that the folks at the Red Cross are keeping up with the literature.


Bryan Caplan just added another chapter to "Selfish Reasons To Have More Kids"


Actually I'd say +1 +1 +1


yeah but without a bone marrow transplant the young blood would eventually be replaced by your older blood

Too bad you can only get one blood transfusion in a lifetime

I thought this was a very old discovery. Robert Heinlein mentioned this at the end of his book "Methuselah's Children" (1941)? - I assumed he got the idea from existing medical research.

I also recommend eating the still beating heart of your enemy.

The world owes a big apology to Elizabeth Bathory.

Monkey glands! Everything comes round again.

No no, it's goat glands. Works every time!

"ageing, just by itself, has no regulatory framework for treatment, since it’s not considered a disease per se."

It's quite insane that you can't sell drugs that merely *prevent ageing*.

The cosmetics industry wouldn't have it any other way.

Kidnapped Guatemalan children are already being raised in Manhattan to supply mortality evasion for members of the .01%. They're fed well but generally uneducated and restricted to broadcast TV for entertainment.


In the longest run , none of our blood is (actually) ours.

Well, kid, look at it this way: at least your marginal productisn't zero anymore....

It may be an alarming prediction, but is it a two-way street? Could blood donated from a older person who has heart disease, given to a young person, age that person and promote heart disease?

Ultimately, not only will we have blood typing, but blood aging.

As a college student, I used to sell my plasma all the time. An hour or so watchin' a movie and you get some decent cash (for a college student anyway). Paid for my drinking throughout college.

Movie? Are you sure you weren't donating sperm?

That does explain the lack of a syringe.

This is one of those practices that sounds like a cheesy metaphor for exploitation. But a younger person receives income from an older person who becomes more productive. Properly implemented, blood selling could be a win win. Improperly implemented, like through illegalization of a thing people really want, and you encourage creepy blood black markets. People who sell youthful blood illegally might not be the same kind of people who would sell it under a regulated system.

Solution to the youth unemployment problem?

Last week they announced the first blood cells grown from stem cells.


I wonder whether that's "young" blood.

In any event, it looks like the blood industry is about to get majorly disrupted. Somebody call Clayton Christensen.

I think I did this the other day!

Already factored into the ACA: Take from the young and healthy and give to the old and decrepit.

Gives "new blood" fresh meaning.

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