Many believe blood is the currency of the soul. I don’t want to get into the religious implications of that belief . . . but I do think that blood is the vehicle of life. Long before the English physician William Harvey discovered the manner in which blood circulates through our bodies in the 17th Century, cultures across the world, from time immemorial, understood blood as both an actual and a symbolic element, the very essence of life.
Stanford researchers led by Dr. Conboy and his wife Irina have been conducting blood research involving mice. In a published paper for Nature, they detailed the joining of mice aged between two and three months with others 19-26 months old. In human years, that’s the equivalent of connecting a 20-year-old human with a septuagenarian.
After five weeks, the team deliberately injured the older mice’s muscles, knowing full well that old animals heal much slower from injuries than the younger ones. But by transfusing the younger blood from a control group into the elder mice, this did not happen. In fact, the opposite resulted. The seniors healed almost as fast as their younger counterparts. And this younger blood had a similar effect on liver cells too, doubling or tripling their proliferation rate in the older animals.
This research also showed that old blood can decrepify youthful muscles. Remarkably, the phenomenon even seems to operate across species. In April, Tony Wyss-Coray, also at Stanford, showed that infusing old mice with blood from the umbilical cords of infant humans improved their performance on memory tests.
Which begs the question, can humans reap similar benefits? To that end Ambrosia, a research firm in California is in the midst of conducting tests to answer that question.
Its approach is a bit unorthodox in that the group is charging its participants, who must be 35 years old $8000 to join their program. In doing so, sign-ups get an infusion of blood plasma from a donor under 25.
Dr. Karmazin who heads up this research justifies his methodology. “If I could run this trial for free, I would,” he says. “But the reality is I can’t.”
As of this posting while his research team is not yet ready to publish its results, its initial findings, Karmazin says, are encouraging.
What are your thoughts readers? Could young blood be the cure all for what ails us? Better yet, could it be our fountain of youth? Most of us have grown up with ‘vampire lore’ in books and on TV, which is based on eternal life by drinking the blood of others.
Could there be some truth to those science fiction thrillers? After all, if vampirism is so fictional, why does almost all cultures throughout history possess a version of these legends? Our desire for such a manifestation is our wish for renewal and life everlasting. Might this be in the cards in the not so distant future?
Weigh in and let us know if you’d pay $8000 to be a human lab rat in an experiment of this type. And check back here, for updates on the Ambrosia tests as results start coming in.