Anyone else see Snow White and the Huntsman?

Because when I read about this (how infusing young blood into older rats makes them more youthful and restores some cognitive function), all I could think is that we’re on the path towards becoming Ravenna: old people who drain the blood of the young to keep our own youth.  (Hat tip.)

Here’s an explanation:

The Wyss-Coray paper goes in the other direction, though. Building on earlier work of their own, they’ve seen beneficial effects on the hippocampus of older mice after the circulatory connection with younger animals, but were able to reproduce a fair amount of that by just injecting younger blood plasma itself. This makes you wonder if the “teenage transfusion” route might a much more simple way to go – simple enough, in fact, that I’m willing to put down money on the possibility of some experimentally-minded older types trying it out on their own very shortly.

I’m envisioning a bunch of old folks in the nursing home grabbing onto a pretty young thing for an entirely different reason than they might now.  Young women on college campuses will sell their blood and their eggs. Professors will offer a higher grade in return for some youthful plasma.

I’m being facetious, of course – well, a bit facetious.


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Filed under Bioethics, Science & Engineering

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