Up Freshen Your Blood
The Snopes- disproved legend of Keith Richards swapping out his blood after a night of hard partying for that of a younger man may not sound so far-fetched in the future, if recent studies are to be believed.
—“parabiosis”—works in mice, no question about it. Multiple experiments conducted at Harvard and elsewhere within the last ve years have found that blood transfused from young mice into old ones had arejuvenating eect. The old mice grew peppier. They performed better on memory tests. Their fur grew sleek and lustrous. Something in that new, rich plasma was healing and repairing aging organs by activating dormant stem cells. No one knows which among hundreds of goodies in the young blood—circulating proteins, growth factors, immunesystem boosters— might be responsible, or whether whatever mechanism is at work could also work in humans.
But that hasn’t stopped research from moving to the humanexperiment stage. If you’re over 35 you can be part of aclinical trial run by the U.S. National Institute of Health and receive blood from a donor between 16 and 25 years old to see if and how it spruces you up. In aseparate study going on at Stanford, Alzheimer’s patients receive youngblood transfusions to see if it stems cognitive decline. The endgame is to isolate the magic active ingredient in the blood serum and sell it in a pill.
There’s awhat’soldisnewagain dimension in all this. The idea of young blood as an elixir goes back to ancient Greece. The dierence now is the potential customer. It used to be the poor, who, unable to procure expensive medicine, would slip the executioner a few pennies for a cup of blood. Now only the rich, such as PayPal founder and Trump booster Peter Thiel, can aord to roll the dice on this life hack. The NIH trial, sponsored by the Montereybased company Ambrosia LLC, costs $8,000 (U.S.) to participate in.