The world has long been fascinated with the idea that the blood of young people could have rejuvenating qualities, like a glorious fountain of youth, only horrifying. Turns out the world is sort of right.
A new study by researchers at Stanford University shows that injections of young blood can reverse the signs of aging in mice. The experiment is as simple as it sounds. Give an old mouse a syringe full of blood from a young mouse, and run some tests. Leader of the research team Saul Villeda and his team found that the boost of youth improved learning and memory in the older mice. Villeda shared his research with the Society for Neuroscience conference in New Orleans on Wednesday and did not understate its implications for conditions that are caused by deteriorating brain function. "I think any sort of disease that has that component, there is a chance this might help," he said. "What I am thinking is if we can address it earlier, when our body still has the control to prevent this from happening, then we might not have to cure Alzheimer’s, we might just be able to stop it."
This is crazy, because in the past, crazy people have latched on to the idea that young blood could get them closer to immortality. Kim Jong-il, for example, used to "inject himself with blood from healthy young virgins in a bid to slow the aging process," according to The Guardian. Quite remarkably, it now appears that Kim Jong-il wasn’t aggressive enough. Villeda actually supplied a group of 18-month-old (read: very old) mice with eight transfusions over the course of a month -- that amounts to about 5 percent of a mouse’s blood supply -- and found that the brain connections in the older mice had increased by 20 percent after the treatment. "One of the main things that changes with ageing are these connections, there are a lot less of them as we get older," said Villeda. "That is thought to underlie memory impairment -- if you have less connections, neurons aren’t communicating, all of a sudden you have [problems] in learning and memory."
This is actually not the first study to suggest that young blood reverses signs of aging. In 2010, a team of Harvard researchers connected the circulatory systems of young and old mice so that their blood mixed and found that it rejuvenated the blood-forming stem cells in the older mice. In the words of MIT’s Technology Review, "They found that the procedure made the blood-forming stem cells in older animals act young again." The biggest difference in that study seems to be the mice’s ability to produce immune cells, though it’s unclear exactly what the long term effects of the blood mingling would have on the animals.
We’ve hardly discovered the fountain of youth, and we certainly haven’t found proof of vampiric immortality. Oddly enough, though, we’ve discovered something in between, in mice at least. This does not mean you should take your vampire costume more seriously this year, though.
The study did not cover the effects of drinking young blood.
Dr Villeda said: "Do I think that having young blood could have an effect on a human? I am thinking more and more that it might. "
Elizabeth Bathory, the "Blood Countess"
Elizabeth Bathory, the woman who came to be known as the "Blood Countess," was born into Hungarian nobility in 1560. She is said to have suffered from fits and outbursts of rage -- possibly even epilepsy. From an early age, she witnessed her father’s officers torture the peasantry that lived near her family’s estate.
[...]Bathory’s acts have a way of engendering a hybrid of truth and legend. Perhaps the most notorious legend about Bathory is that she bathed in her victims’ blood. Inevitably, this led to rumors that the countess was a vampire. This legend was first published in 1720 by a Hungarian priest who interviewed local peasants and read testimony from the trials of Bathory’s accomplices. She reportedly claimed to use blood to keep her skin young -- she wanted to remain beautiful for her husband.
IRS Scandal - "This is Tyrannical" 2013 05 23
The IRS’s Job Is To Violate Our Liberties
By Ron Paul | the-free-foundation.org
“What do you expect when you target the President?” This is what an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent allegedly said to the head of a conservative organization that was being audited after calling for the impeachment of then-President Clinton. Recent revelations that IRS agents gave “special scrutiny” to organizations ...
EU Leaders to Sidestep Lisbon Treaty Rule 2013 05 22
The Lisbon Treaty clearly intends for the size of the European Commission to be reduced below its present size of 27 members. But EU leaders have reached unanimous agreement to sidestep the provision -- and even plan to add a seat to the table for the Croatians.
From the outside, it looks as though the European Union is hopelessly divided. Northern ...
The Soviet Story 2013 05 22
The Soviet Story is a 2008 documentary film about Soviet Communism and Soviet–German collaboration before 1941 written and directed by Edvīns Šnore and sponsored by the UEN Group in the European Parliament.
The film features interviews with western and Russian historians such as Norman Davies and Boris Sokolov, Russian writer Viktor Suvorov, Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, members of the European Parliament ...
Inferno Author Dan Brown ’Honoured’ to be Invited to Join Freemasons 2013 05 22 The Freemasons’ Code: Dan Brown reveals the message that told him the door to the lodge is open.
His best-selling novels illuminate the shadowy organisations that supposedly run the world. But Dan Brown was “honoured” to receive an invitation to join the Freemasons, the arcane fraternity whose tentacles are said to extend into the highest echelons of power.
Tonight the Da Vinci ...
New EU law that could ban all seeds 2013 05 22
Seed lovers, growers and local producers could all be harmed under the proposed Regulation on Marketing of Plant Reproductive Material by the EU. Sign this petition and email the decision makers to stop this happening.
A New Seed Law will go before the EU commissioners on May 6th 2013.
The Regulation on Marketing of Plant Reproductive Material law will mean no ...