Great news, wicked queens of America! Your shit just got hella validated. New research out of Stanford University indicates that the brains of older mice can be rejuvenated by commingling their blood supply with the blood of young mice. Well, KAPOW. "Do I think that giving young blood could have an effect on a human? I'm thinking more and more that it might," said researcher Saul Villeda. "I did not, for sure, three years ago."
Too bad nobody cares what YOU think, three-years-ago-Saul-Villeda! Now where can I get a hold of some of this magic mouse blood so I can inject it directly into my brainz!?!? I mean, duhhh, it doesn't work like that (YET), so we don't have to worry (YET) about our children being abducted and processed at Heidi Montag's Countess Bathory Baby Drainage Ranch. YET. Where my Skeksis at!? High five!
Here's the actual scoop:
He took blood plasma – the fluid portion of blood that is not cells – from two-month-old mice and injected small amounts, around 5% of the total amount of blood in a mouse by volume, into 18-month-old animals eight times over the course of a month.
When he put the animals into a water maze, a test where they have to remember the location of a hidden platform, he found that the older mice did almost as well as mice of 4-6 months old. Untreated older mice would make many errors and swim down blind alleys in their attempts to find the hidden platform, whereas the mice that had received plasma from young mice located the platform first time, in most cases.
Despite my knee-jerk resistance to this kind of Flowers for Algernon shit (6th-grade me knows that such scientific hubris can ONLY END IN SOBBING!), that's pretty fucking cool. Villeda says that the rejuvenating effects most likely stem from reintroducing certain chemicals that decline in blood as the mice age—"all of a sudden you have all of these plasticity and learning and memory-related genes that are coming back."
If Villeda's research actually holds true under scrutiny it will be MAD BONKERS, says this other scientist:
"Even if the finding leads only to a drug that prevents, rather than reverses the normal effects of ageing on the brain, the impact upon future generations will be substantial—potentially outweighing other wonder drugs such as penicillin."
I want it give it to me I want it! I'm only 30 and I have to ask my boyfriend what our address is like twice a day. I don't know that I'm in favor of people actually living longer—come on, anything over 100 is just showing off—but if we can help our brains work better until the very end? Fantastic. The impact that simple lucidity could have on quality of life in our elder years (for patients and their families) is staggering.
As long as the price ISN'T Heidi Montag's Countess Bathory Baby Drainage Ranches!!! I cannot stress this enough! Not to get all "ANTH201: Dystopian Visions" on you guys, but whether we like to admit it or not, we are completely culturally obsessed with aging. We pretend like it's just cosmetic, just for fun, but the fact is that avoiding death is kind of our #1 human priority. We are programmed for it. And the very rich do all kinds of fucked-up shit. There are already crazy rumors that Kim Jong-Il liked to inject himself with virgin blood to maintain his youthful precociousness. And where does virgin blood come from? Fun fact: VIRGINS. Anyhoo, my point is...I guess...let's definitely try to avoid setting up camps where we capture wayward youth and drain them of their precious sparkling essence. Okay!? Is that too much to ask??? Thx.
Research is still inconclusive as to the effects of clandestine portraiture on the appearance of mice tainted by vanity and moral depravity.