Not to be flip or even ghoulish, perhaps, but could we be entering a real age of the “vampire?”
Monstrous (actually, now pretty) beings who need the blood of others to stay young and alive have been a staple of horror stories in the western world since Bram Stoker’s famous 1897 novel “Dracula” first was adapted to film in 1922 as “Nosferatu.” The metaphoric value of the story has been fodder for discussion all along. We wonder where that discussion will turn in light of this report.
Also of note: Have you noticed that the “new” vampires are all youthful, “pretty folks” in the movies? Maybe the folks behind those incarnations of bloodsuckers knew something scientists are now discovering.
Transfused Blood Rejuvenates Old Mice
Research May Point to Ways to Reverse Some Effects of Human Aging
By RON WINSLOW
Giving old mice blood from young ones makes them smarter and improves such functions as exercise capacity, according to reports from two research teams that point to new ways to study and potentially treat diseases of aging.
In one study, researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco found that blood transfusions from young mice reversed cognitive effects of aging, improving the old mice’s memory and learning ability. The report was published Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.
Two other reports appearing in Science from researchers at Harvard University found that exposing old mice to a protein present at high levels in the blood of young mice and people improved both brain and exercise capability. An earlier report by some of the same researchers linked injections of the protein to reversal of the effects on aging on the heart.