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Scifi / Fantasy News > So, Robert Heinlein Was Right (and I can't believe it took 60 years for someone to test the idea)

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message 1: by Alan (new)

Alan | 534 comments Heinlein floated the idea whether aging could be reversed by blood transfusions way back in either 1941 or 1958 (I don't know whether the idea was only in the later book or in the earlier serialized short stories) and finally someone's tested it:

href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slates... Blood Reverses Aging


message 2: by Warren (last edited May 05, 2014 10:46AM) (new)

Warren | 1556 comments There's been a shortage of whole blood for quiet some time. I'm not surprised that "they" weren't interested in pursuing a treatment that required upwards of 10 pints of blood, per patient....from children. Before long the peasants would be at the gate with torches and pitch forks..... Again.
Oddly enough they admitted that young blood was good for you shortly after this announcement- "Stem cell treatments are set to go mainstream as a UK consortium ramps up production of red blood cells from embryonic stem cells and plans to test it with human patients for the first time in 2016."
http://iurl.no/l9s11
http://iurl.no/82d8d


message 3: by Alan (new)

Alan | 534 comments Interestingly, Heinlein also wrote that objection into his story and the somewhat "off-screen" solution sounded something like your link.


message 4: by Warren (new)

Warren | 1556 comments Alan wrote: "Interestingly, Heinlein also wrote that objection into his story and the somewhat "off-screen" solution sounded something like your link."
Yes, I think he got the public reaction right in Methuselah's Children. Except that his description was very US-centric. This kind of research will occur. If not in one country then in another. It will also be used as political leverage by whoever's first.
Humm... I'm getting as cynical as Woodrow Wilson Smith


message 5: by Darren (new)

Darren Heinlein? You mean Stoker...


message 6: by Skip (new)

Skip | 517 comments Toe-may-toe, Toe-mah-toe

:D


message 7: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Darren wrote: "Heinlein? You mean Stoker..."

Try Elizabeth Bathory.


message 8: by Darren (new)

Darren Sean wrote: "Darren wrote: "Heinlein? You mean Stoker..."

Try Elizabeth Bathory."


Not unless I really misread that article.


message 9: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Darren wrote: "Sean wrote: "Darren wrote: "Heinlein? You mean Stoker..."

Try Elizabeth Bathory."

Not unless I really misread that article."


She bathed in the blood of virgins because she thought it would keep her young -- clearly she was on the right track even if her technique was flawed.


message 10: by Warren (last edited May 12, 2014 05:47AM) (new)

Warren | 1556 comments She was a nasty character but they didn't added the blood baths part of the story until about a hundred years later. Stroker's story was based upon count Vlad the impaler, who also didn't drink blood but had other nasty habits.
I think he's right. Heinlein was the first to include the idea that it would actually work to rejuvenate you.
PS-So far they've only shown that it works in mice. Like that thing about wine.
http://iurl.no/9376j


message 11: by Ken (new)

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments So this is what the priests have been up to hanging around kids.

Youth is a disease we can hope to catch. The method seems dubious and expensive. Perhaps a synthetic alternative could be viable, and oh, yes, once again a tool is created to reinforce financial class structure.


message 12: by Brandt (new)

Brandt I have a kindergarten right next to where i live..
Can i just drink their blood, or will i need to inject it directly into my veins?
Im not sure im comfortable with the Christopher Reeves approach..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXQr3...

Btw. isnt this the same as blood-doping? which isnt exactly new..
Blood-doping is where you tap some of your blood, wait a while for your body to normalize, then reinject the blood back into your body right before the race/match..
I think the effects are better oxygen-levels, and not so much longer life though..


message 13: by Warren (last edited May 12, 2014 09:59AM) (new)

Warren | 1556 comments Funny. You say “Drinking chrildren’s blood like it’s a bad thing”
In mice they infused the young blood intravenously (just drinking it won’t work).
The best guess is that its not the blood itself but a protein called GDF-11 that make the difference. Interestingly enough they didn’t announce this blood research -until about a week after they announced: "Stem cell treatments are set to go mainstream as a UK consortium ramps up production of red blood cells from embryonic stem cells and plans to test it with human patients for the first time in 2016.” http://iurl.no/l9s11. So they should be able to use synthetic blood. It’ll still be complex and expense but I don’t doubt someone will bankroll it (and cornering the market). Even so it’ll be a while before they can grow 7 pints of highly specialized blood for each patient. Then when rich people start getting the treatment it'll turn into a real political hot potato.


message 14: by Warren (new)

Warren | 1556 comments Turn about is fair play
http://iurl.no/808x3


message 15: by Paul R (new)

Paul R | 43 comments the difficulty is that can they create stem cells - eg cultivate them in e-coli or other bacteria rather than getting them from humans.

until they can artificially create/clone the stem cell so that humans are not affected it is "breakthrough's" like this one that can have devastating affects on life.


message 16: by Warren (new)

Warren | 1556 comments Yes but not for any religious or ethical reasons.
Joking aside- It appears that they really don’t need the young blood
Or embryonic stem cells for that matter. They think the GDF-11 protein is what sends the right biological signals.
In the near term there might be a few rich people who fly to another country for a transfusion but that’s not what corporations are interested in. They can’t patent children’s blood. The real money will be in synthesizing the process. Then they can hold the exclusive rights to the therapy.“Pay up or die ”
(Good thing I’m not cynical)


message 17: by Ken (new)

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments "When you're dead, we'll teach your children you never existed. It's our world because memory is a tale told by the living."


message 18: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5997 comments


message 19: by Warren (last edited May 20, 2014 07:58AM) (new)

Warren | 1556 comments Quote- “We all wonder why we were stronger and mentally more agile when young, and these two unusually exciting papers actually point to a possible answer: the higher levels of the protein GDF-11 we have when young,” said Doug Melton, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Villeda was even more candid. “There are certain aspects of aging that can be reversible – that to me was a little unexpected,” he said. Unless subsequent research turns up negative effects of long-term supplementation, the researchers expect to conduct human clinical trials of the growth factor within five years.”
http://singularityhub.com/2014/05/17/...
Harvard- so I guess the results are pretty solid.
One thing I don’t get.They’re making people wait five more years before starting clinical trials. So figure 15 to 20years before its generally available.
What’s with that?
If your already a hundred years old what kind of “Long term” effects are they worried about?
L. Long


message 20: by Alan (new)

Alan | 534 comments Bookshelf wrote: "... One thing I don’t get.They’re making people wait five more years before starting clinical trials. So figure 15 to 20 years before its generally available. What’s with that?
If your already a hundred years old what kind of “Long term” effects are they worried about?..."


If it's approved for sale to 100-year-olds, it will inevitably be used by tons of 40- and 50-year-olds. And, while I might be inclined to give people the freedom to take their chances, I can't fault them for going through the correct process ...


message 21: by Warren (new)

Warren | 1556 comments A few smart old people get rejuvenated. Tons of dumb 50 year olds die. I don't see what the problem is.
L. Long
;-}
Oh well.


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