When talking about scientific research, it’s important to take everything with a grain of salt and some healthy skepticism. That being said, let us proceed to deal with the fact that researchers injected elderly lab mice with blood that they had harvested from human teens, and it made the mice young again.
It’s a Teen Blood Sacrifice y’all.
According to New Scientist, scientists at the blood and anti-aging research company Alkahest found that blood plasma from young people improved older mice’s memory and cognition, and led to increased physical activity.
The researchers came up with the idea to inject human blood into the mice after seeing some promising results from an earlier study. In that instance, they stitched an old mouse and a young mouse together so that they shared the same blood system. The elderly half of this horrific mouse-centipede seemed rejuvenated, despite the body horror. The young mouse, meanwhile, acted older, and researchers saw changes in their brains as well.
Rather than Frankenstein together a human-mouse hybrid for the latest experiment, researchers instead injected 12-month-old mice with blood samples from 18-year-olds, since a mouse at 12 months is roughly equivalent to a human at 50 years. The researchers injected the mice twice a week, for three weeks.
The human plasma did indeed improve the mice’s brain function and made them more active. When researchers examined the little mice brains, they found evidence of neurogenesis — the creation of new cells in the hippocampus.
“It’s more or less what we would expect,” Boston University’s Victoria Bolotina told New Scientist. “The blood of young people must have something in it that’s important for keeping them young.”
Alkahest’s Sakura Minami says she and her team have ideas about what exactly in the blood is responsible for these rejuvenating benefits, but isn’t able to say just yet. They hope, though, to be able to apply their findings to humans, and that young blood might one day combat Alzheimers and other ailments that come with age.
In the meantime, though, teens might want to set out some mouse traps. You know, just in case there are some immortal rat vampires out to get them.
Photos via British Pest Control Association/Creative Commons, Getty Images / China Photos