Why Are Some Americans Paying $8,000 For A Shot Of Teenage Blood?

The new vampires. Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Let’s get this out of the way first: there’s very little convincing evidence that the blood of young people will slow down aging in old people. Nevertheless, there’s apparently just enough evidence going around for enigmatic organizations to pay through the nose for the blood of teenagers, just in case the cure for oldness does actually exist after all.

As pointed out by The Sunday Times, teenage blood is in high demand in parts of the US right now, with individual shots of the crimson liquid going for as much as $7,940 a pop. So what the hell is going on here?

Back in 2016, a company named Ambrosia – whose name derives from the mythical, immortality-granting substance from Greek legends – declared that they were going to run a trial where older Americans would be given young blood, and their biological response to it would be tracked.

Although there is some evidence that this process works in mice, far more work needs to be done through peer-reviewed research to confirm the same applies to humans.

Ambrosia received some serious flak at the time for falling a fair bit short of that: specifically, there was no control group, you didn’t even have to be particularly old to take part – 35 was the minimum age – and the volunteers joining the project had to pay $8,000 apiece just for taking part.

Either way, as you would expect, people with several grand to spare – around 100 of them in fact – joined the trial, and they’ve been receiving injections of the young blood plasma ever since. If the original trial outline was anything to go by, they were given four rounds of weekly servings for their donation.

The young blood is coming from registered blood banks, and it’s almost certain that the money being given by the trial subjects is paying, at least partly, for these unusually valuable vials.

Ick. Happy cake happy cafe/Shutterstock

Speaking to reporters, the lead physician on the project Jesse Karmazin has claimed that the trial is currently successful. He said that “it’s like plastic surgery from the inside out,” which frankly sounds terrifying.

He also added, rather strangely, that “I’m not really in the camp of saying this will provide immortality but I think it comes pretty close, essentially.”

It’s probably worth pointing out that lifespan is a binary thing: you can either be immortal, or you’re mortal. You can’t be almost immortal, because, well, that’ll still result in death.

In any case, whatever this trial reveals, assess it with considerable skepticism. It’s unlikely this is proper science, and remember – extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, not just a nicer way of saying “vampirism” and a few PR stunts.

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