[ExI] you cn't always get what you wnt

David C. Harris dharris234 at mindspring.com
Sun Aug 12 02:59:49 UTC 2007

Executive summary:  young blood contains something that makes at least 
some tissues act younger.

I don't know for sure if it's old news (see Jeff's message below), but I 
didn't know this observation, even though I have graduate training in 
biochemistry/molecular biology/health services administration, and 
follow stem cell issues relevant to my investment in Geron.

Did others recognize the implications of this pair of quotes?:

> "The work was done with live mice whose circulatory systems were 
> joined, and in lab dishes with young cells immersed in serum from old 
> blood."
> "... confirmed their earlier research showing that the ability of 
> muscle stem cells to regenerate tissue depends on the age of the 
> cells' environment (including the age of the blood supplying the 
> tissue), not the age of the stem cell.
> Although Rando's research focused on the repair of acute trauma to 
> muscles, he suspects that the same sort of problem arises on a lesser 
> scale in repairing damage that results from the normal wear and tear 
> of aging."
As I read that, with my creative streak being exposed, it suggests 
vampires had it wrong in their search for immortality.  Rather than 
DRINKING blood, they should have arranged transfusions of young 
blood!    ;-) 

Putting on my health care hat (I'm trained as a biochemist and health 
administrator) to say it directly, those two quotes suggest that aging 
might be slowed by getting transfusions of young blood (or a factor that 
might be extracted or synthesized by genetic engineering methods), 
perhaps available at a high price NOW.  The FDA couldn't stop an 
underground trade in young blood. 

As a research endeavor, I wonder if the blood bank records allow one to 
track the age of blood donors, and the subsequent speed of recovery of 
transfusion recipients.

Obviously we could do some original work with purebred mice (so no 
problem of transfusion rejection) of various ages.  And I wonder if 
umbilical cord blood, which is rarely harvested now, might have enhanced 
effect per volume.

In the general search for regeneration and enhanced longevity, this 
discovery suggests a flood of productive searches for factors that 
activate regeneration of human tissues.  Blood is easy to isolate and 
infuse.  And as a matter of policy, I think it's time to allow the open 
and well regulated sale of blood, and later other tissues and organs.  
With a radio frequency ID (RFID) chip going along with each 
well-characterized blood unit, healthy donors can ask for higher 
payments, and the "blood shortages" will disappear as supply comes up to 
meet demand.

  - David Harris, Palo Alto, California.

Jeff Davis wrote:
> Is this old news?
> Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
> http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-08/sumc-srf080607.php

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