How decadent is your aristocracy?

Ours is getting pretty creepy. They’re buying blood from healthy young people to inject into sickly old fucks, and they’re gathering at ritzy gala events to learn how they too can become techno-vampires.

It’s called The Young Blood Project — that’s a nice ghoulish name, at least. A Florida doctor is carrying out a “clinical trial” which you can pay to be part of (a warning flag is already being thrown), in which you, if you’re old enough (hey, I qualify!) will be transfused with plasma obtained from young men and women. While I’m the right age, though, it’s apparently going to cost $285,000 to sign up. I dunno, man, get a bunch of blood or a Porsche 911 R? Decisions, decisions.

This “study” also has some serious design flaws.

Mixed but intriguing evidence in mice doesn’t yet justify testing this idea in humans, much less charging them a huge sum to sign up. And the study uses neither blinding nor a placebo group, design elements considered essential for rigorous medical research.

“There is no way under heaven that they will be able to convincingly show whether this works or this doesn’t work. It’s a trial that is designed and destined to provide no valuable information,” said Dr. Steven Joffe, a pediatric oncologist and bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania who performs bone marrow transplants. He called the scientific hypothesis “incredibly far-fetched.”

Really, it probably isn’t going to work.

Maharaj has not published any animal studies testing the procedure he’s proposing to try in humans. He did, however, publish a paper last year documenting a study in which he infused three cancer patients with white blood cells from young donors who had been injected with G-CSF. The trial was originally intended to enroll 29 patients, but Maharaj did not answer questions about why the paper featured results from only three of them.

Asked by STAT for citations in the published literature that provide the scientific basis for his new trial, Maharaj pointed to six studies. One was conducted on human cells in lab dishes. The other five were conducted in mice; they found that, after being exposed to the blood of young mice, old mice had less abnormal thickening of their heart, grew more nervous tissue, and saw improved cognitive function, among other changes.

Man, in the old days all you needed to become a vampire was to get bitten by a creepy old fuck in a cape. Now you gotta be rich, you’ve got to shuttle to Florida once a month, you have to get all these needles, and then at the end you get to hope that maybe you’ll be able to name the camel on a cognitive assessment test.

That settles it, I’m going for the Porsche. Can one of you break the news to my wife that I’m planning to spend 10 years salary on a penismobile?


  1. numerobis says

    At that price you can get matching his & hers Teslas, and be part of the new energy movement that gives a sliver of a hope that maybe your grandchildren will grow up in a world with only a bit more injustice and war and environmental devastation than today’s world.

  2. davidc1 says

    We shall take it as a given that only blonde blue eyed blood donors need apply ?

  3. jack16 says

    How did he arrive at $285,000?
    Is there a method for estimating what suckers will pay??


  4. Ragutis says

    If you’re going for a penismobile, go for a PENISmobile. $285,000? Forget the Porsche. Get an Aston DB11. Actually, now that you have a grandspawn, you might find a 4 door more practical, in which case you could go for the Rapide. Oh, wait… the snow thing. Well then you might want AWD like the Bentley Continental GT, Lamborghini Huracan, or maybe a lightly used Ferrari FF.

    (I’m not mocking lux cars. TBH, if I won the lotto, I’d probably buy one. Would stick with a VW or Subaru hatch/wagon for my daily driver though, especially since Alfa went ahead with the Stelvio instead of a Giulia wagon.)

  5. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    My first thought was “at least they’ll be motivated to keep young people healthy.”

  6. microraptor says

    I have to wonder just how careful they’re being with those transfusions. Are they making sure that they’re matching blood types correctly? That could explain the disparity between the number of people in the trial and the published results.

  7. blf says

    The disparity is due to a lack of suitable virgins (of any gender) to satisfy the unaccounted-for’s addiction to drinking fresh neat blood served directly from the neck. This drives them(the vampires) into self-harming activities, such as using silver utensils to gorge on garlic outside in the sunlight.

  8. chrislawson says

    PZ, you’re being terribly unfair…if they don’t have a control group, there’s no need for blinding. Why should they be held back by extraneous details that will only slow down their revolutionary program for milking poor young people of blood and rich old people of money? Extraneous details like testable hypotheses…

  9. chrislawson says

    You know, when I first heard about this I thought it was a parody rejected by The Onion for being too ridiculous. Imagine my surprise when I found out there really are people working to create a techno-vampire empire.

  10. Zeppelin says

    Aaand there we go. “Rich old fucks are going to start draining young people’s blood now, aren’t they?” was the very first thought that popped into my mind when I first read about one of those mouse transfusion studies a while back.

  11. alixmo says

    That brought back memories of the 1970ies French thriller “Shock treatment” (with Annie Giradot and Alain Delon), where rich people keep themselves young and beautiful with fresh cell therapy. Giradots character finds out, that the clinic uses the blood of their young employees, Portuguese migrants. She befriends one of them. One day she finds him dead, hanging like a pig in the slaughterhouse, his organs being harvested by the clinic on behalf of their wealthy clients.

  12. rietpluim says

    In my experience, people who cling to life the tightest, enjoy life the least.

  13. kevinalexander says

    Really, it probably isn’t going to work.

    At $285,0000 a pop it looks like it’s working perfectly…for the grifters pulling this off.

  14. Pierce R. Butler says

    Such small thinking!

    In Joe Haldeman’s sf novel Buying Time, the corporate villain demands all</strong of each client’s money (non-millionaires need not apply), but delivers a guaranteed rejuvenation. Accept no substitutes!

  15. Pierce R. Butler says

    Oops at my # 24 – I blame it on telomere shrinkage in my html chromsome…

  16. markr1957 says

    Must be my age, but in my day the only members of the aristocracy I knew got their young people bodily fluids through sex.

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