Just in time for Halloween is one of the creepiest scientific news articles I’ve ever read. Saul Villeda, the researcher behind this, is not an inherently creepy man, it must be said. Actually he seems like a pretty nice guy from what little Google can turn up about him.
On the other hand, this is the guy who thought “Hey, let’s take the blood out of a young mouse, and put it in an old mouse to see what happens!”
Of course, he’s also not responsible for the creepiest thing of all: The fact that this actually worked.
Villeda’s research had previously found that if you give old mice the blood of children (mice children), their brains would grow new cells. What he hadn’t looked at was whether these new cells made any difference whatsoever.
So, he injected two groups of mice with plasma, one with old mouse plasma and one with young mouse plasma. Then he asked them both to find a platform hidden in water, something the vampire mice did with ease while the old mice wandered around confused.
There’s no evidence yet that this would work with humans, but changes in mouse blood mirror changes in human blood. It’s also worth noting that Villeda has been seen in broad sunlight, and that he simply wants to isolate these memory improving factors in blood so old people don’t go bats.
… Bad choice of words.