A researcher is “furious” after a review on anti-aging science she published was misrepresented in the media as evidence that drinking blood can make you live longer—particularly because her research doesn’t actually say anything about drinking blood.
After a review paper on research into anti-aging techniques was published in Nature last week, multiple publications quickly wrote about the magic of young blood. The New York Post straight up claimed that “a study” found that “drinking young people’s blood could help you live longer and prevent age-related diseases,” while the Sunday Times was more coy, stating that “scientists feast on the prospect of young blood ‘elixir.’”
In a brief email exchange, Linda Partridge, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany and lead author of the review, said she was “furious” that her work had been misrepresented as evidence that drinking the blood of young people will help people live longer, and wanted people to understand the true nature of her research.
The review looks at dozens of published studies into interventions for improving health as people age, such as increasing exercise and avoiding obesity.
Partridge and her co-authors also detail different techniques that have been tested on mice to reduce the effects of aging, including transfusing blood from human umbilical cords into older mice. According to the review, “this has recently been shown to rejuvenate hippocampal function in old mice, suggesting that there may be evolutionary conservation of the effector molecules between mice and humans.”
In other words, there are a few things that have shown some anti-aging effects in mice and, maybe, it could also work for humans. That’s about as dramatic as the review gets. Becoming vampires, I’m afraid, is not a part of it.
Solve Motherboard’s weekly, internet-themed crossword puzzle: Solve the Internet .