Born in 1560, Countess Elizabeth Bathory is considered the most prolific female serial killer in history, accused of torturing and killing hundreds of young girls between 1585 and 1610. But it was her unconventional bathing habits that made her such an infamous figure, as she was allegedly known to bathe in the blood of her victims, convinced that the fountain of youth literally flowed from the veins and arteries of young people.
A batshit crazy belief, you say? Well, while there’s no denying that Bathory was a crazy bitch, it seems she might’ve actually been on to something…
As reported by The New York Times, two teams of scientists published studies on Sunday which jointly confirm Bathory’s blood bath belief, as they’ve determined that the blood of young mice does indeed rejuvenate the brains and cells of older mice. Experiments testing this belief date back to the 1950s, when Cornell University professor Clive M. McCay literally joined together two rats, in such a way that their vessels grew together and blood flowed from one to the other. McCay noted back then that the cartilage of the older rat eventually ending up looking much younger than it normally would have, though at the time nobody quite knew how it happened.
McCay’s experiments were resumed at Stanford University about a decade ago, when neurology professor Thomas A. Rando and his team used similar means to join together young and old mice, for a period of five weeks. Not only did the older mice grow new liver cells at a youthful rate, but so too did their muscles heal as quickly as those of the young mice, confirming McCay’s earlier observations.
A member of Rando’s team by the name of Amy J. Wagers went even further with the experimentation in more recent years, finding a specific protein that was abundant in the blood of young mice, but not in older ones. Wagers isolated the protein and injected it into the older mice, observing that it revived their stem cells, rejuvenated their hearts, sharpened their brains and increased their endurance. In layman’s terms, the old mice essentially became young again, restored back to their former selves.
Next step? Conducting similar tests on us humans, to find out if we too can benefit from the consumption of young blood. So beware, young people. We’re comin’ for you!
*Photograph at the top of this post courtesy of Joshua Hoffine*