Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old by Andrew Steele

On page 195 of this book on aging the young scientist author introduces the reader to the term “heterochronic parabiosis”. It’s not an introduction I am ever likely to forget. A certain Transylvanian nobleman would have regarded het pab as possibly a step too far. Even Countess Elizabeth Bathory, the Hungarian aristocrat who was reputed to have bathed in the blood of hundreds of virgins to retain her youth, might have thought the process a little intense.

In its modern incarnation the attempt to discover whether old animals can be rejuvenated by sharing the blood and organs of the young is restricted to animal experimentation. As Andrew Steele, a former researcher at the Francis Crick Institute, explains, “in such studies two animals of differing ages have the skin on one side of their bodies peeled back, and their two exposed flanks are then sewn together”. Their blood vessels then fuse as they heal, and they share a blood supply.

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