Perhaps the blood of MeFites would be better?
January 17, 2019 1:41 AM   Subscribe

A startup is offering a liter of blood of a young person for $8K, 2 liters for $12k. Business Insider: “Because blood transfusions are already approved by federal regulators, Ambrosia does not need to demonstrate that its treatment carries significant benefits before offering it to customers.” Payment is by Paypal (previously), and more previously on Ambrosia. SFGate: “But the science remains unclear about whether infusions of young blood can help fight aging.” Scientific America: “'It just reeks of snake oil,' said Michael Conboy, a cell and molecular biologist at the University of California.” Young blood transfusion on wikipedia, and did Keith Richards? In the UK, 'Ambrosia' signifies a different sticky substance put inside yourself to make you feel good.
posted by Wordshore (76 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ambrosia

Before this all starts, I would like to point out that the liquid that sustained the Greek goods was nectar, and that ambrosia is solid food.
posted by ambrosen at 2:05 AM on January 17 [33 favorites]


Just... just... being a *literal* vampire is... maybe not the best of looks?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 2:12 AM on January 17 [19 favorites]


"Every vampire fiction reinvents vampires to its own needs. You take what you want." - Joss Whedon
posted by fairmettle at 2:29 AM on January 17 [5 favorites]


Now I'm on the 'more advanced' side of 50, I did pause and contemplate this a while. Was also going to title this thread "Which MeFite's blood would you most like to be transfused with?" but on the one hand that seemed a little too weird, and on the other hand it might read better on AskMeFiForTheirBlood I mean AskMeFi.
posted by Wordshore at 2:30 AM on January 17 [13 favorites]


Nosferatu II - the Startup
posted by talos at 2:32 AM on January 17 [13 favorites]


Also my neighbour would not have this done. Says she hates the taste of avocados and would be worried that having her blood replaced by that of twenty-something people from Portland et al would leave her with a permanent craving for them (avocados, not twenty-something people).
posted by Wordshore at 2:35 AM on January 17 [10 favorites]


So whom amongst us are from the Howard Families and can now come out of the shadows? When do we finally get that faster than light travel?
posted by koolkat at 2:38 AM on January 17 [8 favorites]


Before this all starts, I would like to point out that the liquid that sustained the Greek goods was nectar, and that ambrosia is solid food.
posted by ambrosen 29 minutes ago


I'm now worried you're thinking of starting a rival business venture. Tempting as the money may seem, I fear it would take a lot out of you.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:44 AM on January 17 [10 favorites]


Nosferatu II - the Startup

NsfrR2
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:46 AM on January 17 [41 favorites]


I would think a homeopathic distillation of blood would be infinitely more effective, diluted down to 1 part per gazillion so you only get the verymost essenciality of the youngblood.

Plus we could get a country's worth of doses per liter.
posted by chavenet at 2:46 AM on January 17 [6 favorites]


I’ll, uh, you know what? I can hook you up with some, uh, younger person blood, sure. Yeah, sure no problem. I’ll need, uh 6k US per liter and ten for two. Yeah, guaranteed young person blood. No sweat...

(I can probably source this out of China, I’ll say it’s coming from PrepSchools - actually maybe China’s too expensive... hmm... Former Eastern Europe? Might be a touch of a mafia issue there, how about Mexico? I betcha Mexico, Central America generally. Hell, if I paid, like, 50 bucks... What? Sure, it’s certified young person blood! Well if that not the problem what’s the problem?)
posted by From Bklyn at 2:48 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


(Before anyone enquires: $99 per liter plus postage and chiller packing; may take several days to produce and therefore there's a queue; permanent side-effects may include a constant desire for cake, a constant urge to write garbage on community weblogs, and an irrational and overwhelming rage every time you see someone attempt to 'make' tea in a microwave.)
posted by Wordshore at 3:08 AM on January 17 [12 favorites]


Yeah, this will end well.

I'm also imagining that this might affect the quantity of donations to blood banks. Why give your blood for free/very- little when some other corporation will pay you more? So, let us sacrifice public health to make the overlords into immortals. It sounds like this company understands the spirit of the age, alright.
posted by vacapinta at 3:09 AM on January 17 [13 favorites]


Came in for the vampire jokes, was not disappointed.
posted by mumimor at 3:13 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Oh for the love of Mike! Battening on the blood of the young is not a practice for amateurs! You can develop all sorts of unpleasant side effects, with pitchfork mobs being one of the least troublesome.

Also, for the record, the blood of young Portlandians does taste faintlynof avocado — or so I have heard from an irreproachable source. (To be fair, they are quite reproachable, but not on this particular point.)
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:28 AM on January 17 [6 favorites]


But the science remains unclear about whether infusions of young blood can help fight aging.

Bullshit.

There is no science here whatsoever, this is literally (literally literally) magical thinking. It is (figuratively) snake oil of the purest distillation. Just because nobody has specifically bothered to do a double-blind trial to see if young blood reverses ageing doesn't mean that the science is unclear, it just means that it's such a stupid claim nobody has taken the trouble to test it.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:32 AM on January 17 [25 favorites]


Things like this really hold a mirror up to humanity's quest for immortality.
Of course you can't actually see anything in the mirror, but still.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:41 AM on January 17 [24 favorites]


GenjiandProust, you seem very... wel-informed.

(reaches for Pitchfork [magazine1 {because who has actual pitchforks these days?}])

1Your N°1 source for garden implement reviews!

posted by ianso at 3:46 AM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Can't help the vague feeling that somewhere in here there's a system that both (a) funds MetaFilter and (b) can be used to penalise/keep in check troublesome MeFites. I dunno, something like instead of paying $5 to MetaFilter, you have to annually donate 5 liters of your blood instead, which Cortex keeps in his chilled wine cellar (please don't mix up the reds). If you get a hundred favorites on a post or comment, you get a quarter of a liter back - but if your post is deleted, or you do a "silenced all my life" MetaTalk post, then a liter is sold off to whatever company to raise income for the site. And if you relitigate the 2016 primaries on a MegaThread then you lose the lot and the mods "visit" you with a very big needle and a pump. Something like that.
posted by Wordshore at 3:53 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I can't help feel that life imitates art...

Silicon Valley Season 4 Episode 5 "The Blood Boy" SLYT
posted by bootlaces at 3:58 AM on January 17 [6 favorites]


Does it count if I consume young hearts? (Asking for a fiend.)
posted by pracowity at 3:58 AM on January 17 [9 favorites]


To me this is truly inevitable once 'vampire facials' became a thing.
posted by cendawanita at 4:07 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Of course people who do this can’t see anything in the mirror it holds up to society- they’re vampires!
posted by Anne Neville at 4:17 AM on January 17 [4 favorites]


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Portraitgram, the newest social media platform.

Post pictures of yourself aging, developing osteoporosis, and having a hip replacement surgery, while you continue to live your best life in the very blush of youth in which you posted your first ‘gram. Our amazing nanotechnology ensures the ravages of daily life appear only on your feed, while a steady stream of likes condense into biofeedback channels, promoting stem cell rebirth. Best of all, no more needles.

A pivot of Theranos, inc.
posted by warriorqueen at 4:19 AM on January 17 [10 favorites]


Tasty vegan diet for better plasma?
Some members of my donor colony have turned vegan. What can I feed them to improve the quality of their plasma? Normally they get yogurt, cheese etc. but I like to keep my little blood-buckets healthy and happy. Any suggestions?

by Asmodeus to Health & Fitness at 12:42 AM - 2 answers (2 new)
posted by ianso at 4:22 AM on January 17 [10 favorites]


I would've named the company Báthory.
posted by NoMich at 4:23 AM on January 17 [22 favorites]


FFS, HGH is cheaper. But I suppose if someone is at the point of burning money for young blood then they're already gorging an expensive cocktail of hormones and such.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:25 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Is this going to turn into a pricey/difficult way to pass drug tests?
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:26 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Anybody who has enough money to be thinking about this has too much money, and the state should confiscate it for redistribution.

I can't help feel that life imitates art...
Life came first in this case. Silicon Valley was making fun of Peter Thiel (article predates the SV episode). Which brings me back around to my first point.
posted by zjacreman at 4:28 AM on January 17 [5 favorites]


I'm gonna go with SanguinatrX.
posted by cage and aquarium at 4:46 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


How many liters do you all think are needed to fill a bathtub? Just curious.
posted by freecellwizard at 4:47 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Life came first in this case.

Nope in my link above goes to a Heinlen novel called Methuselas Children. It it the Howard Families are a group of families specifically selected to breed if they had grandparents with long lifespans. This has resulted in people with lifespans of 200+ years. When they try to go public people are willing to resort to torture to determine their longevity secret and they don't think that selective breeding is a possibility, ad instead think that they are hiding a rejuvenation secret. The families flee on a ship to a new planet yadda yadda yadda they eventually return to a future Earth (due to FTL travel) where their lifespan isn't considered abnormal due to the infusion of young blood into the elderly. IIRC after the discovery of young blood infusions a synthetic "young blood" is made so the young aren't held captive to the whims of the olds.

I wonder that if this takes off it could easily become economically viable to live somewhere cheap and make approx $40k a year from donating blood alone. Coupled with a side hustle that is fun you could live quite well. Of course I'm guessing that the donor doesn't receive anywhere near the retail price so would probably be more like $8k a year for donating once a month.
posted by koolkat at 4:50 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Stupid Rich People are gonna Stupid Rich People.

What I'm fascinated by is the possible social fallout, and also how horrific a Capitalist system must be that it generates *this* and that *this* is a [seemingly] viable and legal business setup.

I mean the potential for exploitation of those who have [ insert Biological 'product' ] by those who want [ insert Biological 'product' ] is ginormous.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:56 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


> "How many liters do you all think are needed to fill a bathtub? Just curious."

189, give or take, if you want to fill it all the way up to the top (obviously this will vary if you have an especially large or small bathtub, I'm basing this on mine.) Bear in mind that if you want to bathe in the blood, though, you're going to need a lot less, more like just shy of half that. You might be displacing around 71 liters on average (again, varies depending on your size), and you won't want the bath all the way full when you're in it. I've had reasonable luck using somewhere around 80 liters for a nice bloodbath. That comes to about 16 humans, or 2 Holstein cows. It's 320 housecats, though, so I've never found that a viable option. However, you're going to get THREE baths out of a single African elephant. Compare prices and purchase wisely.
posted by kyrademon at 5:14 AM on January 17 [13 favorites]


I will happily sell my turds to anybody interested in gaining weight.
posted by flabdablet at 5:19 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I will happily sell my turds to anybody interested in gaining weight.

The MeFi Mall is available (it may need a new category). Alas, you've missed the main seasonal trading period, but perhaps save them up in kyrademon's large bathtub for selling through the 2019 Christmas MeFi Mall?
posted by Wordshore at 5:35 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Bullshit.

There is no science here whatsoever,...Just because nobody has specifically bothered to do a double-blind trial


So...since there's no evidence...why are you so sure?

Ie, I think you're probably right, but in this age, it's just about as likely that a private corp or person has done the research without publishing it. And the research, since it's unknown, may say that this has health benefits.

[I'm not even saying that the potential research done in private would be robust. But it's one step better than a guy on the webs yelling "BS". And that limited research or even the con of claiming that research would certainly motivate the target audience.]
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 5:38 AM on January 17


it's just about as likely that a private corp or person has done the research without publishing it. And the research, since it's unknown, may say that this has health benefits.

I wrote and then deleted a long snarky comment about the anti-aging elixir I'll sell you for $20K, whose benefit is completely unproven, but since you can't PROVE that I'm not sitting on any unpublished proof of its marvelous efficacy, you have to give me the benefit of the doubt and buy it.

Which is to say: this is not an approach that will do you well in much of your life. Most things that sound too good to be true, are too good to be true. I'm OK with the prospect of not being a first-wave benefactor of the first anti-aging treatment that isn't snake oil. If it works, it'll make its way into mainstream medicine.
posted by Mayor West at 5:47 AM on January 17 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty sure my child's blood tastes like boogers with notes of macaroni and cheese.
posted by waving at 6:03 AM on January 17 [7 favorites]


I suppose they prove the authenticity of the donor and the reliability of the logistics via the blockchain?
posted by notyou at 6:04 AM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Should have named themselves Vampyre.
posted by vorpal bunny at 6:05 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the blood of MeFites would be better?

First, be smart from the very beginning.
posted by duffell at 6:19 AM on January 17 [9 favorites]


"Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour-power he has purchased of him.
But I don't think Karl Marx meant it literally.
posted by Ouverture at 6:28 AM on January 17 [6 favorites]


Fucking posers.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:39 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


This article (Huffington Post) is a bit more detailed and highlights the sketchy and scammy parts of this scheme. Caveat emptor.
posted by sudogeek at 6:44 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I'm also imagining that this might affect the quantity of donations to blood banks. Why give your blood for free/very- little when some other corporation will pay you more? So, let us sacrifice public health to make the overlords into immortals. It sounds like this company understands the spirit of the age, alright.

The spirit of the age is going to be stakes if I have anything to say about it - a new generation of slayers and all that.
posted by Frowner at 6:58 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Has anyone registered bathor.ie yet?
posted by traveler_ at 7:01 AM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Are you hungry? Are you sick? Are you begging for a break?
Are you sweet? Are you fresh? Are you strung up by the wrists?
We want the young blood...

Are you fraaacturing? Are you tooorn at the seams?
Would you dooo... anything? Flea-bitten, moth eaten...

We suck young blood...
We suck young blood...

Won't let the creeping ivy, won't let the nervous bury me...
Our veins are thin, our rivers poisoned...
We want the sweet meats...
We want the young blood...
posted by Rhaomi at 7:05 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Wishful thinking thriller premise, free to good home.

It turns out that an unknown disease (prions sounds about right) is spreading among young people and young blood guarantees its spread among rich older people with poor taste.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:10 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


It's Uber for those places by the college where you can sell plasma?
posted by penduluum at 7:19 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Eat the rich, but discard their old, tired blood before cooking.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:20 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Apparently some people are too rich for their blood.
posted by phooky at 7:55 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Comes with a free bovine faecal transplant.
posted by Segundus at 7:57 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Wasn't this literally a joke in Silicon Valley?
posted by winterhill at 8:00 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Bovine fecal transplant? Equine, surely
posted by phooky at 8:05 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Marx, as editor: Olay I meant it as metaphor, this is going a bit too far.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:16 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Ya know - before it was capitalists, it was a bitchin Old Bolshevik named A.A. Bogdanov who was one of a few who pushed a theory "Proletkult", wrote a proto-cybernetic philosophy called Tektology, wrote a Science Fiction novel called Red Star, and gave himself transfusions for health. It was remarked he looked much younger than his age. He also died from infected blood.

Less Silicon Valley voidoids and more cool soviet futurists please1
posted by symbioid at 8:48 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The: Bullshit....There is no science here whatsoever....

Reasonably Everything Happens: So...since there's no evidence...why are you so sure?

Well, you would say that.
posted by tzikeh at 8:58 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I would think a homeopathic distillation of blood would be infinitely more effective

I'd invest in this business. I'd hate myself for doing it, but I'd still do it.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 9:05 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I'm wondering if this came up as a concept now because it's a (resurrected) conspiracy theory that is currently popular with the Qidiots. They're obsessed with the notion that the wealthy 'elites' are kidnapping children for various nefarious purposes, including transfusing themselves with their young blood. Another version claims they're kidnapping and torturing children to harvest adrenochrome to give to themselves. Both of these are supposed fountains of youth available only to the very rich and very unprincipled.

IOW, perhaps it's just somebody trolling the conspiracy nuts with an imaginary company.
posted by Lunaloon at 9:13 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


It's funny how with time, nothing really changes. We're all careening towards our eventual demise from the moment we're born, and anyone who can scam people into thinking they have the secret sauce that will delay the inevitable can make a pretty penny from the more gullible - yet somehow astonishingly well off - of us whom hope to last a little longer.

We are all going to die. We all know this, all scientific evidence points to it. In the grand scheme of things, dying at 40 vs. 80 doesn't really make that huge of a difference. But given our finite nature, it somehow seems to mean a hell of a lot to us, sticking around this mortal coil a bit longer than we might have otherwise. It's silly, really.

I find it actually not that surprising to me that a Stanford Med School grad would try to pull something like this off. He knows he's selling snake oil, but he also knows that he's selling the modern day equivalent of the original versions, and thus he knows people will pay for it, because people are stupid. If people are going to pony up the cash for it, why shouldn't he be the one to take their dollars?

Nothing to see here.

/ eventual eponsiterical name callout FTFY
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:38 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


One! ONE snarky comment about vampires in a thread about selling blood!
Two! TWO snarky comments about vampires in a thread about selling blood!
Ah. Ah. Ah. Ah. Ah.
lightning flashes, crack of thunder
posted by happyroach at 9:39 AM on January 17 [15 favorites]


Allkindsoftime , I was just reading about what doctors call the “existential slap”. For all your life you sort of know you’re going to die but then there comes a point where you actually know you’re going to die and it can be traumatic. very interesting article
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:51 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Hey Wordshore? You want some of this? PM me.

(Side effects may include a sudden increase in estrogen, cannabis levels high enough to stun an elephant, possible hallucinations and - perhaps unbelievably - increased cravings for fancy cakes.)
posted by loquacious at 9:54 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Ernest Becker also has a book called The Denial of Death that’s about all the ways people deny they will die and all the things they do to protect their psyche from that knowledge. You could map that onto the Boomers (what is the current moment but an existential tantrum?) as well as the techbros (what is Musk shooting a car into space if not to have a shot at metaphorical immortality, to leave a permanent mark on the universe?).
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:57 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


While the results of that study have not been made public, Karmazin told Business Insider in September that they were "really positive."

See guys they did a study. It's totally legit! Not a parody of late stage capitalism at all.

(As a southerner I am honor-bound to inform you all that Ambrosia is a fruit salad / dessert popular at church picnics. It consists of Miracle Whip, canned pineapples, canned oranges, dried coconut flakes, and canned cherries. Plus marshmallows and pecans if you want, maybe grapes if you're feeling sporty. Do not attempt to elevate this dish with fancier ingredients.)
posted by Nelson at 10:25 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


annually donate 5 liters of your blood instead, which Cortex keeps in his chilled wine cellar

I've been down there, believe me it's creepy enough as it is without adding blood to it (and I'm sure an OSHA representative would blanch at the state of the rickety wooden ladder and the heavy-as-hell trap door).

Darn good wines, though.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:25 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


snarky response: That's pretty expensive per liter for young blood. I mean, why buy that shit when I have my very own source of young blood at home? I can take a liter or two out of my own kid, once or twice a week, and when he ages out of the running I'll move on to my sister's kids or cousin's kids (they're younger than mine), which will keep me virile while I give my boy a few years to produce his own spawn, mmm, grandchild bloooooood...

serious response: For christ sakes, we're already watching the boomers figuratively bleed their children dry, do we have to actually do it literally too?
posted by caution live frogs at 10:30 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I used to work at a biotech firm and I have manufactured products made from human blood. I have personally handled tens of thousands of liters of human blood and done super cool shit with it using mega expensive scientific machinery.

So based on my own experience I think this business is kind of rad and yet kind of total bullshit and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. Excited AND Dismayed? Is that a feeling?

Anyway it should be called Nosferatu.0
posted by nikaspark at 11:03 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


With specialized competitors Nosferatu.A and Nosferatu.B (and their joint venture Nosferatu.AB).
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:07 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Then there's Victoria Beckham and her Sturm.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:23 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Does it count if I consume young hearts?

You're referring to artichoke hearts, right? Right?
posted by cynical pinnacle at 12:00 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


(As a southerner I am honor-bound to inform you all that Ambrosia is a fruit salad / dessert popular at church picnics. It consists of Miracle Whip, canned pineapples, canned oranges, dried coconut flakes, and canned cherries. Plus marshmallows and pecans if you want, maybe grapes if you're feeling sporty. Do not attempt to elevate this dish with fancier ingredients.)

(This is the ambrosia I'm familiar with and when it came up in that big book of Greek mythology I had as a kid, I thought Jiminy Crickets you'd think the ancient gods could do a LOT better than that nasty stuff, food of the gods-wise.)
posted by notyou at 1:16 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, back in the world of evidence-based medicine people who rely on plasma-derived meds like immunoglobulin are worrying about shortages to the point where the Immune Deficiency Foundation released a statement a couple of days ago. From the statement: "Ultimately, the issue is that the world needs more plasma, and the only good way to make that happen is to collect more plasma. The one thing that we can all do right now is to encourage people to become regular plasma donors if there’s a collection center anywhere near them."

I mean, I get that people who are in it for the cash aren't going to be inclined to donate blood/plasma anyway, but this is a thing? that people need? so they don't die of infections? and isn't theoretical/woo?
posted by camyram at 3:05 PM on January 17


You're gonna die. If you're lucky, you'll grow old first. Fucking deal with it.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:16 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Imagine filling yourself up with thousands of dollars worth of youngblood but it's from an unscrupulous online business and is actually oldblood and you wake up the day after your treatment and are all old.

So you take it all out and return it to Amazon for a refund and then three months later it shows up in a YouTube video where some guy buys a bunch of Amazon returns in an auction, and there it is, there's that big bag of blood you sent back.

And as YouTube guy is taking it out of the crate the bloodbag bursts and goes all over everything, all the Turtle Beach headsets and Despicable Me DVDs and stuff. Lol!

That is the future we are creating today.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:19 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


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