Scientists recently discovered that the blood of young mice rejuvenates the muscles and brains of old mice. One expert optimistically speculated that someday scientists might figure out how to make a supplement for humans that has the same benefits.

Sure, that's one possible future.

The other possibility is that this young blood transfusion trick works in humans too but we never isolate what part of the blood is doing the magic.

My guess is that Rupert Murdoch has already built a secret bleed room that will make him immortal. I can't imagine him waiting for a "supplement."

Now imagine Rupert hanging out on his yacht with one of his top 1% friends after the young blood starts working.

Friend: Why does your skin look so good?

Rupert: Moisturizer. You have to do it twice a day. And make sure you get one with a high SPH value.

Friend: Really? I moisturize but I'm not getting that kind of...

Rupert: HAHAHA!!! Just kidding. I have a bleed room now. Young blood is awesome. Watch this.

Rupert rips off his shirt to reveal his new Wolverine-like physique. Then he runs to the rail and starts scanning the water around the yacht as if he has some sort of super vision, because he does. At just the right time he leaps over the railing and lands on a great white shark as it breaches the surface. Rupert holds on like a rodeo star and rides the shark in circles around the yacht while yelling YEEHAAA!!! Then Rupert stands to ride the shark like a surfer before re-boarding the yacht with one mighty leap. He lands like a gymnast on the deck and shakes off the water like a lion, roar and all.

Friend: WOW! Can I have some of that young blood?

Rupert: You asked at the right time, my friend. I just got some new interns.

An aide brings Rupert a towel and behind its cover of modesty he removes his wet trousers. Rupert and his billionaire friend head down to the bleed room. Rupert is wearing nothing but the towel around his waist, all the better to show off his new physique.

The billionaires enter the bleed room and we see a row of interns on bleed tables. They have transfusion tubes in their arms but they aren't restrained. One sees Rupert and hops off the table, tube still attached.

Intern: Would you like some coffee, sir?

Rupert: I told you not to call me sir.

Intern: Yes, your majesty. (He kneels.)

Rupert (to his friend): Do you remember when we had to PAY interns? It seems so long ago.

Rupert (to the intern): Here. Take my towel and bring me dry clothes.

The intern heads off with the towel. Rupert is completely naked and looking magnificent, like a gladiator. His friend can't resist sneaking a peak below the waist.

Friend: HOLY HELL! Did the young blood do that too?

Rupert: This? Ha ha! No. Remind me to show you my 3D printer with the stem cell upgrade.

You might be thinking this scenario is unlikely because mouse studies often don't apply to humans. But just to be on the safe side I'm starting the paperwork for adoption. I know that sounds awful, but so are wrinkles. And I'd pay those kids a market-rate allowance because I'm not some kind of monster. At least not until I get a 3D printer with the stem cell upgrade. I'm planning to go full-centaur.

Stop judging me.


Scott Adams

Co-founder of CalendarTree.com

How would you feel if everyone except you read this book on success?


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+1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 9, 2014
@kingfisher @aaror2
No matter what is, how did it become what is.

Evolution occurs in the presence of copious amounts of sex(reproduction) and death(failures). Where negative effects of aging hasn't been evolutionary disadvantage it doesn't occur. Tortoises live a long time and trees live longer, I suppose there are other creatures I'm unaware of that approach immortality. Does it help the species? So why did negative effects of aging develop in humans, seems to be the question Kingfisher is asking, he doesn't like aaror2s answer. Are there reasons we can test? If not, than any answer is going to be a 'just-so stories' with some more plausible than others.
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
May 9, 2014
I have enjoyed your Posts and Strips more, lately. I hope you are getting back into your rhythm and enjoying life a little more.
May 8, 2014

That's what I mean by 'just-so stories'. Those are explanations based on the effects of aging on our species, not why it is necessarily an advantage. Maybe if we didn't age, we would not be so cavalier about war, or other things that might risk death.

It seems like circular reasoning to say 'generations get worn out, so nature provides a reset button called aging, which comes in the form of letting generations wear out'.

I suppose adaptation occurs faster when a species has a high turnover rate, but in social creatures, I would think that this could be better achieved in other ways that wouldn't result in an overall slowing of the herd. Why does aging happen gradually?

For much of our history, a person was more likely to die from violence, disease, starvation, or childbirth (for women) long before they felt any real effects from aging. Why is aging even necessary? This applies to other species as well.
+10 Rank Up Rank Down
May 8, 2014
Mr. Adams;

Best blog yet. Maybe you or somebody should start penning a futuristic novel titled "2084". We already have the wars and the so-called benevolent Big Brother (aka the NSA) recording and watching our every move. The "bleeding room" would be a good plot addition. Anyway, my best to all.

-22 Rank Up Rank Down
May 7, 2014
This is one of Scott's stupider posts (I guess everyone has a bad day now and then).

Scott, does it ever occur to you that YOU are the 1%?
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
May 7, 2014
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

"Stop judging me"

Ha Ha Ha ha ha

Why do I picture Scott looking into the mirror naked while typing this blog, and seeing a skinny yet flabby, wrinkly old dude with an innie pen-is?
-7 Rank Up Rank Down
May 7, 2014
"Whenever I read a story about some breakthrough in the study of aging, it makes me wonder why we age anyway? Any of the theories I've heard seem as much a 'just-so' story as Eve eating the apple.

Looking at the effects of aging, the obvious one would be that it gives younger generations an advantage over older ones. Buy why would that be an evolutionary advantage?"

Gosh, how many reasons do you want?
1. Older folks tend to be more conservative, "Fire, who needs fire, I keep the lions away with my pointy stick. And that wheel is just a fad, what does it even do anyway?" Replacing the old with younger minds allows society to grow and adapt (think about how this has helped with racism and gay marriage).
2. Birthrate tends to approximate the deathrate, a society that lives longer would be expected (counter-intuitively) to have fewer children-at least over a given timespan. More kids=faster recovery from wars or other disasters (partially mitigated by the demonstrated libedo increase most people experience when exposed to death).
3. While some effects of aging are due to the "genetic clock," others are not. Humans are social creatures, and will expend resources to support the elderly. A tribe whose elderly die sooner will use fewer resources to keep them alive, and have more resources for capital investment or to train and equip their young.
I could go on...
May 7, 2014
sorry for going off-topic but this was the only place I could find to contact you:

Looks like someone has either read your book or agrees with your points about goals
May 7, 2014
Evidently, researchers also found that the older mice immediately exhibited more youthful behaviors after simply participating in sex with the younger mice, resulting in a lab full of mice donning mouse toupees and driving around in mouse convertibles.
May 7, 2014
From rock stars swapping out drug-racked blood for a fresh supply to Dick Cheney getting fitted with an electric heart, medical resources -- like everything else -- tend to flow to the highest bidder.

Right now we can sign donor designation cards. I'm waiting for somebody to monetize that -- If you grant a specific company first dibs on your organs, your estate gets paid for each organ salvaged and you might even get a signing bonus. The one eensy weensy little problem is, you now have powerful interested parties involved when you're in for a survivable problem. Or, if you're a rare match for a superrich client, there's an economic incentive to hurry you along.

That's a bit scarier that traditional insurance companies who merely want to maximize profits by spending as little as possible on you.
+21 Rank Up Rank Down
May 7, 2014
Well this explains much about Vladimir Putin.
May 7, 2014
Elizabeth Bathory did this 400 years ago. Science just proved her right.
May 7, 2014
I heard a discussion of the studies (I believe there are three independent studies that say the same thing) on Sunday. One of the findings was that the blood transfusion worked better when it was heated. Because of this, there is a thought that the actual agent that provides the benefit is a protein called GDF11.

Fascinating research. In addition, some of the experiments cojoined mice surgically. It appears that muscle repair works the same whether cojoined or injected, but in affecting the heart muscle, cojoined works better.

But the GDF11 injections helped older mice improve the vasculature in the brains of the older mice. Their neural activity improved, and their sensory abilities (such as sense of smell) improved. Interestingly, injecting young mice with old mice's blood caused the young mice to take on some of the attributes of older mice.

There was another interesting age-related blood study. It had to do with HSC (hematopoietic stem cells). HSCs are stem cells that originate in the bone marrow and generate all of the body's red blood cells and platelets. As we age, these HSCs become less effective, causing older people to become less able to fight off infections, and make them prone to diseases such as leukemia.

A recent study seems to indicate that if a drug is induced that reduces the level of a protein called Cdc42, the HSCs become rejuvinated. This could counter one of the big problems of aging: the reduction in the ability of an aging body to fight disease.

Of course, the evil Rupert Murdock would certainly keep slave interns, while the angelic George Soros would never consider such a thing. Sure. But could you tell me where I could get one of those 3D stem cell printers? Not that I need one, of course. Ahem.
May 7, 2014
Whenever I read a story about some breakthrough in the study of aging, it makes me wonder why we age anyway? Any of the theories I've heard seem as much a 'just-so' story as Eve eating the apple.

Looking at the effects of aging, the obvious one would be that it gives younger generations an advantage over older ones. Buy why would that be an evolutionary advantage?

Eventually, every organism will suffer some fatal injury or disease, so why bother having a timed self-destruct mechanism as well? I wonder if there is in fact a good reason for this, and our quest for immortality will eventually lead to our extinction.

I guess there's only one way to find out for sure.
May 7, 2014
If a simple blood transfusion is all it takes, mankind would have achieved everlasting youth in the middle ages itself.
+8 Rank Up Rank Down
May 7, 2014
Hey Scott, glad to...um, what's up with your teeth? And why are you staring at my neck like that?
May 7, 2014
A widow told me that his husband back in the nineties went to London to change his blood in a private clinic for a cost of today's 600000 euro. I never gave much credit to that history until I read, a rolling stone (I think it was Keith Richards but I'm not sure) told a reporter that he had been changed his blood in Switzerland. The reporter thought it was a joke.
May 7, 2014
Okay. Now Im starting to beleive The Future is here. Or at least imminent. We have pocket computers that tell us anything we want to know, high definition TVs with a thousand channels and a dystopian future where the old prey on the young for eternal life is in sight.
May 7, 2014
Heinlein anticipated this ("Methuselah's Children"). The obvious social issue will be how to manage the supply of blood, which will quickly become insufficient for demand (until it can be synthetically made - those are the startup companies to invest in). I'm sure Ray Kurzweil is all over this, though. In fact, I'm sure there's enough interest that, if possible, it's getting all the funding and push it needs.

Let's hope. But then, of course, there are the over-population issues... you think we're "underemployed" now (sigh).

May 7, 2014
When I saw this in the news a day or two ago, I knew it would wind up in your blog - you wouldn't be able to resist the combination of immortality, rodents, and vampires.

I'm already thinking up ways to have a work accident involving a bad cut. Get workman's comp to pay for my blood supply. Granted, a hospital transfusion doesn't guarantee young blood, but at my age, the odds are that most donors are younger than me.

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