In the 1979 political thriller Winter Kills, Pa Kegan, the ultra-wealthy tycoon played by John Huston, reaches a state akin to immortality by receiving regular blood transfusions from the young and (presumably) poor. That was intended as a satirical statement, and not a particularly subtle one, but it seems to be the case a lot these days, that yesterday's satire has become today's reality. That reality being billionaire PayPal founder Peter Thiel's reported enthusiasm for staying young forever, by receiving blood transfusions from younger people.
In an interview with Inc.com, Thiel was open about his belief in the process of parabiosis, which is the scientific term for taking blood from a healthy young person and using it to rejuvenate and prolong the lifespan of someone older (and richer, at least for now). Here's an excerpt from that interview in which he explains the process:
"I'm looking into parabiosis stuff, where they [injected] the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect. … I think there are a lot of these things that have been strangely underexplored."
According to a report from Thiel's arch-nemeses at Gawker Media, Thiel spends approximately forty grand per quarter on regular blood transfusions from an 18-year-old donor. One company that's in the process of scientifically testing out such transfusions is called Ambrosia, which is charging eight grand to have your health monitored over two years during which you receive regular blood transfusions – a far cry from the usual practice of paying people to participate in scientific trials.
Unsurprisingly, the founder of Ambrosia reports positive findings so far, but whether or not parabiosis can prolong life isn't a claim that will be researched by the FDA, according to Thiel, because "it's just blood transfusions." But if Thiel begins to look younger and younger over the next few years, instead of the reverse, you'll have a good idea as to why.