Tag Archives | blood

Meet The Real People Who Drink Human Blood

This isn’t a vampire story and it’s not fiction. BBC Future introduces us to people who really drink human blood on a regular basis:

In the French quarter of New Orleans, John Edgar Browning is about to take part in a “feeding”. It begins as clinically as a medical procedure. His acquaintance first swabs a small patch on Browning’s upper back with alcohol. He then punctures it with a disposable hobby scalpel, and squeezes until the blood starts flowing. Lowering his lips to the wound, Browning’s associate now starts lapping up the wine-dark liquid. “He drank it a few times, then cleaned and bandaged me,” Browning says today.


To Browning’s bemusement, he was not quite to his host’s taste. “He said my blood was not as metallic as it should have been – so he was a little disappointed,” he recalls; apparently, diet, hydration and blood group can all make a subtle difference to the flavour.

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Self-Portraits Made From Human Blood


Every 5 years, artist Marc Quinn creates a mould of his head using his blood and silicone. Each week a doctor draws a pint of blood from Quinn which he then freezes to save for his next mould. He estimates that he uses about 260 pints for each project.

via Quinn’s site:

Self is a self-portrait of the artist, but one that literally uses his body as material since the cast of Quinn’s head, immersed in frozen silicone, is created from ten pints of his own blood. In this way, the materiality of the sculpture has both a symbolic and real function. The work was made at a time when Quinn was an alcoholic and a notion of dependency – of things needing to be plugged in or connected to something to survive – is apparent since the work needs electricity to retain its frozen appearance. A further iteration made every five years, this series of sculptures presents a cumulative index of passing time and an ongoing self-portrait of the artist’s ageing and changing self.

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World’s First ‘Blood Rave’ To Spray Party-Goers With Real Blood


At a discreet location in Amsterdam, party-goers will be able to attend a Halloween Blood Rave. Real blood from the indoor sprinkling system will douse ravers, but no sources have confirmed what kind of blood will be used.

Sumitra via Oddity Central:

A nightclub in Amsterdam is getting ready to host the world’s first ‘blood rave’ this Halloween, with real blood! According to media reports, Dutch partygoers will be sprayed with gallons of blood from an overhead sprinkler system, based on the opening scene of the 1998 vampire film Blade.

The event’s official Facebook page states: “Blood Rave is a night-life community for likeminded individuals, on a discrete location in Amsterdam.” It also lists a link to an intro video (the scene from Blade), and another link to purchase tickets.

Dutch news site NL Times claims to have spoken to an organiser who chose to remain anonymous. “After a long search we have developed a special sprinkler system with pipes running across the ceiling and this making us able to spray blood over the crowd,” he supposedly told the site.

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Can We Reverse The Aging Process By Putting Young Blood Into Older People?

The ethical debate is already aflame, but if it’s true that old people can cheat death and disease by taking on board younger people’s blood, there’s probably no stopping it. I mean if people will sell their organs, why not blood? The Guardian delivers a #longread on the research pumping up the excitement:

On an August morning in 2008, Tony Wyss-Coray sat in a conference room at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, California, waiting for his lab’s weekly meeting to begin. Wyss-Coray, a professor of neurology at Stanford University, was leading a young group of researchers who studied ageing and neurodegeneration. As a rule, the gatherings were forgettable affairs – the incremental nature of scientific progress does not lend itself to big surprises. But a lab member scheduled to speak that day had taken on a radical project, and he had new results to share.

Photo: MartinD (CC)


Saul Villeda, an ebullient PhD student with slick black hair and a goatee, had spent the past year engrossed in research that called to mind the speculative medical science of the middle ages.

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Vampire Science: Why I Consumed My Own Blood

The consumption of human blood has long been a (somewhat taboo) obsession. Michael Moseley decided to do it but in a “scientific” context, for BBC News:

In 1897 Bram Stoker’s Dracula was published, helping fan an interest in blood-drinking human vampires that has never gone away. In the novel, Count Dracula feeds on human blood and transforms himself from a little old man with white hair into a dark-haired super-athlete.

Stoker’s novel, and others that came before it (such as “Carmilla”, a novel about a lesbian vampire) were in turn inspired by centuries of mythology that have surrounded blood, mainly focused on its alleged powers to heal and restore.

In Roman times the sick, particularly epileptics, were encouraged to attend gladiatorial combats in the hope that they would be able to cure their illnesses by drinking the blood of a freshly killed gladiator

In later centuries, medical practice focused more often on blood letting than blood consumption, but the belief in the power of blood to restore and rejuvenate persisted.

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‘Vampire Therapy’ Could Reverse Aging

Blausen 0086 Blood BagLife extension is all the rage for billionaires so can we expect the likes of Larry Page and Sergey Brin to start sucking down young blood like they were actors on True Blood? The Telegraph reports that “A transfusion of youthful blood may halt or even reverse the ageing process as two studies find that the chemical make-up of younger blood has surprising health benefits”:

It may seem the stuff of gothic horror novels, but transfusions of young blood could reverse the ageing process and even cure Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists believe.

Throughout history, cultures across the globe have extolled the properties of youthful blood, with children sacrificed and the blood of young warriors drunk by the victors.

It was even rumoured that the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il injected himself with blood from healthy young virgins to slow the ageing process.

Now scientists have found that young blood actually ‘recharges’ the brain, forms new blood vessels and improves memory and learning.

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Artist Vincent Castiglia Paints With His Own Blood

PIC: Vincent Castiglia (C)

PIC: Vincent Castiglia (C)

Painting with your own blood isn’t anything new, but artist Vincent Castiglia does fantastic work. Click the link to see a gallery at Beautiful Decay. I can only imagine how difficult of a medium blood must be to work with, what with the coagulation and all. Most of his art is NSFW, but if you’re browsing Disinfo, then you probably work for a tolerant work place or are on your own time. Or just taking your chances with the IT department. (No shame – I used to.)

Via Beautiful Decay

For this blood artist, the unusual medium works in service of larger themes. In extracting blood from his own body, sometimes 15 vials at a time (less than a blood donation), he allows the literal life-giving substance to more deeply examine fertile powers of mankind. With the careful painting of milk-filled breasts and deliberate vaginal imagery, Castiglia celebrates the allegorical implications of motherhood and childbirth.

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Science Can Use Your Blood To Determine If Your Death Is Imminent

Blood testDo you really want to know that you’re about to die? If so, this test is for you. Report from GeekoSystem:

You know how you’re supposed to live life to the fullest because any moment could be your last? Turns out, science may have figured out a way to pin that time-frame down a bit for you. With new blood tests, researchers from Finland and Estonia think they can tell whether or not you’re going to live beyond the next five years.

Using a technique called NMR Spectroscopy, these researchers screened 17,000 blood samples, searching for any biomarkers that occurred frequently in the blood of people who died soon after their blood was taken. What they discovered and published in PLOS Medicine journal was that people with elevated levels of four particular biomarkers in their blood (plasma albumin, alpha-1-acid glycoprotein, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particle size, and citrate) had a super-high chance of dying within five years.

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River Of Blood Runs Through UK After Ink Spill

bloodToday’s sign of the impending apocalypse via the Northampton Chronicle and Echo:

An large ink spillage has been identified as the cause of why a river in Northampton turning red.

Following an investigation by the Environment Agency and Anglian Water, it is believed that the waterway near to the A43 in Moulton turned red last Thursday due to a quantity of red ink.

He said: “At first I thought something had died as it looked like blood but when it was all the way along we said it must have been a whale to create that much blood.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We have worked with Anglian Water to trace the source of the red colouration through the surface water drains.

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Romanian Scientists Invent Artificial Blood

bloodPresumably to be enjoyed along with your artificial sweetener and decaff coffee, from Transylvania comes synthetic substitute blood, Medical Daily reports:

Researchers from the Transylvanian city of Romania called Cluj-Napoca announced the first-ever artificial blood that could be used without fearing life-threatening side effects of prior models.

The new artificial blood relies not on hemoglobin, like typical artificial bloods, but hemerythrin — a protein extracted from sea worms that is then mixed with water and salts. Doctors can use the artificial blood to reduce infection rates during blood donation, and to supply lost stores in patients for several hours or even up to a day, researcher Dr. Radu Silaghi-Dumitrescu says.

The research team was confident the artificial blood could find its way to clinical trials on humans within the next year or two. Silaghi-Dumitrescu claims the breakthrough could lead to “instant blood” that would come in portable containers and turn into artificial blood just with the addition of water.

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