Rejuvenation from an extract of umbilical blood
(Here is the promised most exciting, and most speculative thing I learned.)
Wuyi Kong is a researcher in regenerative medicine who spent 15 years at Stanford before returning to her native China five years ago. She now has a private for-profit business, incorporated in Silicon Valley and relocated to China, with enough funding from the Chinese government to get tantalizing results, but not enough to do clinical trials.
She describes particles in umbilical blood that confound a basic principle of biology: that every cell comes from another cell. She calls these medium-size particlesNPRCP, for non-plasma RNA-containing particles, and has observed them in electron micrographs, as they agglomerate into stem cells.
Time sequence shows particles aggregating into cells. This is either a Nobel Prize or an anomaly.
For 15 years, Kong has been filtering these particles from umbilical blood and injecting them intravenously, first into mice and then into humans, with spectacular results. In her most complete and convincing paper, she damages the kidneys of mice by cutting off blood supply, then demonstrates regrowth of the kidneys after infusion with NPRCPs. The problematic claim is that NPRCPs are non-living particles, yet they agglomerate to form stem cells, which are then ennucleated with DNA from the recipient mouse. This is indeed strange science, but isn’t this all the more reason to replicate her experiments?
Kong claims anecdotal evidence for erasing wrinkles and white hair turned to black. More substantively, she says patients have improved energy and faster healing. One semi-comatose patient with advanced AD recovered not just her consciousness but also her short-term memory.
This is the kind of speculative, creative science that I have come to expect at SENS conferences. Most such reports do not pan out, but some of them lead to spectacularly disruptive technologies. We can survive with no less.