To The Lab, To The Lab!

(Originally posted October 3, 2010) How many people have thought of a cure for vampyrism? How many vamps themselves have broached this thorny topic? And even if such a “cure” were made available, would we take it? Would you? Would I? I’m not so sure.

This week I discussed the issue with a friend of mine who is fascinated with Vampyres and the ways science and medicine could be used to help us, or to prove scientifically to the world that there is credence to those who identify themselves as Vampyres.


Cure? Hmm.

I think that would necessitate a complete understanding of what makes a vamp a vamp. Is it genetic? Is it spiritual? Is it a belief? Is it simply a cultural practice? Is it another biological factor? Is it a mental defect or obsession? Are all Vampyres linked to the same root cause of their nature? Only when these questions have been satisfactorily answered – and only then – can we consider a “cure” and how best to proceed about developing one – or whether there should be such a cure at all.

Remember, most of us are quite happy being Vampyres. I think a lot of us will complain about the Thirst, and other aspects of the negative side – but I don’t think they would appreciate someone popping a “cure” on the supermarket shelf – or forcing them to take it in some government-run clinic or keeping a register of Vampyres like they do pedophiles or rapists?

I certainly wouldn’t. For all the negatives, I’m happy being vampyric. It’s not who I am, it doesn’t define what I am as a person – but it is part of who I am. Take that away, and you change me.

People who have to take medication for health reasons, such as bipolar or depression are told they should get onto medication that helps their condition and stick with it. Yes, this medication typically rolls over emotional peaks and valleys like a giant gray steam-roller, evening them out and turning the emotional landscape into an equally dull gray, flat line. Yes, there are no more depressing lows – but no more emotional highs or joys either. Consequently most patients who suffer bipolar or depression, at least those I know, have issues taking these medications.

The typical response of bipolar and sufferers of depression is something like: “If it changes the way I think, I would no longer be me. Therefore, I refuse to take such a medication.” Likewise, some people hold the same view over our condition as Vampyres, particularly those who view our existence as an illness or disease, whether mental or physical, as opposed to a natural occurrence of something which has a right to exist in the world alongside them.

Having empirical evidence that vampyrism is genuine and not just some mass-hysteria or mass-delusion reinforced by the masses of similarly affected people would be somewhat reassuring, wouldn’t it?

It would be great to have definite proof that vampyrism is genetic or can be shown in biological evidence to stick under the noses of the critics – as in the “gay gene” argument – trouble is, once this materializes – you then have to deal with folks who will try to use this knowledge against us, to breed that gene out of the human race, as with the same “gay gene” today. In fact, a recent news article from this year caused an understandable uproar when it highlighted a medical research facility developing a hormonal treatment, which is being tested on pregnant females at select US clinics to “breed out” lesbians and “uppity women”.

An associate of mine who I call “the Professor”, has the following to say on the subject: “All Vampyres appear to be linked by a single biological factor (as far as I am aware): the need for prana. I realize that isn’t a biological factor, but what is, is that prana can be found in blood. Why not OTHER bodily fluids? I’m thinking it’s the components of the blood.”

“How many people have thought about a cure for vampirism. Not a permanent cure, at least not so soon, but a temporary cure. To help with cravings and such. Nor am I talking about a placebo – the real thing, but available more readily. I’m thinking like, being able to go to the store and buy some. No offense intended, but my purpose would be to allow vampyres to sustain themselves if no donor was in reach.”

On the topic of blood substitutes I think that might be a great idea – many of us struggle sometimes to find donors, especially when we are in dire need – but bear in mind some sangs use all sorts of edibles that approximate the taste and consistency of blood – but contain no prana at all, resulting in what is essentially fake blood and a rather funky flavor that could be produced by any soda-factory with a yen for attracting vampyric clients, but which will do little to actually feed our need.

On the topic of other bodily fluids containing prana, “the Professor” is dead right. There are vamps called succibi (or inccubi) who ingest bodily fluids from their donors during sex, whether from male or female donors, and absorb prana from that. I would suggest that biology speaking, female donor sexual fluids contain no living cells and therefore no prana, while male fluids do. I am fairly sure I have it right here, but I do not feed from bodily fluids other than blood, so I accept I might be in error. (I think this section is unbelievably complex though, because if these types of vamps are PSI, they could still gain prana from their donors even without taking in any body fluids.)

I’ve been thinking again (always a dangerous thing, I know) about blood and sang feeding. Now I’m aware that there are schools of thought suggesting that aside from the prana content, blood is a very rich source of nutrients, and also has a high saline content – causing generous amounts of it to “curdle” in the human stomach, resulting in nausea.

What has occurred to me is that perhaps some vamps could participate in a study conducted with the aid of some donors (or the blood-bank, if a larger serious study were possible) – supplying blood to a closed study-group of vamps who eat no other solid food for the period of the study.

I’m curious to see if the Human (or Vampyre) body would adjust to this diet of blood only, and how long it would take to do so – or if it could be sustained without resulting in any diet-related disorders or sickness from saline content.

I suppose the reason I thought of this is that I go through cycles where my sang thirst is at its height and eating makes me feel physically ill, as I do now. In fact, if I had enough donors to supply me for the duration of say, a week or 2 weeks alone to run such a study, I would do it myself. Call it personal curiosity on my part, but I would love to see what would happen.

But for the moment, let me set out my thoughts on how such a test should work. For the purpose of gathering information, we would have to determine the conditions of the test:

-Must the blood be warm?
-If so, could the blood be warmed without destroying it?
-Blood will stay alive for 21-42 days, depending on the anti-coagulant preservative used. If blood is still alive, but has been outside a human’s body for a few days, will it be sufficient?
-If so, is Blood serum a viable replacement? Blood serum is blood plasma without fibrinogen or the other clotting factors (i.e., whole blood minus both the cells and the clotting factors).

Sangs take their blood in a variety of ways, from cutting, to syringes, to drips, to drinking it from a glass. Personally I prefer warm blood, body temperature, right off the donor’s skin. But hey, that’s just me. However, in lab conditions, I would think blood at body temperature would be ideal – whole blood, not missing anything – because that would answer the questions we have about the effects of blood feeding.

Of course, the other alternatives mentioned around blood-serum would open the possibility of even more scientific evaluations, allowing for gauging when blood “stops being blood” or carrying prana, and perhaps introducing a placebo into the mix as well just to gauge the accuracy of the test-subject’s responses?

I would suggest that aside from some vamps – some test subjects should be sourced who are not identified as Vampyres – perhaps sanguinarians, perhaps Mundanes who are willing to participate in this experiment, just to observe the effects of the blood feeding on folks who don’t claim to need the effects of the prana in the blood.

Then you would have 3 groups in the test group, Vampyres, mundane blood-drinkers (who are used to consuming blood) and those who are mundane and sang-“virgins”. Then among those three you distribute blood and a placebo and perhaps some of the other filtered blood-products mentioned earlier – always to the same people, and record the effects, taking note of general health, muscle mass, weight BMI etc. I would suggest taking note of things such as eye-color as well, as it is claimed that blood consumption causes eye-color to darken and it would be interesting to observe this in lab conditions.

I have suggested this experiment to the Atlanta Vampire Alliance on their forum. In terms of serious scientific study into the phenomenon that is us, they lead the field. Hopefully they will – um, “bite”.

Val

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