Pharyngula

Pie in the sky between your thighs

Ladies, there are people who want your menstrual blood. It contains stromal cells, which are a multipotent adult-stem-cell-like population that might be a useful source of fairly plastic, proliferative cells. This distant possibility has prompted one company, C’Elle, to offer to collect, test, purify, and store these cells for you. As they say, these cells “may potentially provide phenomenal life saving treatments and customized therapies in the future“…so you should stash away a supply in cryogenic storage, just in case someone comes up with a use.

There is some serious science here, and Attila Csordas summarizes some of the interesting properties of these cells, but the approach is just weird. This can’t be called fraud — throughout their web site, they plainly admit that there is no practical, applied use for these cells right now, so they aren’t attempting to mislead at all — but they also can’t give a good pragmatic reason why anyone should pay to have their menstrual blood stored away.

That’s right, pay. Fees range from $499 for a single collection, to $1599 for a quarterly collection, with an additional yearly fee of $99-$199 for cryostorage. Yow. And you’ve just been throwing those tampons and pads away, not realizing that that is sludgy red treasure between your legs, and that you ought to be putting it on a high-tech pedestal and preserving it for a lifetime.

We guys are feeling left out, I assure you. I’m hoping we find a multipotent adult stem cell type in mucosal epithelia, so that we too can pay a premium price to honor the potential in our mucky secretions. If there isn’t a company doing this yet, I should start one.

I think I’ll call it “B’ooger™” (pronounced “boo-zhay”, of course).

Later, we may expand to serve a discriminating and exclusively male clientele with “Smeg’ma” (“smay-mwah”). There’s gold in them there slimes!