Fighting the Dopers

Chris Harrison is an avid cyclist and  chemist at San Diego State University, and he needs your help.    Dr Harrison recently received a grant from WADA to  develop a technique to detect autologous blood doping .  This is when an athlete removes, stores, and then later re-injects his own blood( think Operation Puerto).   The methods for detecting  blood doping using  another individual's blood are well proven, but a good test for detecting autologous doping has proven more elusive.   What Dr Harrison does is take a very small sample of blood, measured in microliters,  and uses a tool called capillary eletrophoresis (CE) to determine the age of the red blood cells.    As you probably know, you renew  all of your red blood cells every 120 days or so.   CE allows Dr Harrison to determine the age of of the blood cells in the sample.  Now the thing about blood that Johnny Doper stores in a bag in his refrigerator  is that the cells essentially keep aging even though they are outside of the body.    Therefore, an individual who has used autologous blood doping has a much higher percentage of old  blood cells than does a non-doped athlete.   The graph below helps illustrate this point: Doper Suck!So here is where Chris Harrison needs your help ( assuming your are not blood doping).  He needs some small (very) small samples of blood from trained cyclists, so that he can further develop this test for detecting autlogous blood transfusions.  The blood collection happens in his lab at SDSU, and he is willing to work around your schedule.   The collection just involves a little finger prick and a few drops of blood.   I don't believe that there is any compensation, other than the satisfaction that you are helping fight the good fight.       I'll be scheduling my visit to see Dr Harrison at SDSU next week. If you would like to help fight the dopers, you can contact Dr Harrison via Phone: 619-594-1609

Here is a video that explains a little more about the whole thing, including the collection of the sample.