#1
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111121104509.htm

An international team of scientists has created super-strong, high-endurance mice and worms by suppressing a natural muscle-growth inhibitor, suggesting treatments for age-related or genetics-related muscle degeneration are within reach.

The project was a collaboration between researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and two Swiss institutions, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the University of Lausanne.

The scientists found that a tiny inhibitor may be responsible for determining the strength of our muscles. By acting on a genome regulator (NCoR1), they were able to modulate the activity of certain genes, creating a strain of mighty mice whose muscles were twice a strong as those of normal mice.

"There are now ways to develop drugs for people who are unable to exercise due to obesity or other health complications, such as diabetes, immobility and frailty," says Ronald M. Evans, a professor in Salk's Gene Expression Lab, who led the Salk team. "We can now engineer specific gene networks in muscle to give the benefits of exercise to sedentary mice."

Johan Auwerx, the lead author from EPFL, says molecules such as NCoR1 are molecular brakes that decrease the activity of genes. Releasing the brake by mutation or with chemicals can reactivate gene circuits to provide more energy to muscle and enhance its activity.

In an article appearing in the journal Cell, the Salk researchers and their collaborators reported on the results of experiments done in parallel on mice and nematodes. By genetically manipulating the offspring of these species, the researchers were able to suppress NCoR1, which normally acts to inhibit the buildup of muscle tissues.

In the absence of the inhibitor, the muscle tissue developed much more effectively. The mice with the mutation became true marathoners, capable of running faster and longer before showing any signs of fatigue. In fact, they were able to cover almost twice the distance run by mice that hadn't received the treatment. They also exhibited better cold tolerance.

Unlike previous experiments that focused on "genetic accelerators" this work shows that suppressing an inhibitor is a new way to build muscle. Examination under a microscope confirmed that the muscle fibers of the modified mice are denser, the muscles are more massive, and the cells in the tissue contain higher numbers of mitochondria -- cellular organelles that deliver energy to the muscles.

Similar results were also observed in nematode worms, allowing the scientists to conclude that their results could be applicable to a large range of living creatures.

The scientists have not yet detected any harmful side effects associated with eliminating the NCoR1 receptor from muscle and fat tissues. Although the experiments involved genetic manipulations, the researchers are already investigating potential drug molecules that could be used to reduce the receptor's effectiveness.

The researchers say their results are a milestone in our understanding of certain fundamental mechanisms of living organisms, in particular the little-studied role of corepressors -- molecules that inhibit the expression of genes. In addition, they give a glimpse at possible long-term therapeutic applications.

"This could be used to combat muscle weakness in the elderly, which leads to falls and contributes to hospitalizations," Auwerx says. "In addition, we think that this could be used as a basis for developing a treatment for genetic muscular dystrophy."

He added that if these results are confirmed in humans, there's no question they will attract interest from athletes as well as medical experts.


Wonder how long till this gets into sports.
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#2
inb4 superman.
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#6
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#7
Quote by moscaespañol
Wow, God's work is amazing!


Yeah, the universe is pretty crazy man.

I wonder what kind of drawbacks this has? It at least has to take more resources to get that extra muscle. Maybe it could lead to some kind of deficiency evolution saved us from through this inhibitor gene?
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#8
This would actually be awesome. I'm lucky enough that I'm not, but a bunch of members of my family have a hereditary autoimmune disease that's left them able to carry about 30 lbs., max.

I'm very curious though to hear the results once they look into side effects of this stuff, because I just can't see a normal person using it without something seriously bad - if there's no tangible reason to have that inhibitor, then it wouldn't have grown in the first place. For people who need it for medical reasons, it's great, but I just can't see this not shredding the bodies of normal people who use it.
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#9
A comic I enjoy was originally what gave me a heads up on this, I think it's pretty cool discovery.The drug is called a myostatin fyi, if you want to find out more OP. But they actually already went as far as clinical trials on monkeys in 2009 (if you believe wikipedia) meaning the next step would be on humans. But according to the article they stopped even though they actually had a proof of concept drug that worked, but for whatever reason they stopped and you can't find it on the market (shame).
Last edited by BigHeadClan at Nov 22, 2011,
#12
Looks interesting, though I'm not convinced there would be no long-term implications from doing this to someone. Still, pretty applicable, so a good discovery.
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#13
Quote by JimDawson
I wonder what kind of drawbacks this has? It at least has to take more resources to get that extra muscle. Maybe it could lead to some kind of deficiency evolution saved us from through this inhibitor gene?


This is on my mind as well. There's almost certainly a reason why it's their in the first place.
#17
Quote by Mudmen190
This is on my mind as well. There's almost certainly a reason why it's their in the first place.

Because no-one wanted to plow the muscle bound chicks.

True story
#18
Quote by devourke
Because no-one wanted to plow the muscle bound chicks.

True story



Sexy, huh?
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#20
Quote by JimDawson
Yeah, the universe is pretty crazy man.

I wonder what kind of drawbacks this has? It at least has to take more resources to get that extra muscle. Maybe it could lead to some kind of deficiency evolution saved us from through this inhibitor gene?


If it only affects growth of muscle tissues, it has some pretty serious and obvious drawbacks, which is why I imagine it is only to be intended for those suffering certain muscle degenerative diseases or whatever.

If this "got into sports" like buddy some posts above me said, those athletes would quickly find themselves in the emergency room. Normal humans can already have problems with their ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues when their muscles develop at a rate much faster than them. Muscles tear, repair, and grow at an already faster rate than tendons and ligaments, so must results of tendinitis and other "overuse injuries" develop from this imbalance -- overworking of the tendons and ligaments without proper time to heal, because the muscles "feel fine."

If this drug does this and only effects muscle growth, it will only compound this imbalance between muscle and tendon/ligament repair and I'm willing to bet there would be a huge increase in torn/damaged tendons in ligaments surrounding large muscle groups.
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#21
Myostatin is a protien that limits and regulates muscle size, so I don't see why ligaments and tendons would be excluded from a similar rate of growth provided that they rely on the same protien to tell them when to stop growing.

Outside of the likely problems above, I think there was also some speculation of depleting stem cells earlier. The number of times cells divide in the body is constant(52 times) for every cell and every time your cell divide your telomere's shorten which also effects your life expectancy.

So the human life expectancy could be cut by as much as half from having myostatin inhibitors, then again I have also heard of gene therapy to lengthen telomere's which could counteract this side effect but the therapy of longer telomere's have had mixed pros/cons.

But if the gene therapy works out and they dosage of myostatin could be controlled(which would reduce the danger that Dreadnaught mentioned quite a bit) then it wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination to see some practical application of something like this.
#25
I must steal this...

edit: imagine benching a ton and squatting a car. **** YEAH!
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Last edited by Grimriffer at Nov 22, 2011,
#26
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#27
i'm not taking it who knows what they'll discover ten years from now
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I pretty much never leave the drug thread anymore.
#29
Quote by Morphogenesis26
First the Mice get super muscles and then they get Bio-buttholes?

ALL HAIL OUR SUPERMICE OVERLORDS!


Bio-buttholes? Sounds like something from a sci-fi B movie!
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#30
Oh, this is the gene mutation they were talking about when I was born!!
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#31
You know, this really reminds me of I Am Legend come to think of it. Just watched that last night!
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