Thread: New Gene Drug Makes Mice Huge
08-23-2004, 03:04 PM #1
New Gene Drug Makes Mice Huge
Hey everybody. I been away for a while, but I'm back!
Here's an interesting article from wired.com::::
With no previous running experience, most mice can run about 900 meters before exhaustion. But the genetically altered mice can run 1800 meters (more than a mile) before running out of steam, and keep it up for two and a half hours -- an hour longer than unaltered mice can run.
"Records are broken on a fraction of a percent," said Ron Evans, the head researcher in the mouse experiment and a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory at The Salk Institute. "A few percentage points is like a minute or two in a race. This was a big change: 100 percent."
To perform the genetic enhancement on the mice, researchers injected a human version of a protein called PPAR-delta attached to a short DNA sequence. The injection permanently incorporated enhanced PPAR-delta production into the mice' genomes. The change is transgenic, meaning the mice will pass down the trait to future generations.
The mice were also resistant to weight gain, even when fed a high-fat diet that caused obesity in other mice, according to research published online in the Aug. 24 issue of the Public Library of Science Biology.
It's too late for next week's Olympic marathon competitors in Athens to take advantage, but, coincidentally, GlaxoSmithKline is developing an oral drug that activates the same protein in humans (called PPAR-delta) that was stimulated in the marathon mice.
GlaxoSmithKline has completed the first phase of three human trials necessary for FDA approval to market the drug as a good cholesterol, or HDL, booster. (Increased HDL can help prevent heart attacks.) Evans said researchers at GlaxoSmithKline were surprised when told about the other benefits he and his colleagues had found were associated with increased levels of the protein.
"We learned it may be good for weight gain, good as an insulin sensitizer and it may change muscle performance," Evans said. "The (company researchers) became very excited."
Evans was just as surprised by the results. He knew that PPAR-delta increased fat-burning. But he was surprised to see an increase in certain muscle fibers. GlaxoSmithKline plans to study the marathon mouse further, Evans said.
"If you put those things together in a product for human beings, you can imagine the market that would open up," said Paul Root Wolpe, a bioethicist at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. "A dietary control drug is something that's been the Holy Grail for researchers spending millions of dollars for a long time."
Several modifications in animals have shown that altering certain genes can make animals stronger, particularly in work by Lee Sweeney, associate professor of physiology and medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
But the fact that the researchers changed various outcomes by altering just one gene is unexpected, Evans said. Most physiologists believe that enhancing performance is a complicated process during which several genes coordinate changes throughout the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the muscle itself. But this single change seems to have rewired the entire system.
That could be good news for people who are confined to a wheelchair or suffer from muscle-wasting diseases like AIDS or muscular dystrophy. The discovery could also lead to treatments for diabetes and obesity, because the mice also had lower levels of intramuscular triglycerides, which are associated with insulin resistance and diabetes in obese people, the researchers said.
If athletes were to use the "marathon" gene alteration to their advantage, sprinters would want to steer clear. The genetic alteration increased "slow-twitch" muscle mass, which run on energy stored in fat and are fatigue resistant. But mice had fewer "fast-twitch" muscle fibers, which rely on glucose for fuel and fatigue quickly.
Having more slow-twitch muscle appeared to protect the mice from weight gain on a high-fat diet that made other mice obese. The result led Evans to believe that long-distance runners can likely fend off weight gain even when they're not exercising because of the muscle they've built up.
But the fact that just one genetic change had such a widespread effect also presents an ethical quandary. While mice are much easier to genetically alter than humans, if genetic modification is perfected in humans, this could lead to an easy way to enhance sports performance.
"The world is about to change dramatically," Wolpe said. "It's one thing to say there are going to be certain banned substances. It's another thing to say people are not going to be able to manipulate their bodies in certain ways."
Genetic alterations will also be more difficult to detect than drugs, Wolpe said.
"Are we going to perform sophisticated genetic tests on people? What if you were born that way? Will you have to document the fact that its 'natural' rather than an induced trait? Or are we just going to throw out the whole idea that human sports achievement has to be done with some sort of notion of the natural?"
08-23-2004, 03:40 PM #2
That was a good read, theyve done tons of stuff to mice and that, its interesting, its a hard one to overcome, in terms of human modification.
I mean humans are changing all the time, evolving, but i dont see us evolving for the good...
we are just gettin heavier and there is no sign of us actually gettin smarter...
08-23-2004, 03:51 PM #3
Man someone let me know when it is available!!! Look out Ronnie here I come...lol
08-23-2004, 06:40 PM #4Associate Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
anyone remember the duct "Myostatin" and their buff cow on their ads?
08-24-2004, 08:15 AM #5Anabolic Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
Yeah, i remember that myostatin bologna. But this seems a litttle more promising. However, we have no idea what the possible sides are from this drug. The pros might not care though, so it'll be fun watching them abuse this drug soon, and turning into even more overgrown gorillas than they already are, and then dropping dead four years later. I can't wait!!
08-26-2004, 12:29 PM #6
Ya, if this stuff works on your muscles, I wonder what effects it'll have on your heart muscles. It wouldn't be any good if if it got your heart so big that it couldn't pump blood very well . . . But, the heart is a different sort of muscle (I think?), so maybe it would be unaffected . . . who knows? Time, like a blabbermouth, will tell . . .
08-27-2004, 01:25 PM #7Originally Posted by MESSY_UK
Getting smarter ? The earth has been around for 4billion years. We are the only species that went from apes who coudn speak to what we are today in 20000years
08-28-2004, 05:39 AM #8
ok. look at this, Not alot has changed in the past few thousand years.. look at how we quickly evolved into what we have become over the past few thousand years... then... nothing has happened... we are killing more people, being killed by more diseses consuming more resources... there wont be ANY resources left in 500 years. So, things have to change!
09-01-2004, 06:35 AM #9Originally Posted by SaTyR
If thats what you believe.
Originally Posted by MESSY_UK
"Its the end of the world as we know it"
09-01-2004, 03:23 PM #10Originally Posted by MESSY_UK
09-05-2004, 08:59 AM #11
killin is as natural to mammals, which we are as eating and reproduction, so im not seeing where that makes us dumb. look at the advancment in tech in the last 60 years much less since the 1800s and you think we arnt gettin smarter? the easiest way to tell we are, is by becoming heavier, it shows we have advanced enough to not need to be super physically fit to do all the basic needs to maintain life..
09-23-2004, 05:11 AM #12
anyone see the episode of friends where pheebe doesnt believe in evolution? soooooo funny
11-20-2004, 07:30 PM #13Originally Posted by SaTyR
" Modern Man " has existed much longer than 20,000 years.....
11-22-2004, 01:18 AM #14
nice booster to look forward to......i can c it now, an infant all ripped up mixing his breast milk with some whey protein......
11-22-2004, 01:11 PM #15Originally Posted by Decadbal
04-28-2006, 08:37 PM #16Junior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
i'm just waiting for the day science develops something to make humans taller no matter what age they have reached...that would be awesome
Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)