Wednesday, June 30, 2004

More on my favorite German superstrong mutant boy

Gene mutation makes tot super strong

(CNN, AP, Thursday, June 24, 2004 Posted: 6:40 PM EDT (2240 GMT))

While I think some of these speculations are little too breathlessly optimistic, I am convinced this boy is a windfall. God bless him, I do sincerely pray.

Deutschland, Deutschland, Deutschland!

The boy's mutant DNA segment was found to block production of a protein called myostatin that limits muscle growth. The news comes seven years after researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore created buff "mighty mice" by "turning off" the gene that directs cells to produce myostatin. . . .

"Just decreasing this protein by 20, 30, 50 percent can have a profound effect on muscle bulk," said Kunkel, who is among the doctors participating in the Wyeth research.

Muscular dystrophy is the world's most common genetic disease. There is no cure and the most common form, Duchenne's, usually kills before adulthood. The few treatments being tried to slow its progression have serious side effects.

Muscle wasting also is common in the elderly and patients with diseases such as cancer and AIDS. . . .

Lee said he believes a myostatin blocker also could suppress fat accumulation and thus thwart the development of diabetes. Lee and Johns Hopkins would receive royalties for any myostatin-blocking drug made by Wyeth.

. . . a mystotatin-blocking drug could help other groups of people, including astronauts and others who lose muscle mass during long stints in zero gravity or when immobilized by illness or a broken limb.

The article ended by mentioning possible gains in poultry production. But, I tell ya, since having read Margaret Atwood's chilling and vibrant Oryx and Crake, I get nothing but the bowel-loosening shivers thinking about the future of the poultry industry. ChickieNobs, anyone?

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