Feeds

Boffins create super-muscular 'Hulk' mice: Humans next

You wouldn't like me when I'm squeaky

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Topflight biology brains say they have identified a key protein, the furtling of which could allow massively increased muscular development and strength in human beings. Genetic manipulation of the "Grb10" compound has already been tried out in mice, producing "hyper-muscular" rodents capable of almost super-murine feats.

"By identifying a novel mechanism regulating muscle development, our work has revealed potential new strategies to increase muscle mass," explains Dr Lowenna J Holt from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia. "Ultimately, this might improve treatment of muscle wasting conditions, as well as metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes."

Grb10 is an "intracellular adaptor protein" which apparently acts by regulating down the level of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), the stuff which causes muscles to bulk up.

We learn:

Holt and her colleagues compared two groups of mice. Once group had disruption of the Grb10 gene, and were very muscular. The other group, where the Grb10 gene was functional, had normal muscles. Researchers examined the properties of the muscles in both adult and newborn mice and discovered that the alterations caused by loss of Grb10 function had mainly occurred during prenatal development. These results provide insight into how Grb10 works, suggesting that it may be possible to alter muscle growth and facilitate healing, as the processes involved in muscle regeneration and repair are similar to those for the initial formation of muscle.

The allied boffins go so far in their paper, to be published in print in September's FASEB Journal, as to describe the augmented Hulk-bulk mice as "hyper-muscular", hinting that especially sturdy cages may have been needed to contain the tiny but exceptionally buff rodents.

The scientists thus far are viewing potential Grb10 tweaking as a method for helping human patients to battle muscle wasting diseases, but there can be little doubt that the techniques - if successful - would also be abused by the bodybuilding and rogue-secret-military-special-operations-organisation communities - and indeed perhaps by the time-poor or lazy. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.