You may remember Liam Hoekstra, the baby apparently born without the myostatin gene, and similarly enabled animals that have absurd strength. Using gene therapy, NCH scientists were able to get follistatin (a myostatin blocker) to promote phenomenal muscle growth in the quadriceps of macaque monkeys. NCH is now working with the FDA to perform the preliminary steps necessary for a human clinical trial. We could see a superman gene therapy available in the next decade.
Macaques were observed for 15 months after receiving a gene therapy that promoted follistatin (and blocked myostatin) in their quadriceps. There was no observed damage to internal organs, the treatment only seemed to affect skeletal muscle, the reproductive cycles and cells functioned normally, and there was no reported damaged to tendons or ligaments.
The macaques exhibited enhanced muscle growth for 12 weeks after treatment, beyond which muscle mass stabilized. The average circumference of the animals quadriceps increased by 15%. Using electric stimulation (you can't order a monkey to lift weights) scientists were able to observe profound increases in leg strength. One specimen demonstrated a 78% increase over control results.
Along with Muscular Dystrophy treatments, and therapies for muscle loss in old age, the defeat of myostatin could lead to an effective way for all of us to get fit fast. No workouts necessary, eat almost all you want, and have a body like Adonis.
However, if there's one thing I'm sure we DON'T need, it's super-powered Macaques.