I, for one, continue to welcome our new race of Atomic Supermen.

Super Strength Substance One Step Closer to Human Trials

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.

Tags: , ,

23 Responses:

  1. mooflyfoof says:

  2. amaranthyne says:

    "His condition, now known as myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy, makes him hungry, lean, and strong." (linked article)
    "...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."

    Ok, as cool as it would be to all have superpowers, the "eat all you want" motivation is infuriating. Better to nurture mutations to let us live off less food if the population is going to keep rising at this rate, right?

    Sheesh, just start doing an active sport like rock climbing if you want to be buff and eat pie too. After a few years I'm sleeker than I've been since moping & not eating but weigh over 10 lbs more, and can do moves that I never would have thought I had the strength for when I began.

    • volkris says:

      We already can live off less food than a lot of us eat--there's no need for mutations to bring that about. Thus, you might as well work on research that will contribute to peoples' enjoyment of life, which for many people certainly includes being able to eat more.

      • amaranthyne says:

        We had best engineer wonderfully lifelike robot puppies for people-who-like-kicking-puppies to kick as well, then! It really would help them enjoy life more.

        • lionsphil says:

          Sony are working on it. The Aibo just doesn't whine correctly, though.

        • volkris says:

          Well, yeah.

          Make Big Macs for people who like Big Macs, kickable robot puppies for people who like to kick robot puppies, roombas for people who like robot vacuum cleaners, and less-downside ways for people to derive pleasure from eating for people who would like to derive pleasure from eating.

          Technology exists to serve the people, helping individuals pursue happiness in whatever form they prefer.

  3. gfish says:

    I'm really looking forward to watching the abrupt change in fashion as fitness stops being a major wealth indicator. Not often you get to see a sociological 180 in such a compressed time period.

    • dmlaenker says:

      This.

    • rmitz says:

      Do you think this treatment is going to be free, or what?

      • lionsphil says:

        Even so, that'd be a change from "I'm so thin you can see my organs bulging under my skin" to "I'm so covered in bulges that I look like I have some kind of lymphatic disorder".

  4. jope says:

    However, if there's one thing I'm sure we DON'T need, it's super-powered Macaques.

    Says you!

  5. latemodel says:

    However, if there's one thing I'm sure we DON'T need, it's super-powered Macaques.

    Having seen a macaque in person, this was the first thing I thought, too.

  6. cdavies says:

    Oh, dear. So Muscle March isn't just another fever dream from the collective psyche of Japan, but a grim warning of things to come.

    In my dotage I can look forward to being mugged by roving gangs of heavily muscled kids who have worked out that mugging the puny elderlings is far easier than working. I think I'm going to need a gun.

    • fnivramd says:

      No, there's every reason to assume that atrophy in old age would be reversed by a similar trick - so at 85 you'll be able to bench a car thanks to this same breakthrough, but we won't have fixed the neural degeneration, so you'll still get confused about where you live. Working in a nursing home will require SWAT training.

  7. pavel_lishin says:

    Finally, protector stage humans are almost within reach.

  8. mark242 says:

    Somewhere, a baseball player has just come up with a cunning plan.

  9. rpkrajewski says:

    Just think of the MEAT !

  10. vicious_wench says:

    However, if there's one thing I'm sure we DON'T need, it's super-powered Macaques.

    Amen to that.