wanna have bigger muscles?

Muscles. The thought conjures up images of Schwarzenegger and Venice Beach, not science geeks. So you might not associate Johns Hopkins Medical with muscle building--but that would be a mistake. Some of the most muscular mice in the world reside in a lab at Johns Hopkins. Yes, mice.

There's a press release from Johns Hopkins Medical Institute regarding this topic. Apparently when you change the endogenous levels of muscle proteins like myostatin and follistatin there's huge morphological changes. This news might keep those weight lifters away from steroids! Assuming they can find a way to modify their levels of these proteins.

Se-Jin Lee, the Johns Hopkins scientist who first showed that the absence of the protein myostatin leads to oversized muscles in mice and men has now found a second protein, follistatin, whose overproduction in mice lacking myostatin doubles the muscle-building effect. Lee is a professor of molecular biology and genetics at Johns Hopkins.

Check out that picture to the left! Girl mice, no doubt, oggle that stud on the right side of the picture. Or at least they did when he was still alive. Lose your skin and girls seem to wander away. Odd, that.

So you ask, why in the world would I care about this? Well, this ability to biologically convince an animal to add muscle can significantly boost muscle mass in all mammals, not just mice. So this discovery can be used to “beef up” livestock for McDonalds or promote muscle growth in patients with muscular dystrophy and other wasting diseases. Neat, huh?


Smug said…
That may actually be really cool! How do you find this oddball stuff that never makes it to CNN or the Today Show??
SassyAssy said…
I think you could cut out the dead mice in the pic...blech!
Used*to*be*me said…
Let me know when there is something that will convert my ass/thigh fat into motivation, while simultaneously creating muscle mass. PS the dead mice are freaky but interesting as hell!

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