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My boyfriend has been talking about how Gene Therapy will change the face of bodybuilding in the next five years. What's intresting about Gene Therapy is that effects can be permament.

Here's an article he gave me from Johns Hopkins Medicine:

Johns Hopkins researchers have genetically engineered mice to grow herculean muscles, an achievement that eventually may lead to the development of treatments for muscular dystrophy and other muscle-wasting diseases.

"The first thing that we noticed was that the knockout mice had unusually large shoulders and hips," says Alexandra McPherron, a Hopkins Ph.D. student and first author of a paper in this week's Nature. "On closer analysis we found that all their muscles were two to three times normal size."

To create the mice, scientists "knocked out" a newly discovered gene called growth/differentiation factor 8 (GDF 8), erasing it from the rodents' genetic code. Without GDF 8, which limits skeletal muscle growth, the mice's muscles grew dramatically.

Hopkins researchers already have identified the human form of GDF 8 and are investigating whether it performs the same function in humans.

So far, the gene appears to be active only in skeletal muscle tissue, which may be why removing it seems to have had little effect beyond enlarging the mice's muscles.

"Except for the muscles, the mice appear to be normal and healthy," says McPherron.

Rights to GDF 8, first identified in mice by a research team led by Se-Jin Lee, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of molecular biology and genetics, are owned by Johns Hopkins University and exclusively licensed to MetaMorphix Inc., a company that funded the knockout mice study.

"We're excited that GDF 8 could give us new opportunities to treat the many muscle-wasting diseases like muscular dystrophy or cachexia, the muscle loss that accompanies some cancers and AIDS," says Lee.

"We've also found GDF 8 in cows and chickens, so we might be able to interfere with it to create livestock with more meat and relatively less fat," says Lee.

Lee's group found the gene by searching for new members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) gene family.

Other TGF-beta genes include bone morphogenetic proteins, a group of genes that helps stimulate bone growth, and glial-derived neurotrophic factor, a gene that sustains nerve cells. Proteins from both of these groups are already in clinical trials for treatment of various disorders.

Hopkins researchers altered the GDF 8 gene in mouse embryonic stem cells, which appear very early in a mouse's development before cell specialization occurs. When these cells went on to produce egg or sperm cells in a mouse, the genetic changes Lee made were passed on to every cell of the mouse's descendants when they reproduced. Nearly a year after their initial creation, the mutant mice show no other signs of abnormality and can reproduce healthy offspring.

MetaMorphix was established in 1995 to capitalize on work by Hopkins and Genetics Institute, a private pharmaceutical company, in the field of growth and differentiation factors. Lee is a shareholder in and scientific founder of the company.

Under an agreement between MetaMorphix and The Johns Hopkins University, McPherron and Lee are entitled to shares of royalty received by the University from MetaMorphix. The University, McPherron and Lee also own MetaMorphix stock, which is subject to certain restrictions under University policy. Lee is also a consultant to MetaMorphix. The terms of this arrangement are being managed by the University in accordance with its conflict-of-interest policies.

The other author on the Nature paper was Ann Lawler, Ph.D., assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics.

If we assume that our skeletons could hold the mass - could you imagine. Bodybuilders of the future could be competing at 600lbs :)
There are several other articles related on the subject. Just imagine even someone with poor gentics could like a Olympian God.

Lucy B
yep...genetic engineering will be the next BIG BIG thing....in the last 300 years we had two huge revolutions (industrial and information) and this one will surpass it all. Its not a matter of if it will happen or not....its a matter of WHEN! But I do not believe its going to happen in our life time.....its extremely complicated and there are way too many ignorant people in the world worried about worthless issues like religion, god, and sensless power). Basically scientists have found every single Human genetic code that makes up a human being. The codes have been stored in very complex computers and the codes are represented in letters; there are billions of them and scientists are just now starting to go through every single code, one by one, learning how every aspect of us is interconnected in these codes, and when they do, things will start to happen....forget about balding......forget about senseless emotional crapp...and forget about the reality of limited resources....things can become perfect (depending on what your defenition of perfect is ofcourse)! This of course will all eventually happen as long as all the ignorant leaders such as Mr.dumb ass bush and dumb ass sharon and dumb ass arafat and so on do not blow the whole world up into tiny peices. Sorry im getting into politics now so i will stop :D
by the way this is coming from someone who was born in the middle east, in a very traditional arab family. SO YOU SEE, NOT ALL OF US ARE TERRORISTS, SO PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK WHEN YOU SEE ME WALKING ON THE STRRET OR LOOKING AT YOU.....or whatever. I get so many white people asking me where I am from, and when I tell them they give me that shocked face and they say something like "oh wow, so you are like from where sadam is...like you are one of them then....WOW". WHAT DO YOU MEAN ONE OF THEM. Just becasue im an arab does not make me what your lovely defenition of ONE OF THEM is!!!!

Anyways, I though it was funny myself, but funny in a sad way. Sad coz it surprises me how ignorance is spread all around. Im just trying to say, LET ME IN THE CROWD DAMN IT....I LOVE YOUR MUSIC.... YOUR WOMEN......AND YOUR JUICE.....SO LET ME IN......IN YOUR HICK TOWN WITH YOUR HICk CROWD SOMETIMES. Ok Ill stop... :40oz: In truth I do have lots of white friends :D
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