A “mighty mouse” with double the normal muscle strength has been created by scientists looking for ways to treat age-related diseases.
It not only has bigger muscles but, in tests, could run for twice as long on the treadmill.
Swiss scientists created the “super strong marathon mice” by tweaking a gene and found without it the rodents’ muscles bulked up and they had more energy.
If the effects could be replicated in humans, they believe it could lead to therapies against muscle-wasting in the elderly which can lead to falls and broken bones, as well as incurable diseases such as muscular dystrophy.
Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne found that a tiny inhibitor – called NCoR1 – may be responsible for how strong and powerful our muscles are.
Scientists would then work on developing a drug which could produce a similar effect.
By genetically modifying mice to stop it working, they suppressed the enzyme which normally stops muscle from building up.
Taking it out did not appear to have any adverse effects, according to their study published today in the journal Cell.
The “marathon mice” were able to run faster, longer and cover twice as much distance as unmodified mice and were also better at putting up with cold conditions.
Similar results were found when the same experiment was repeated on worms. The scientists believe the modification could potentially be applied to humans.
2011-11-14 18:31 编辑：crystal156