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Jul 20, 2011

Scientists Genetically Engineer Mice With Super Endurance


How do you build a mouse that can run six-times farther than its average bretheren? Take away all its fast-twitch muscle fiber, along with its ability to contract its muscles.

According to ScienceNow, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found the gene receptor that controls the protein responsible for muscle contraction. When they engineered mice to lack that protein, all the muscle in their body converted any fast twitch muscle (which is more powerful, but fatigues quicker) to slow twitch muscle fiber, which provided endurance gains.
But these behavioral quirks weren't quite enough to convince Khurana of the effect on muscles. Lack of the IL-15Rα gene could just be making the mice jittery or giving them extra energy. So the researchers dissected muscles from the longer-running mice. The muscles sported increased numbers of energy-generating mitochondria and more muscle fibers, indicating that they tired less easily. And when the researchers stimulated them with electricity, the muscles continued to contract for longer than normal, taking longer to use up their energy stores, the team reports in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The discovery of this gene could explain why some people are better endurance runners than others, and if discovered in humans (or any other animal, for that matter), could be used to create a human that could run and run and run and run. Although, the absence of speed and power might not be worth it.



19 comments:

leanmeansteen said...

i imagine that they'll be able to synthesize a balance of endurance and power in the future so you can order custom hormone mitochondria whatever replacement therapy in the future according to what sports and activities you like to do

Waffles13 said...

Cool on its own, but I'm still waiting for full cyborg mice before I get too excited.

iNews said...

Interesting news, thanks!

BigOryx said...

haha i want one of those mice

Internet Catch Of The Day said...

Amazing! I wonder how long it will be before people can order upgrades for their own bodies?

Dylanthulhu said...

That's awesome!

Al3xaG said...

I wonder what will come after they discover other limitators.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Soon the government are going to make super soldiers using this... Can't imagine a human that could run six times faster than normal, that would be insane.

movie68 said...

That's pretty cool.

StigmataHandjob said...

That is really interesting. And slightly creepy.

weastside007 said...

This is crazy!

Shaw said...

How odd..

Just that guy said...

ok, there just going to make spartans like in halo xD

Zombie said...

before you know it...

MIGHTY MOUSE!!!

Carlos. A said...

Seems kinda weird, but aren't people doing with animals today. I wonder if its worth the time to study these animals. Great post

Diggler said...

Nice.

MRanthrope said...

I'd be down for some extra endurance! Tear up the drums all day now

Finley B said...

I was wondering when they might start doing this, proper genetic engineering.

So when are we gonna see the first batch of genetically engineered olympic atheletes??

happyhacker said...

Hey I didn't know someone took a picture of me on that exercise wheel!