Blocking a protein leads to massive muscle growth
Published 11/11/2011 | 05:00
Suppressing a single protein could produce super-strong athletes with boosted muscle power, a new study has suggested.
Scientists have identified a "master" regulator that keeps muscle build-up in check.
By genetically removing it, they were able to create "marathon mice" whose muscles were twice as strong as normal.
The same was achieved in nematode worms, indicating that the mechanism applies across many species including humans.
Drugs that block the protein could in future form the basis of treatments for wasting disorders.
But the research also opens the door to potential abuse in sport.