Scientists are optimistic about gene therapies significantly increasing muscle mass in humans. Gene therapy will be widespread in the sport of bodybuilding much as anabolic pharmacology has seen unrestricted experimentation over the past three decades in bodybuilding.
A few medical researchers are working to make laissez faire gene therapy a reality in bodybuilding. Actually, their intent is to create medical therapies for conditions such as muscular dystrophy, age-related sarcopenia, HIV and AIDS-related wasting, and cancer cachexia. But bodybuilders will clearly exploit the muscle-building potential of these therapies in the real-world laboratory of competitive bodybuilding.
These are the scientists that bodybuilders and athletes should watch…
H. Lee Sweeney, Ph.D. (Professor and Chairman of Physiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine);
Se-Jin Lee, M.D., Ph.D. (Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics, John Hopkins University School of Medicine);
Geoffrey Goldspink, Ph.D., Sc.D. (Division of Surgery, Royal Free and University College Medical School London).
Dr. Lee Sweeney and IGF-1 Gene Therapy
Dr. Sweeney’s research lab has been inundated by inquiries from bodybuilders and athletes around the world since he successfully introduced a gene therapy technique that led to the overexpression of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) in laboratory animals. He stated that it can be used as an “instant muscle builder” that bodybuilders could use to achieve the degree of muscularity that meets their personal preference.
And certainly in the general population I think this could be used as an instant muscle builder, and the nice thing about a drug is you sort of take until you’ve got what you want, and then you stop taking it, and it doesn’t drive the process indefinitely.
Dr. Sweeney used a viral vector (recombinant adeno-associated virus) to deliver the IGF-1 gene to the muscles.
Dr. Geoffrey Goldspink and MGF Gene Therapy
Dr. Goldspink discovered mechano growth factor (MGF) and has developed gene therapy technique using a non-viral “plasmid” vector to deliver the MGF gene to the muscles. A single injection can increase muscle mass 25-30 percent in mice. He is confident that the technology could create “Arnold Schwarzenegger” humans!
We can put genes into mice and create ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’ mice. If it can be done on mice, it can be done on humans.
Dr. Goldspink has filed patents on the technology and has partnered with a major pharmaceutical company to conduct MGF research in humans. Bodybuilders are already using MGF; gene therapy involving MGF will not be far behind.
Dr. Se-Jin Lee and Myostatin Gene Therapy
Dr. Lee has created a gene therapy technique that introduces a potent myostatin inhibitor into the muscle using a non-viral vector (RSET from Invitrogen). Two injections can increase muscle mass in mice up to 60%. This type of muscle growth occurs without training. Dr. Lee feels that this technology could easily be applied to humans (bodybuilders). He feels a small lab or individual could exploit this technology for athletes and bodybuilders for as little as $20,000 to $50,000.
You can get enormous growth. Any small lab out there, even an individual who knows what they’re doing, could do this. The technology is relatively straightforward.
Dr. Lee is employed by John Hopkins University. Myostatin was licensed by The Johns Hopkins University to MetaMorphix. Dr. Lee owns an undisclosed amount of stock in MetaMorphix. MetaMorphix sublicenses myostatin to Wyeth.
hmm sounds great!
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