Saturday, August 2, 2008

Designer Drugs For Rat-Racers -You've Heard Of 'Marathon Man? Marathon Mouse! Biotech @ It's Finest... Mouse Speed

Coming to YOUR drugstore shelf soon (but not JUST yet) thanks to the miracle of 'fast-track' drug approval:

Oral pill turns slacker mice into marathonists: study

WASHINGTON (AFP)- US researchers have come up with a pill that promises to give a typical junk-food snacking couch potato the silhouette of an athlete and the endurance of a marathon runner.

The drug, which mimics the effects to the body of exercise, works on mice at least, according to scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.

Created only for research and not available commercially, the drug works on a mouse's genetic switch called PPAR delta.

Scientists understood that in genetically-engineered mice, when the switch was permanently activated, it left the mice with a huge level of endurance, turning them into "indefatigable marathon runners."

"We wanted to know whether a drug specific for PPAR delta would have the same beneficial effects," said research team leader Ronald Evans of the Salk Institute's Gene Expression Laboratory.

The first tests failed, however: the oral drug appeared to activate the gene, but the mice did not do better as exercisers unless they were forced to exercise at high levels. Only then was their endurance heightened.

In Full

IMDB - Marathon Man
There Have Been

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