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November 01, 2008

Whole Body Muscle Gene Therapy Progress

Researchers have successfully found not only a delivery method for gene therapy that can reach every muscle of the body in a large animal model, but a therapy that will work on both skeletal muscle, the type found in arms and legs, and cardiac muscle, such as the heart. Dongsheng Duan's team of University of Missouri researchers has now proven that this delivery system will reach every
muscle in larger animals, such as dogs. In 2004, successful gene therapy delivery was developed for mice. There are still some years to go for humans.

Besides curing diseases like muscular dystrophy which effects hundreds of thousands of people, this is a step towards whole body transgenic muscle gene therapy for humans. A transgenic animal is one that carries a foreign gene that has been deliberately inserted into its genome. (Usually from another animal.)





Cheetah speed, Gorilla Strength, Sled Dog Endurance
DARPA is also spending 3 billion to enhance strength and endurance. So endurance enhancements combined with the muscle speed enhancements could allow sprinting for an entire mile run. This would mean 80 seconds to run one mile. 1 minute and 20 seconds. It could also mean about 40 minutes to run a marathon.

Chimpanzees have been estimated to possess five times human strength and gorillas supposedly have 10 times human strength.

Some gorilla's are believed to be able to lift 2 tons and can tear up trees.

Whole body muscle gene therapy could create the ultimate in human running speed and strength.

FURTHER READING
A muscular dystrophy patient should be able to maintain a normal lifestyle if only 50 percent of the cells of the heart are healthy.


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