June 22, 2008

New drugs in the pipeline. Very soon now we'll see even more bio-mass thrusting us aside at the check-out queue. Or would giant muscles not be so desirable if everyone had them to the nth degree already? Looking at the two mice, there's something sad about the poor muscle-bound one, skinned and flayed as he is.

I know homunculus posted on Transhumanism some time back, but in those days it was for the brain. This link may be old news to some, but shocked me for sure. Hope it is of general interest.

  • There's something sad about both mice being skinned and flayed. That being said, the article talks about how people will most likely take them, even if it's just to look better. It says there's no cardio benefit from the drugs as there is from exercise. However, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, the more muscle a person has, the more fat they burn from any exercise. So an overweight person's heart would definitely benefit, because the added muscle would burn fat even during daily activities like walking. Less fat=less strain on the heart.
  • I have a dim memory that so-called double-muscled cattle, which have the same mutation as those mice, show signs of pain and irritation (maybe their nerves get pinched?) And I wonder if it affects all muscle. Your heart is a muscle. What if that overgrows? I would be surprised if there weren't ugly side effects from any drugs developed on these principles. I also know that athletes will take them no matter what. My dad used to teach polytech courses for professional athletes. They polled the athletes and asked "would you take a performance enhancing drug that would kill you in five years, if it let you win an Olympic gold?" And about half of them said "yes."
  • That's scary about fearing heart enlargement. But in other ways, slow-twitch muscles do count as different, for what it's worth...
  • Excellent link There will still be significant difference between those who earned the muscle through hard work and those who gained it through a drug. A lot of weight lifting not only leads to muscular changes, but also changes to your central nervous system in how motor units are recruited. Essentially, you not only get stronger but also more efficient in the motions. This is one reason why body builders might be physically bigger than Olympic lifters, but the Olympic lifter will (usually) be able to move more weight at a much lighter weight.