In the future, you may be able to forgo exercise and still stay healthy, by having your genes tweaked instead. By tweaking a single gene, scientists have mimicked in sedentary mice the heart-strengthening effects of two weeks of endurance training.
The genetic manipulation spurred the animals’ heart muscle cells to proliferate and grow larger by an amount comparable to normal mice that swam for up to three hours a day. Alas, this type of gene manipulation can’t be done in humans, but these findings may suggest a future strategy for repairing injured hearts through muscle regeneration.
Due to doping? We soon won’t be able to find out – Athletic superstars, in all sports, are getting bigger and bigger. And if they take drugs to increase their muscle size and strength, it will may become impossible to catch them at it in the future. A physician who recommended 25 years ago that Olympic athletes be tested for blood doping now says it will be almost impossible to catch cheaters at this summer’s Olympics.
Dr. Tapio Videman says, “My understanding is that there is no way to detect in the human body the newer gene-technology products. Why is this not brought up? Most of the athletes know it. Either we change the methods of testing for this substance or give up testing completely. I never thought I would change my views so much.”
When thinking about the upcoming Oympics, it?s worth noting that athletes are using drugs and medical techniques in order to beat former world records to the extent that some of them are becoming almost nonhuman. Scientists are starting to think about what kinds of medical intervention athletes may undergo in the future.
We may be watching genetically-modified (GM) athletes at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, according to Charles Yesalis, an expert in performance enhancing drugs at Pennsylvania State University. Gene doping, in which athletes genetically modify themselves with performance enhancing DNA, will soon be possible to achieve and almost impossible to detect, according to Peter Schjerling at the Copenhagen Muscle Research Center in Denmark.