Thursday, November 1, 2007

Genetically Engineer Mice That Outrun and Outlive Ordinary Mice

Gene Tweak Makes for Mighty Mice - WebMD
"Scientists at Case Western Reserve University have genetically engineered mice that outrun, outlive, and out-eat ordinary mice while staying lean, light, and fertile well into old age...Chalk it up to a change in a single gene...That genetic tweak boosted levels of an enzyme called PEPCK-C in the mice's skeletal muscles, knocking mice's muscle metabolism into orbit...The mighty mice were seven times more active than normal mice. They showed unusually high levels of activity in their cages from the time they were 2 weeks old...One treadmill test began at a leisurely pace. The researchers raised the treadmill's incline and speed every two minutes until the mice were exhausted and couldn't run for 10 seconds...The genetically engineered mice ran for 32 minutes, while the ordinary mice pooped out at 19 minutes...The genetically engineered mice ate 60% more than the ordinary mice, but they were lean and light, weighing half of what normal mice weigh with 90% less body fat...A major unanswered question, Hanson's team notes, is what brain changes accompany the genetically engineered mice's hyped-up activity."

Research on PEPCK-C showing that fasting can induce its expression.

Research on "mighty mice"

Genetically Engineered 'Mighty Mouse' Can Run 6 Kilometers Without Stopping - ScienceDaily
Mentions that the mice were "markedly more aggressive". Rather important part of the story not getting much press.

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