GM Muscle Fish

13/3/10

Meet Arnie, the Terminator Trout with the physique of a body-builder

Scientists have created a genetically-modified trout with the rippling muscles of a body-builder. The mutant fish is the result of a decade-long effort by Terry Bradley, a professor of fisheries and aquaculture at the University of Rhode Island. The rainbow trout’s enhanced muscle mass is between 15 to 20 per cent higher than that of a standard fish, thanks to Professor Bradley’s research into the inhibition of myostatin, a protein that slows growth. The increased muscle mass will have commercial benefits in that larger fish can be grown without increasing the amount of food they need. While the physical differences in the fish include a prominent dorsal hump, making it look as if it has muscular shoulders, and the appearance of ‘six pack abs’, no differences in behaviour have been noted.

Describing the results as ‘stunning’, Professor Bradley told Science Daily: ‘Belgian blue cattle have a natural mutation in myostatin causing a 20 to 25 percent increase in muscle mass, and mice overexpressing myostatin exhibit a two-fold increase in skeletal muscle mass. ‘But fish have a very different mechanism of muscle growth than mammals, so we weren’t certain it was going to work.’ Luckily for Professor Bradley, it did work. The team injected thousands of rainbow trout eggs with various DNA types designed to inhibit myostatin. Of the eggs that hatched, those which carried the gene began to develop ‘body-builder’ physiques. Professor Bradley added: 'The results have significant implications for commercial aquaculture and provide completely novel information on the mechanisms of fish growth.

‘The results also allow for comparisons between the mechanisms of growth of muscle in mammals versus fish, and it could shed light on muscle wasting diseases in humans.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1257536/Meet-Arnie-Terminator-Trout-physique-body-builder.html#ixzz0iFvG4BeQ

 

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