Gene therapy for ultimate human running speed and strength

Professor Peter Weyand, Southern Methodist University (Texas), known for his expertise in terrestrial locomotion and human and animal performance says that humans would soon have the ability to modify and greatly enhance muscle fibre strength. This would enable speeds of 45 miles per hour and 5 seconds times for 100 meters.

The fast four-legged runners or quadrupeds do seem to be advantaged versus bipeds in terms of the mechanics allowed by their anatomy. So to go even faster would require people to successfully adopt the running mechanics of four legged animals (running on hands and feet).

Coverage of the billion and soon to be multi-billion dollar transgenic medical, agriculture, industrial industry. [Mixing genes between animals to make cheaper drugs or for more productive agriculture]

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.

Most human strength activities, such as weight lifting, involve a degree of skill as well as strength. It is possible that a human could bench press more weight than a gorilla, but that a could tear the arms off the human. Gorillas and humans have variable strengths. The gorilla has very strong arms, compared to a person. The speculation is that silverback gorilla are 5-20 times as strong as a human.

Maximizing human muscles with myostatin inhibition would be able to double the strength of most people.

There is also work on gene therapy to help tendon healing and there could also be gene therapy to strengthen tendons. Tendon healing improvement.

There is also the exercise pill that tricks the body into thinking it has exercised which improves muscles and tendons

The biggest societal gains would come if we can understand the brain and genetics enough to make safe and effective genetic and biological interventions to greatly boost cognitive performance. If an IQ point increase given to all people results in a 2% increase in GDP, then a 500 IQ point increase for everyone would provide an almost 20,000 times boost to GDP and a 1000 point increase would be almost 400 million times increase in GDP (if the one IQ point for 2% increase rule held all the way)

Nick Bostrom’s Converging Cognitive Enhancement article refers to Herrnstein and Murray 1994 paper “The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life” Note: There is controversy surrounding the bell curve conclusions, because intelligence is controversial/political and social conclusions are controversial/political. Therefore, it is sometimes better to focus on whether economic or individual or group productivity is increased by some actions or not.

A lot of other major technology breakthroughs could occur over the next few years including breakthroughs in cognitive enhancement.

IQs have appeared to be rising at 3 points per decade through the 20th century. The causes were believed to be better health, nutrition and education.

Breakthroughs in education/training and cognitive enhancement could enable a magnification of the effect by ten times even without invasive procedures.

Craig Venter has discussed the possibility of increasing cognitive faculties by ten times using genetic engineering. Genetic engineering, stem cells, mind machine interfaces, virtual reality training and other high potential cognitive enhancement might enable such radical leaps in capability.

Vernor Vinge’s ideas around intelligence amplification are discussed at the New York Times They are find more productive ways for humans to collaborate and for humans to be helped by computers.

Rapid progress with genome sequencing and dna synthesis and synthetic biology are setting the stage for radical genetic engineering advances

Genetic engineering at wikipedia.

Gene therapy progress and prospects on mitochondria disease from gene therapy journal

A view into the state of clinical gene therapy research.

12 thoughts on “Gene therapy for ultimate human running speed and strength”

  1. I pray we have the wisdom to use these technologies for the betterment of all, rather than the few

  2. the Wyeth trials you are referring to did occur but WYO-029 did not have good effectiveness. It was safe but that particular drug was not effective in producing good muscle boosting effect. So we need to look at other trials to see effective myostatin inhibition. Probably it will be through follistatin promoter drugs.

  3. I understand the body builder interest but I'm interested in the benefits for my myotonic muscular dystrophy. As I have no hand strength left and am slowly losing ankle and foot strength. How does one get to be in the trials? Anybody know?

  4. In a well develup hunter this mutation would be a huge advantege, but in a baby its a huge drawback, if the mother doesnt have the means to support its baby.
    What happens if the persons doesnt meets its nutrition requirements? who gets the nutrients? brain or muscle? is there sucjh a competence in this case?

  5. It is present in several species of mammals. It was probably not selected for in evolution because it requires the individual to eat more. More protein is needed. Thus in the evolutionary world the myostatin inhibited would tend to be more susceptible to starvation. This would be less relevant in our modern world where we can get plenty of protein and it is less relevant if someone can go on and off myostatin inhibition as needed. Bulk up and then go off it. Cycle back and forth. The muscle bulk up would be good for those who wanted to change from too much fat to more muscle.

    It is found in whippet dogs. Lee and others found in 1997 that the double muscled cattle breeds Belgian Blue and Piedmontese have defective myostatin genes; these strains have been produced through breeding.

    This particular mutation was not found in other muscular dog breeds such as boxers and mastiffs, nor was it found in other slight hounds such as greyhounds, Italian greyhounds, or Afghan hounds. The authors of the study suggest that myostatin mutation may not be desirable in greyhounds, the whippets’ nearest relative, because greyhound racing requires more significant endurance due to the longer races (900 meters for greyhounds vs. 300 meters for whippets).

  6. I was wondering, why this mutation appears now? why this mutation is not already present in all human beings? or even better, why is not present in all the hominids? or all the mammals? are we really talking here that after million years of evolution we have a new mutation that has such a huge benefit, but has not yet spread to any level of population? why not? Maybe i taking here the role of the disaster prophet but i tell you, this universe doesnt works that way, there must be a drawback, a huge drwaback that we are not seeing about this.

Comments are closed.