Look, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's…

Published 8:14 pm Thursday, July 8, 2004

By Staff
Chuck Bodiford
Well, not quite, but something like that. If you are Internet savvy, you might know that there is a story that is making the rounds on the Internet highway about a little baby that could be the next superman. According to the story that can be found through the Associated Press, the baby boy is somewhat of a medical mystery.
It seems because of a lack of myostatin, the baby's muscles are developing at an unbelievable rate, giving him strength that some adults do not have. Myostatin is a protein that limits muscle growth. In scientific research it had been proven that by blocking this protein in laboratory mice, the mice would actually become much stronger. Because of the discovery of the Berlin born child, scientists can now assume that the same results occur in humans. Pictures of the baby, mainly of his legs, show protruding leg muscles, and the article says that the child, not yet five, has reduced body fat and can hold a seven pound weight in front of him with arms fully extended.
So, now that we have our soon to be superman, what does that mean to us? I highly doubt that reporters can now count on a solo flight to the Fortress of Solitude, but the child does give hope to the human race.
As the article points out, this is an astounding breakthrough in science and medicine. Now that we know that the blocking of myostatin can in fact increase muscle mass in humans, think of all the opportunities.
Think about the possible research can provide in the way of helping those that suffer from MD, or muscular dystrophy. Other possible avenues that could be helped by this child are muscle deterioration experienced by people as they age and also people that have contracted the disease AIDS.
After everything is said and done, I think the kid has a lot of potential and could help out a lot of people. I only hope that as we all should do, he and his parents keep things in perspective. No matter what people say, no one is a superman.
Chuck Bodiford is an Atmore native and publisher of the Advance. He may be reached by calling 368-2123 or by email at chuck.bodiford@atmoreadvance.com

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