Scientists Warn: Muscle-Building Gene Therapy Might Build Super Athletes

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Researchers are warning that a new treatment for muscular dystrophy patients and the elderly could be used illegally to build super athletes.

The gene therapy has been shown to double muscle strength in rats and shows great promise for people whose muscles decline with age or who are afflicted with muscle-wasting diseases.

The treatment may still be years away from clinical trials on humans, but scientists are calling on international athletic officials to be ready to put regulations into place.

Blood and urine tests can detect most performance-enhancing drugs, but screening for the presence of added genes in muscle tissue would be much more difficult, requiring a muscle biopsy.