New pill threatens to bankrupt gyms

A new pill could build muscle without exercise. About freaking time:

In the study, Williams and colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas created a group of mice with genes that made a surplus of a protein called calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, or CaMK. When this protein is activated, it and another protein, calcineurin, trigger the physical changes that muscle cells undergo after intense exercise.

Williams said mice with a high level of CaMK developed more mitochondria in muscle cells and saw an increase of a type of cell called the “slow twitch” muscle. These are muscle cells that power sustained activity, such as that required by marathon runners.

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