Friday, June 25, 2004


Baby Hercules

The June 24, 2004, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has an article by Dr. Markus Schuelke et al. entitled "Myostatin Mutation and Muscle Hypertrophy in a Child," about a German child born about four years ago with inactive myostatin genes. Myostatin inhibits muscle growth, and so its failure to function in this child resulted in big muscles and unusual strength. Since NEJM makes its articles available only to paid subscribers, here is a summary from another source.

This story makes me speculate, idly and wildly, whether a similar mutation might have been behind ancient Greek myths about Hercules, who as a baby killed two snakes with his bare hands. References in ancient literature to this episode abound. Two extended descriptions are:Some ancient art works depicting the incident which you can look at on the Web are:

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?