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A recent NPR article discusses the development of myostatin inhibiting drugs and their potential for abuse by athletes looking to get an advantage. Myostatin is a protein that limits muscle growth, essentially keeping us from turning into the Incredible Hulk. The drugs’ could potentially be used to treat muscular dystrophy or simply to aid in rebuilding muscle after an injury. Muscular atrophy resulting from an injury such as a broken bone can be extremely difficult to overcome and the atrophied muscles often never fully return to their pre-injury size and strength. The concern is that these new drugs would get into the hands of athletes looking to “bulk up” and exceed their natural limitations. I’ll leave the ethical debate alone for now but find the science fascinating. For us non-academics, here’s a video does a great job explaining the basics of myostatin: