An anonymous reader writes to tell us that a baby boy with unusually big muscles — caused by a gene mutation — is helping scientists to discover new muscular dystrophy drugs
. "Myostatin was discovered in mice in 1992 in Lee's Johns Hopkins lab. In 1996 he proved its importance by showing that mice without the myostatin-producing gene got twice as big. The next year he discovered that the bulging Belgian Blue cow was a myostatin mutant, the first of eight prized cattle breeds later found to have the mutation. The company he had co-founded, MetaMorphix, is working on manipulating myostatin to beef up livestock. Wyeth picked up the rights to develop a drug for humans. Its experimental antibody drug produced bulked-up mice in 2002, and results of a trial in adults with muscular dystrophy are expected as early as March."