Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Energizer Mouse

It just keeps going and going and going...

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have engineered a mouse that makes loads of an enzyme called phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK-C) in their muscles. The mice can perform strenuous exercise for long periods of time without the troublesome buildup of lactic acid (that stuff that makes your muscles ache after you play a game of Ultimate Frisbee with people half your age).

"They are metabolically similar to Lance Armstrong biking up the Pyrenees," said Richard W. Hanson, senior author on the paper, published here.

It's not just their metabolism that amazes me. I mean, how do you get a mouse to WANT to run for that long? Just like the Tour de France, a large part of this Tour de Mouse seems to be psychological.