Will we learn someday that Schwarzenegger, Charles Atlas, or other bodybuilders / athletes were myostatin mutation heterozygotes (carriers)? After all, the boy's mother is, and she was a professional athlete herself. Will athletic regulators have to look out for a new class of performance-enhancing substances? It might depend on what cardiomyopathy or bony abnormalities awaits this young boy. His vigilant doctors have found no cause for concern, yet.
UPDATE: Medpundit looks at the boy's pedigree chart and surmises, "one night stand." But she says it more poetically, I think.
UPDATE: A breathtaking overinterpretation of this story is underway at Gene Expression. But at least some of it is grounded in the historical context of gene therapy for muscle wasting -- a topic I recall fondly. What's so encouraging about this myostatin news isn't that we can knock out genes to create superhumans (!) -- it's that this protein regulates notoriously hard-to-fix structural proteins, and since it's secreted, it can be easily blocked. If you've seen cachexia or Duchenne's, this news is plenty to get excited about -- even without our tendency to invoke Marvel superheroes.
UPDATE: CNN has picked up the story, and there are more comments and links at Metafilter. I mentioned this at the gym today, thinking they might be interested. I told him how Wyeth was working on antibodies to myostatin. The Supplement Man was not impressed, and directed me to MyoZap and said it's been available for a while now, "and does whatever those drug companies are trying to do." Funny, it's not on our hospital's formulary...