A newly developed chemical could ‘reprogram’ your body to be more fit

As anyone who has been inspired to hit the gym after watching the Olympics will know, building stamina and endurance is not the easiest of things. A new research project carried out by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, suggests that it could be a whole lot easier, however.

Well, if you’re a mouse, at least!

In the study, scientists gave regular mice an eight-week course of a chemical called GW1516. Usually abbreviated as “GW,” this compound directly activates a protein in the body called PPARD, which is naturally activated by exercise training. After their dose of GW, the mice were able to run on an exercise wheel for 270 minutes before showing signs of fatigue. Mice that did not receive the drug were able to run on the wheel for just 160 minutes.

The research is described in the new issue of the journal Cell Metabolism.

“There are two main points in our study that make it very interesting,” Weiwei Fan, a molecular biologist at the Salk Institute, told Digital Trends. “First is the discovery of a new mechanism that explains how exercise training remodels muscle and increases endurance. Secondly, we can introduce such exercise-mimicking effects in animals solely with a chemical compound.”

The research builds on previous investigations involving GW1516 that Salk scientists have carried out. One demonstrated that a four-week course of GW helped mice control their weight and insulin response, making them less likely to become diabetic. This new experiment adds another “superpower” for the GW compound.

Before you get too excited, though, it is worth noting that the chemical is not yet ready to cross over to human test subjects. There is still plenty more to be explored before this option is even put on the table.

“Our next step is to develop the next-generation PPARD activators with a better safety profile, and explore their therapeutic potentials against common health problems such as obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and muscular dystrophy,” Fan continued.

Maybe we will hold off on our new gym membership until then!

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Gaming

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Mobile

Google has found a clever way to make your search history more useful

Google has found a clever way to make more use of your search history by showing links to pages you've visited before. Ideal for repeat searches for the same page, the links show up on cards at the top of mobile search results.
Emerging Tech

Earth’s magnetic field is shifting, vital map can’t be updated due to shutdown

The Earth's magnetic field is moving, effecting navigation systems of all kinds. A model of the field should have been good until its scheduled update in 2020, however, it has moved so quickly that an update is required much sooner.
Emerging Tech

Scientists debate mysterious flash of light in space, known as ‘The Cow’

On June 16, 2018 there was an unusual flash in the sky which puzzled astronomers around the world. NASA researchers have been collecting data on the event and have shared two competing theories for what could have caused it.
Emerging Tech

Brightest quasar ever seen discovered by Hubble, may be star-producing machine

The brightest quasar even seen has been observed with the Hubble Space Telescope using a technique called strong gravitational lensing. The quasar is enormously energetic and may be producing thousands of stars per year.
Emerging Tech

Watch China’s moon mission touch down on the planet’s far side

Video has been shared of a lander's-eye view of China's Chang'e 4 mission touching down in the Von Kármán Crater on the far side of the moon. The craft captured footage of the descent with a camera which was attached to the probe.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX nails its first launch and landing of 2019, but job cuts loom

SpaceX has nailed its first launch and landing of 2019 with a mission that deployed more satellites for Virginia-based Iridium Communications. But the success was soured somewhat by reports of upcoming job losses at the company.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers for 2019

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.