Virus Pumps Up Male Muscles—in Mice

An exciting new report by Scientific American finds that "Retroviruses, which insert their genetic material into our genomes to copy themselves, have left behind genes that help to steer our immune systems and mold the development of embryos and the placenta. Now researchers report in PLOS Genetics that syncytin, a viral protein that enables placenta formation, also helps to increase muscle mass in male mice. These results could partially explain a lingering mystery in biology: why the males...

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