Health - Obesity gene discovered
Genetically, mice are similar to humans, so the discovery of a fat gene in mice at ORNL could lead to a better understanding of why some people have more problems than others keeping their weight under control. Even though researchers had these particular mice on a low-fat diet since they were born, the mice are 35 percent to 50 percent fatter than their litter mates. Researchers found that the normal mouse has a gene on chromosome 7 that they believe plays a role in transporting fat into fat cells. There, fat is stored as a source of energy to keep the body healthy. Unlike some known mouse obesity genes that can act alone to cause excessive body fat, ORNL researchers have shown that the chromosome 7 gene must act with other genes involved in maintaining the body's energy balance.
February 01, 2001