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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.

 -  Media Relations,  865.574.4160,  February 01, 2001
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