Centuries ago, those who were prone to storing a layer of fat were the ones who survived famines. Now, researchers say this trait appears to have become a part of our genetic composition; but the tendency to store fat is hardly considered a positive quality or a means for survival in the modern Western world, where there is a superfluity of food-and obesity-to say the least.
Riding on the theory that excessive food and minimal movement alone does not complete the obesity puzzle, researchers in Texas managed to isolate what appears to be a “skinny gene” in mice. They found that when it’s manipulated one way, the mice become fat; manipulated the other way, the mice become lean.
Because mice are mammals, it is believed that this “gene tweaking” would also work in humans. Researchers hope this could be the start of a new way to control obesity and diabetes in a society where not holding on to fat has become a means of survival.
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