Obesity likely connected to genetics

Obesity likely connected to genetics

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How much weight we gain may all come down to genetics.

Scientists discovered a genetic mutation that millions of us have, that can control weight gain and by how much. Mice with a mutation in the Ankyrin-B gene were fatter than mice without it. This gene can be found in body tissue, tying proteins to the inside of a cell's membrane.

First the team engineered mice with human variants of the Ankyrin-B gene. Those mice not only gained weight quickly, they also stored their calories in fat tissue instead of spreading them to other tissues where they would be burned to create energy. Then the team designed mice without this gene, and those mice gained weight twice as quickly.

Investigators believe this gene may trigger an underlying cellular mechanism to regulate weight, so in the future they plan to identify people with this genetic variant to see how this affects their metabolism.
 

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