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Gene Identified for Obesity Propensity

An article in The New York Times reports on a new study that may have identified a genetic component to obesity. According to the study, mice with a deletion of the gene that codes for melanocortin receptor accessory proteins (MRAPs) gained more weight than their counterparts with a normal MRAP gene, even after eating the same amount of food and getting the same amount of exercise. Not only did the mutant mice differ in their propensity to accumulate fat, but they also developed much greater appetites as adults, further exacerbating this effect. A followup to these results studied the genetic code of 500 obese children and found that while a few of the obese children had a mutation in their MRAP helper genes, normal children didn’t have this mutation.

Read the article published by The New York Times.

Read the study in Science.