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Scientists find "master switch" gene for obesity

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Rocket River, May 15, 2011.

  1. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110515/lf_nm_life/us_obesity_genes

    Does this change your opinion on Fat Folx?
    Will it matter if some fat folx exercise and eat right, versus lipo or 'turning' the gene off.

    Rocket River


    Scientists find "master switch" gene for obesity

    – Sun May 15, 1:12 pm ET

    LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have found that a gene linked to diabetes and cholesterol is a "master switch" that controls other genes found in fat in the body, and say it should help in the search for treatments for obesity-related diseases.

    In a study published in the journal Nature Genetics, the British researchers said that since fat plays an important role in peoples' susceptibility to metabolic diseases like obesity, heart disease and diabetes, the regulating gene could be target for drugs to treat such illnesses.

    "This is the first major study that shows how small changes in one master regulator gene can cause a cascade of other metabolic effects in other genes," said Tim Spector of King's College London, who led the study.

    More than half a billion people, or one in 10 adults worldwide, are obese and the numbers have doubled since the 1980s as the obesity epidemic has spilled over from wealthy into poorer nations.

    In the United States, obesity-related diseases already account for nearly 10 percent of medical spending -- an estimated $147 billion a year.

    Type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to poor diet and lack of exercise, is also reaching epidemic levels worldwide as rates of obesity rise.

    Scientists have already identified a gene called KLF14 as being linked to type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels, but until now they did know what role it played.

    Spector's team analyzed more than 20,000 genes in fat samples taken from under the skin of 800 British female twin volunteers. They found a link between the KLF14 gene and the levels of many other distant genes found in fat tissue, showing that KLF14 acts as a master switch to control these genes.

    They then confirmed their findings in 600 fat samples from a separate group of people from Iceland.

    In a report of their study, the researchers explained that other genes found to be controlled by KLF14 are linked to a range of metabolic traits, including body mass index, obesity, cholesterol, insulin and glucose levels.

    "KLF14 seems to act as a master switch controlling processes that connect changes in the behavior of subcutaneous fat to disturbances in muscle and liver that contribute to diabetes and other conditions," said Mark McCarthy from Britain's Oxford University, who also worked on the study.

    "We are working hard...to understand these processes and how we can use this information to improve treatment of these conditions."
     
  2. Pull_Up_3

    Pull_Up_3 Member

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    in b4 DD
     
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  3. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    On an individual basis, no it really doesn't change my opinion of fat people. Everyone has some sort of genetic problem that could be thought of as impairing their daily lives: short height, low intelligence, absence of agility, etc.... Poor fat metabolism is just one more thing that needs to be overcome.

    On an evolutionary scale, its an interesting find. We can now point to a gene that's being selected against by natural selection. Too bad fat people typically don't die before reproduction; that'd speed natural selection right along the way it was intended to.

    EDIT* Please see my rebuttal below if you're offended by this point. This was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek post.
     
    #3 xcrunner51, May 15, 2011
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  4. B-Bob

    B-Bob "94-year-old self-described dreamer"

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    So it's basically just like Professor Klump. How nutty is that?
     
  5. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Wow... and pray tell, what other "negative" genes would you like to have weeded out of the gene pool prior to the age of reproduction? Perhaps poor vision? Those that burn easy in the sun? ...... or if I have a vote, I say a$$holes so I won't even have to read another post out of your arrogant, ignorant pie hole.
     
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  6. liljojo

    liljojo Member

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    I sense a hint of anger in this post.
     
  7. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    As far as I know mass can not be created of destroyed. So if you don't eat a lot mass can't come from nowhere.
     
  8. Royals Ego

    Royals Ego Member

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    What's your opinion on doctors? Since they're countering natural selection as well.
     
  9. The Real Shady

    The Real Shady Contributing Member

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    I don't want to get rid of fat people. They are too funny.

    <iframe width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/BNupRTfpM9s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
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  10. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    Calling out DD and teasing is fun in some instances. But you're just a dick dude. Sadly, you didn't have enough common sense to think twice before posting this. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Pull_Up_3

    Pull_Up_3 Member

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    <a href="http://photobucket.com/images/white%20knight" target="_blank"><img src="http://i564.photobucket.com/albums/ss86/10lber/White_Knight.jpg" border="0" alt="white knight Pictures, Images and Photos"/></a>
     
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  12. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    Just proved your maturity level (of lack thereof) there, boy.
     
  13. Pull_Up_3

    Pull_Up_3 Member

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    lol your more butt hurt then he is

    he's always a good sport about it plz go
     
  14. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Wow I apologize. I did not intend to offend you or anyone. I'm making all the observations on strictly an academic level. My intent was not to denigrate people who have such "genes".

    As a person with a background in both basic science/evolution and medicine my comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I did not include an appropriate emoticon.

    Medicine has changed the face of natural selection. Gene's that would have caused people to die before the age of reproduction have been neutered by advances in surgical technique, pharmacology and general science knowledge.

    As a result, people are living longer than ever - many well past the point where an absence of medicine would typically allow them. As a result, gene's that wouldn't have been passed down earlier in history are sticking around. We're defying evolution itself.

    As this article demonstrates, chronic disease is just as tied to genetics as congenital malformations or height. Something that would 500 years ago likely been selected against no longer faces natural selection pressure.

    The definition of selection "fitness" is better potential for survival. Obesity, hypertension, diabetes and all the other chronic diseases shorten lifespan and lower survival potential; thus they're less 'fit'. That's just like the genes encoding the slow zebra, that zebra's genes are less fit.

    Million dollar question, what allows the chronic disease genes to persist while the slow zebra genes don't? Whether or not the animal's reached age of reproduction or not. The chronic disease genes are just as bad; only you live longer, cost a lot of money in health care AND reproduce --> exponentially passing on less fit genes. From an evolutionary perspective, that sucks. Medicine has actually screwed itself.

    I know that these genes do belong to real people and that chronic disease is a serious issue for billions of people, the scientist in me just had to comment on it from the perspective I did.
     
    #14 xcrunner51, May 15, 2011
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  15. mylilpony

    mylilpony Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Touche. I'm going to continue to dig my own grave and point out that that is an example of artificial selection, not natural selection. :p
     
  17. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    Proper grammar and punctuation are always welcome! You realize that right? You don't have to type like a 10 year old to get your message across; ironically, you might very well be a 10 year old...
     
  18. DrLudicrous

    DrLudicrous Contributing Member

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    Historically there has been a benefit to being able to store energy in the form of fat. In the past if people weren't able to kill or grow enough food the only way to survive would be to have another energy source. The problem is that now in most developed countries food is always readily available so the body no longer needs to store it, but does so anyway. Add in the fact that a lot of what people consume is unhealthy and the problem becomes even worse.
     
  19. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Great point, I forgot about that. Proverbial human camel's hump.
     
  20. Major Malcontent

    Major Malcontent Contributing Member

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    I'm pretty fat. maybe even fat enough to make some of you guys look at me in the street with disdain. I am mostly o.k with that. I feel the same way when I hear someone say something like "I don't really read books". Or come back from a trip to Europe or Asia and not have anything to say about it but "the portions are tiny and the food is weird".

    Ideally I should work just as hard improving my body as I do my mind, but this isn't a world of ideals, people tend to concentrate on the things that come a bit more easily to them, certainly I do.

    I wear some of my life choices on the outside where they are apparent to all, I don't feel shame for being fat, any more than I am ashamed of being relatively poor.

    What is dumb to me is society makes it sort of unacceptable for people to talk positively about how good a shape they are in and how it makes them look and feel, but that is discouraged because it is "bragging"....so they sort of indirectly accomplish the same thing by taking potshots at overweight people....to emphasize that they are not fat.

    I'd much rather have people being positive than trying to enforce negativity, even if it is "for our own good".
     
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