A gene that keeps people skinny

Scientists have identified what they claim is the first known “skinny gene” – raising the possibility of a new generation of drugs that will make it easier for people to stay thin.

Researchers analysed the genetic make-up of 47,102 Estonian adults and found that those who were metabolically healthy and thin tended to have unusual variants of a gene called ALK. “We all know these people: it’s around 1% of the population,” said Dr Josef Penninger, of the University of British Columbia, who led the study. “They can eat whatever they want. They don’t do squats all the time but they just don’t gain weight.”

In experiments on mice, they found that ALK seems to have an effect on nerve cells in the hypothalamus region of the brain, which plays a role in appetite regulation; this, in turn, affected how fat was stored in the body. The team then found that mice and fruit flies that had been stripped of the gene remained thin (or light in the case of the flies), even when reared on high-calorie diets. ALK inhibitors are already used in cancer treatments, and the researchers now plan to adapt such drugs to see if they can be used to stop people gaining weight. (The Week 6June 2020).

I am posting this to illustrate the importance of science, something shrugged off by far too many people.  Had the experts opinions been supported we would not have had this huge number of covid deaths.  Typical of the ignorance is the refusal to get flu and other preventative jabs. Some of it is pre-historic religious prejudice, some lack of education and understanding.  They put the health and lives of their own children at risk.  Shameful.

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