Everyone knows that eating lean fish helps slim waistlines, but researchers from the Center for the Study of Weight Regulation and Associated Disorders at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR, have found a new way fish can help eliminate obesity. In a study to be published in the July 2007 print issue of The FASEB Journal, researchers describe the first genetic model of obesity in a fish. Having this model should greatly accelerate the development of new drugs to help people lose weight and keep it off.
According to corresponding author Roger Cone, “Being able to model human disorders like obesity in zebrafish allows scientists to understand the molecular basis of disease. This may ultimately increase the efficiency and power of the drug discovery process, thus bringing new medicines to the market faster and cheaper.”
In the study, researchers caused obesity in zebrafish by introducing the same type of genetic mutation that causes severe obesity in humans. The genetic change blocks the activity of a receptor, the melanocortin-4 receptor, which is at the heart of a “device” in our brains called the “adipostat.” The adipostat regulates body weight homeostatically, like the thermostat in a house, and works to keep long-term energy stores—a.k.a. body fat—constant. The adipostat is what makes it difficult for people to lose weight and keep it off.
“Americans—even children—are getting fat at an alarming rate,” said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, “and with this model, we are a step closer to temporarily turning off or diminishing the fat-storing mechanisms that were once crucial to the survival of our species. The zebrafish has become a model animal for the study of many diseases because it has a backbone and because its genetics have been well described. This is one more example of how basic experimental biology – zoology physiology and genetics in this case – can be brought to bear on human problems.”
According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of overweight and obesity have risen steadily over the past 30 years. Among adults aged 20–74 years the prevalence of obesity increased from 15.0% (1976–1980) to 32.9% (2003–2004). For children aged 2–5 years, the prevalence of overweight increased from 5.0% to 13.9%; for those aged 6–11 years, prevalence increased from 6.5% to 18.8%; and for those aged 12–19 years, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 17.4%. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions, including, but not limited to: hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, and some types of cancer.
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences