Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genetic Obesity

16.10.2007
New evidence that genetics plays a key role in obesity is published today in the International Journal of Bioinformatics Research and Applications.

The findings relate to the genetics of modern Pima Indians who have an unusually high rate of obesity but could be extrapolated to all people. Their obesity is thought to be linked to a thrifty metabolism that allowed them to metabolize food more efficiently in times when little was available but causes problems when food is in abundance.

Mark Rowe, David McClellan, and colleagues at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, USA, have studied the effect of evolutionary selection on Pima Indians, a people indigenous to the present-day Sonora desert of Arizona and New Mexico. The researchers anticipated an effect consistent with higher metabolic efficiency among these people and focused specifically on recently discovered variations in their mitochondrial DNA, so-called SNPs, or single nucleotide polymorphisms.

The metabolic rates of 200 obese Pima individuals were measured and revealed that two of the three known SNPs influence metabolic efficiency. The researchers then used the genetics software TreeSAAP, to analyse the biochemical changes caused by these SNPs and then tracked the evolutionary selection of these genetic variations in 107 different types of mammals. This allowed them to propose a mechanism by which these SNPs affect the mitochondrial respiratory chain and consequently increase metabolic efficiency in the Pima people.

... more about:
»Efficiency »Pima »SNP »metabolic »obesity

The team suggests that an increased metabolic efficiency could have been an evolutionary advantage. The SNPs may have persisted because they helped the Pima survive the harsh dietary environment of the Sonora desert throughout the history of the people. In the current environment of caloric over-consumption an increased efficiency is unfavourable and may contribute to the high rates of obesity among the Pimas.

While the Pima Indians are an extreme case, the entire human population may also have evolved in a restricted caloric environment, say the researchers. Many populations may exhibit similar SNPs that were advantageous to our ancestors but may now be detrimental. The presence of these SNPs may thus provide one explanation as to why obesity is so rife in the 21st century.

Jim Corlett | alfa
Further information:
http://www.inderscience.com

Further reports about: Efficiency Pima SNP metabolic obesity

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht 'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells
20.02.2018 | Biophysical Society

nachricht New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
20.02.2018 | Queen Mary University of London

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>