Feeds

Researchers serve up obesity gene

Not the same as having fat bones, though

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Researchers have identified a variant of a gene that, should you be blessed with two copies, makes you prone to retaining extra weight. Those with one copy of the mutant FTO gene are 30 per cent more likely to be obese, while those with two copies, the researchers say, are 70 per cent more likely to be dangerously overweight.

Unsurprisingly, this has prompted all kinds of hysterical headlines proclaiming that there really is a gene that explains obesity. You are not fat, one headline reads, you just have fat genes. Your genes are why you can't fit in your jeans, titters another.

But the research found that those with the double helping of the gene only weighed, on average, three kilos, or six and a half pounds more than those without. So the gene can't be blamed for all of the extra poundage Europe is hefting around.

In addition, the researchers still have no idea what the gene actually does that makes people predisposed to gain more weight than their non-gene carrying colleagues. Nevertheless the discovery that any gene is solidly associated with a tendency to pick up weight has got people very excited.

The researchers hope that the gene will help researchers discover new ways of preventing and treating obesity, and its associated illnesses.

The gene was identified while researchers were studying a group with type 2 diabetes. Sufferers are more likely to carry the variant of the so-called FTO gene.

The work, published in Science by the Peninsula Medical School and Oxford University, is based on data gathered from more than 38,000 people. From this data, the team was able to establish that the gene is also associated with extra weight. They estimate that around one in six white Europeans have two copies of the gene, while half will carry one copy. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.