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Thanks for the Thunder Thighs

Thanks for the Thunder Thighs

A soon-to-be-published study linking obesity and diabetes to a gene from good ol’ mom has left many offspring wondering, “Couldn’t you have just given me your pretty blue eyes?”
 
The study from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville shows that if the specific gene is passed from mother to child, then it may be responsible for preventing body cells from absorbing enough sugar from the bloodstream, leading to diabetic and weight issues. What scientists have discovered during lab testing is that when the gene à la momma is muted, a tenfold improvement is seen in the cell's ability to take in sugar glucose. When the same gene was inherited from dad, it did not affect blood sugar. This is because of a process called imprinting which allows the gene to be silenced.
 
The gene, called Atp10c, could be key in helping to explain why obesity and diabetes so often go hand-in-hand.
 
Scientists say their next move will be to take a closer look at obesity and diabetes patients, and figure out how many of them actually carry the gene bestowed upon many by the matriarch of a family.

This leads us to that ever-prescent chicken-or-egg question: Do you think your living healthier is determined by genetics or your environment and your relationship with food? [Science News]

Posted: 6/12/08