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B. Another Gene Linked to Obesity Discovered

Narrator: This is Science Today. Another gene linked to obesity has been discovered, this time by Australian scientists - and it could lead to the first gene-based drug to treat obesity and diabetes. But Craig Warden, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, who previously discovered a gene that controls calorie burning, says there still needs to be a better understanding of obesity.

Warden: People have thought that obesity is because people overeat or are lazy. What we're suggesting is it's not because people are lazy, but it's because their bodies are fundamentally different and so this then becomes like any other common, complex disease.

Narrator: Warden helped discover a gene that controls what are called uncoupling proteins, which are responsible for burning calories.

Warden: People eating the same diet, even the same percent of calories of fat in their diet, might differ greatly in their weight because one has more of this uncoupling protein than the other.

Narrator: The ultimate goal Warden says, is to develop drugs which can activate these calorie burning proteins by either turning them up or down. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.