Narrator: This is Science Today. We have two types of fat in our bodies: One is the calorie-storing white fat that dieters dread; but there's also the calorie-burning brown fat. And until a few years ago, researchers in the field didn't pay much attention to it.
Kajimura: If you look at textbooks 10 years ago, it says brown fat exists only in infants in humans and adult humans, we don't have. But this has completely changed in the last few years.
Narrator: In fact, researcher Shingo Kajimura of the University of California, San Francisco, says it's reasonably believed now that most of adult humans have brown fat. In the lab, Kajimura discovered that they can convert white fat into brown fat by using a common diabetes drug to stabilize a molecule that's needed to generate brown fat cells. Their findings could lead to a new target against obesity.
Kajimura: Many people are excited with the idea and we're excited, too. But science is really about following up — hitting the same nail over and over and over again and we think that this is the way to bring to the clinic side.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.