Narrator: This is Science Today. Ever notice how some people can eat all they want and not gain a pound, while others just can’t stay slim? Researchers at the University of California, Davis have discovered a gene within the body which may dictate how much or how little a person weighs. According to Craig Warden, who led the study, this gene controls proteins in the body which burn calories.
Warden: These proteins, which we call uncoupling proteins, would promote burning calories and so our guess would be, and what we’ve shown in mice and what we’d like to show in people, is that people who have more uncoupling protein would be more likely to not gain weight on a high fat diet and people with less of the uncoupling protein would be more prone to gain weight.
Narrator: Warden says the long term goal is to help the obese by developing a drug which can turn up this protein..
Warden: And so that if you turn it up, then you would literally promote burning off calories, so because this protein would be working day in, day out for the rest of your life, a very small change in activity of the protein could have a profound impact on body weight.
Narrator: For Science Today, I’m Larissa Branin.