Fat Gene Discovered

The mystery of why some people stay effortlessly thin while others struggle to keep weight off has come closer to being solved with a study isolating a gene that affects appetite.

Scientists have found convincing evidence to support the idea that the "fat gene" affects how hungry someone feels, which has a direct effect on how much food is eaten and how much fat is accumulated in the body. The study was carried out on genetically modified mice with several copies of the fat gene added to their DNA. The scientists said the findings support the idea that the gene in humans plays a direct role in determining whether someone is likely to become obese. ... Women are affected more than men, with a third of women and half of men classified as overweight, which carries an increased risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

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Mind & Brain

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Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

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