Missing Genes

Some morbidly obese people are missing a section of their DNA according to new research, which conjectures that such genetic problems could actually cause a propensity to obesity.

Some morbidly obese people are missing a section of their DNA according to new research, which conjectures that such genetic problems could actually cause a propensity to obesity. "The authors of the study, from Imperial College London and ten other European Centres, say that missing DNA such as that identified in this research may be having a dramatic effect on some people's weight. According to the new findings, around seven in every thousand morbidly obese people are missing a part of their DNA, containing approximately 30 genes. The researchers did not find this kind of genetic variation in any normal weight people. There are an estimated 700,000 morbidly obese people in England, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40. Researchers believe that the weight problems of around one in twenty morbidly obese people are due to known genetic variations, including mutations and missing DNA. Many more similar obesity-causing mutations, such as the one in this study, remain to be found, says the team. Previous research had identified several genetic variations that contribute to obesity, most of which are single mutations in a person's DNA that change the function of a gene. This new research is the first to clearly demonstrate that obesity in otherwise physically healthy individuals can be caused by a rare genetic variation in which a section of a person's DNA is missing."

Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

(shutterstock)
Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less