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A genetically engineered weight-loss implant

RATE THIS! +34
Posted in Science on 30th Nov, 2013 02:33 AM by AlexMuller

Biotechnologists have constructed an implantable genetic regulatory circuit that monitors blood-fat levels. In response to excessive levels, it produces a messenger substance that signals satiety (fullness) to the body. Tests on obese mice revealed that this helps them lose weight.

 
According to the WHO, over half the population in many industrialized nations is overweight, one in three people extremely so, with high-calorie and fatty food a lifetime on the hips, backside and stomach. This also leaves traces in the blood, where various fats ingested via food circulate — a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
 
The biotechnologists combined different genes* that produce particular proteins and reaction steps for several different saturated and unsaturated animal and vegetable fats. They implanted this genetic construct in human cells, inserted these cells into tiny capsules, and implanted the capsules in obese mice that had been fed fatty food.
 
Fix for mouse obesity now; humans will take longer
 
Result: the mice stopped eating and their body weight dropped noticeably. As the blood-fat levels also returned to normal, the regulatory circuit stopped producing the satiety signal.
 
“The mice lost weight although we kept giving them as much high-calorie food as they could eat,” said ETH-Zurich professor Martin Fussenegger from the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering.. “The animals ate less because the implant signalized a feeling of satiety to them. Mice that received normal animal feed with low (five percent) fat content did not lose any weight or reduce their intake of food.”
 
Fussenegger envisages that one day obese people with a body mass index of way over thirty could have such a gene network implanted to help them lose weight — an alternative to invasive surgical interventions such as liposuction or gastric bands. “Instead of intervening in the progression of a disease that is difficult to regulate, it has a preventive effect and exploits the natural human satiety mechanism.”

Tags: genesobesityfatimplantweight lossbiologybiotechnology

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-30
+1
Obesity and diabetes are one of the biggest problems in healthcare. This implant could help as a prevention
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-30
+0
Indeed, authors of this Nature Communications paper conclude that "
therapeutic designer circuits that monitor levels of pathologic metabolites and link these with the tailored expression of protein pharmaceuticals may provide new opportunities for the treatment of metabolic disorders."
Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-30
+0
It is so surprising how quickly proportion of overweight people increased during the past 20 years, humans evolved to be on the move with the food limits. Our body metabolism can not change so quickly Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-30
+1
Obesity is responsible for a good proportion of healthcare costs and deaths in US and EU and also In the South-East Asia Region Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-30
+1
Our lifestyle is one major cause of health problems and educating people to change and prevent this continue is priority Reply


 

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