Thursday, March 26, 2009

Obescity and Genetics?

In a study lead by the Genetic Investigation of Anthropomorphic Traits (G.I.A.N.T.) there has been six new genetic variants that are associated with body mass index or BMI for short. In a nutshell the body mass index is a method for measuring the comparison between height and weight. According to the study, the effects of each of these genetic variants were modest and much like many common problems with studying genetics only a small fraction of the regions of the human genome have been mapped at least in these regions that this study believes helps contribute to obesity. According to the paper sub,itted by the study team, thier is an estimation that one percent of the people who in thier bodies have these particular varients have an average of being ten pounds heavier than people who have one percent with the fewest varients as well as being about four pounds heavier than the average person. These six newly discovered genes have been shown by this study to have a relation to BMI and four of these varients have relations to adult and childhood obescity. Also in additon to this study two more genes (FTO), (MC4R) which were suspected last year to have association with BMI have been confirmed to be associated with the BMI.

I think this study is very important due to health risks of obescity. With the end of the HGP the field of genetics has been opened up to all sorts of possibilities and with studies such as these health problems such as obescity may have a chance to become more regulated and ways to combat it at a genetic level may emerge from this. Its very intresting to see the new applications genetics research has found and this shows that genetics research is far from being over and all sorts of new studies such as this one show a bright future for genetics and solving some of humanities problems concerning health and the body.

National Human Genome Research Website

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