Thursday, March 26, 2009


Years and years of research have found countless "cures" or "miracle" diets for obese individuals or those just interested in being thinner (especially with the media portraying anorexic bodies of models as beautiful). A new study found at UC Berkeley finds a particular gene significant in causing weight gain. As most people have heard of the atkin's diet which rules out the consumption of carbs. The Atkin's diet targets carbs as a problem nutrient causing people to become fatter. It stays in your body and carbs are transformed into fat. But a cure has been found. Studies on one lucky mouse have shown the lack of one gene actually keeps the mouse thin. It is the DNA-PK that "prevents weight gain from carbs". The gene is key in converting "excess glucose into fatty acids". It is not unhealthy either. The mouse without the gene is not only skinnier (thus more attractive, possibly happier?) but healthier, having a lower risk of heart disease. The mice were a womping 40% leaner without the DNA-PK in their genes. Crazy. At Hei Sook Sul's Nutritional Science and Toxicology Lab, they are not suggesting surgery to remove the DNA-PK from the system of obese patients but instead providing a new avenue for researching something to interfere with the conversion process, thus having the same affects. "Drug developers might look at how the DNA-PK gene calls out other actors to set in motion the conversion of excess calories to fat and find an agent that might disrupt the process."

This is very beneficial and a great find but are there ethical problems with this? Is this a invasion of nature? Then again, we are invaders of nature and possibly would not have to deal with obesity if we did not abuse it? If they cannot find a disrupter, would people be so desperate to be skinny or healthier that they would request and push for the surgery to remove the DNA-PK? Will the surgery be done underground (like abortion once was) if it is not publically/officially approved? What would the risks be?
It seems somewhat damaging to be able to eat as much as you want and because of the lack of a natural part of your body, people are still able to not gain weight. It sounds great but I feel there may be many side effects.

Healy, Melissa. "Lab Creates An All-It-Can-Eat Mouse". Los Angeles Times. March 21, 2009.

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