If you disable a gene, you can eat as much as you want without gaining weight - IFLScience

If you disable a gene, you can eat as much as you want without gaining weight - IFLScience

Scientists have found that optimizing a single gene in mice allows them to eat as much as they want without gaining weight. Christmas time sounds too good to be true, but researchers say their discovery could be used as a basis for human treatment in the near future.

Reporting in the journal EMBO reportsScientists from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Flinders Unversity in Australia found that the single gene known as RCAN1 acts as a feedback inhibitor for all types of metabolic processes and the generation of body heat. After shutting down this gene from the mice, they were curious to find that they were resistant to diet-induced weight gain. Their metabolism was effectively overcharged, so they could burn more calories.

The experiment has so far only been tested with mice. Nevertheless, the researchers claim that their results as a new drug therapy for people with obesity or metabolic diseases have potential.

"We know that many people have difficulty losing or even controlling weight for a variety of reasons. The results of this study could mean developing a pill that targets the function of RCAN1 and can lead to weight loss, "said lead author, Professor Damien Keating of Flinders University Statement. "These results show that we can potentially make a real difference in the fight against obesity."