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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Marmots Can Teach Us About Obesity

More lessons to be learned from the expanding fatso menagerie.

A nutrient that's common to all living things can make hibernating marmots hungry -- a breakthrough that could help scientists understand human obesity and eating disorders, according to a new study by a Colorado State University biologist...

Tissue samples taken from marmots in Florant's lab allow researchers to identify biochemical processes and genes that are active during hibernation -- as opposed to genes that are active when they're feeding or engaging in other behaviors.

The American Physiological Society has called hibernators such as marmots, bears, woodchucks, hedgehogs and lemurs "medical marvels" because they can turn off their appetites and slow their breathing to a point that would be lethal to other animals.
Marmots typically hibernate for as many as six or seven months.
So much for activity as a way to control weight.

Here are some of the animal professors teaching us about the fat:


The Fruit fly:



But, why bother? The only animal you need is:

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