Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Virus might be contributing to obesity epidemic

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Scientists at Louisiana State University report that infection with a common virus may be a contributing factor to the increase in obesity rates across the United States and other countries.

The researchers shows that infection with human adenovirus-36 (Ad-36) changes adult stem cells obtained from fat tissue into fat cells. Stem cells not exposed to the virus were unchanged. The study also reported identification of a specific gene in the virus that appears to be involved in promoting this effect.

According to Magdelena Pasarica, M.D., Ph.D., "We're not saying that a virus is the only cause of obesity, but this study provides stronger evidence that some obesity cases may involve viral infections."

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