Biotech Updates

Scientists Identify Childhood Obesity Genes

April 13, 2012

Scientists at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute reported that they have isolated mutations at two gene locations that confer development of obesity in children.

"We see a clear genetic signature to childhood obesity, showing that there is more than just an environmental component to this disease," Struan Grant, senior author of the research, said at a press conference.

The research team identified the genes using 14 genome-wide association studies conducted in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe, which involved more than 5,000 obese children and 8,000 non-obese children. Two genes (OLFM4 and HOXB5) stood out and showed signals in extremely obese children. Once the scientists understand how these genes work, they may lead to finding treatments to childhood obesity.

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