A Gene for
Obesity has long been associated with several known disease states,
such as diabetes and even cancer, making it a hot topic in modern society.
Researchers recently identified the first gene that showed a clear relationship
to a tendency toward obesity. The gene has been labeled FTO. Interestingly, although this gene is positively correlated
with obesity, nobody yet knows what it does. A British team of scientists
studied samples from more than 4000 individuals and identified the FTO gene,
which has been shown to be related to body mass index (BMI). A specific variant
of FTO with a single nucleotide change was found. Individuals who had two
copies of the variant were 1.67 times more likely to be obese than individuals
lacking any copies of the variant. The researchers said that even though they
currently do not have a function for the gene, its high correlation with
obesity will have people racing to understand it.