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Mar 12, 2008

Investigators Discover Novel SNP in FTO Gene Linked to Obesity in African American and Caucasian Children

  • A group of researchers report finding an SNP significantly linked to obesity in African American children and also present in Caucasian children. They also validated a previous finding, which associate a gene variant to the disorder in Caucasians.

    The investigative team was studying the FTO gene, identified in caucasians by a British group in 2007 as raising the risk of adult and childhood obesity. Using samples from Caucasian and African American children who were either obese or not, the researchers attempted to replicate the previous finding.

    The team found the same gene SNP among Caucasian children but not among the African American children. Instead, they discovered a second variant in both Caucasians and African Americans that was identified as the only marker significantly linked to obesity among the African American children. 

    The researchers were from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The study is reported in the March 12 issue of Public Library of Science One.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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