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Mice with mutation feel the burn

Without immune gene, rodents in a new study make heat not fat

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2:01pm, September 3, 2009

Mice with a mutation in an immune gene don’t get fat, they burn it.

A gene that helps regulate inflammation also stops fat cells from wasting energy. When the gene, called I kappa B kinase epsilon or IKKε, is missing, mice turn a high-fat diet into heat instead of body fat, a new study in the Sept. 4 Cell shows.

If the gene works the same way in humans as in mice, it could be a new target for antiobesity drugs.

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