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WEIGHING OPTIONS  A gene once thought to cause obesity isn’t the culprit. Researchers have found a hidden genetic switch that turns energy-storing white fat (mouse fat cells shown in red, with blood vessels in green) into energy-burning cells known as beige fat.

woman bundled up in scarf adjusting thermostat

A recent study calculated women’s resting metabolic rate and preferred office temperatures. But to figure out why women tend to be cold in the office, look not to science but to the person who controls the thermostat.

illustration of different weight loss surgeries

Two types of weight loss surgeries, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (center) and vertical banded gastroplasty (right), change the mix of microbes in women’s intestines. Mice with microbes transplanted from the women who had surgeries gained less weight than did mice that got bacteria from obese women. 

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