[extropy-chat] exercise pill

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Mon Aug 23 23:23:42 UTC 2004


"It is a pill that, in part, mimics exercise. It mimics the metabolic 
activity associated with exercise," Howard Hughes Medical Institute 
investigator Ronald Evans of The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, who 
led the study, said in a telephone interview.

Evans and a team of researchers were looking at a gene called PPAR-delta -- 
a master regulator of different genes.

Revving up PPAR-delta had been shown to help raise metabolism and 
fat-burning, Evans said. "Part of our goal is the development of treatments 
for metabolic disease, diabetes and obesity," he said.

Writing in the journal Public Library of Science Biology, Evans and 
colleagues said they tweaked the PPAR-delta gene to stay in a permanently 
"on" position and then genetically engineered mice with it.

They expected to see changes in metabolism but were surprised at how 
extensive they were.

The genetically engineered mice could run for an hour longer than normal 
mice, "which translates to nearly a kilometer (half a mile) further," the 
researchers wrote.

And when fed a high-fat diet, the normal mice became fat while the 
genetically altered mice gained no weight. Tests showed they were burning 
off the fat even when they did not exercise, Evans said.

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