Monday, August 27, 2007
Stem cells are at it again, but this time they're responsible for obesity. At a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society, data was presented demonstrating that infection with with a common virus - Adenovirus-36 - caused adult stem cells from adipose tissue to change into fat storing cells. Animals infected with the virus pack on the pounds, and obese people are 3 times as likely to have been infected by Ad-36 according to the report. Adenovirus-36 has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce leptin expression - two other factors that can influence obesity. Researchers are talking about coming up with an 'obesity vaccine' to combat this form of obesity, further chiseling away at the notion of personal responsibility when dealing with one's health.