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Biology 2290F/G
Robert Dean

Bio290F Section 002 Due November 6 2007Technological Advances Show Obesity to be More Complex than Initially ThoughtObesity is a disease resulting from mutations or changes in genesFigures released form the World Health Organization estimate that there are 1 billion adults considered overweight and 300 million of these meet the definition of clinical obesityAs genetic mutations are inevitable and incurable the principal goal is to improve the condition of the obese individual by intervening with therapyIt seems that the success of any proposed interventional therapy will rely heavily upon an understanding of the mechanism under which obesity develops Three types of obesity have been identifiedListed in order of increasing complexity these are monogenetic syndromic and polygenic obesityBy the undertaking of experiments based on different hypotheses the genetics controlling the obese state may be better understoodDeeper insight into the current knowledge of monogenetic syndromic and polygenic obesity will delineate the underlying complexity of this diseaseFurthermore this complexity foreshadows the challenge to finding a successful therapeutic intervention to combat obesity in the futureMonogenetic obesity is the outcome of a single genetic mutation resulting in severe obesity at a young ageExperimental studies conducted on populations of mice showed one mutation for every 1 in 11 genesFurther analysis of these mice led to the discovery of recessive mutations in gene coding for the hormone leptinThis helped pinpoint the LeptinMelanocortin pathway as a critical factor in the regulation of internal energy stabilityLeptin is a hormone like insulin released into the blood stream by adipose or fat tissue when a meal has been eatenThis hormone is required to activate the hypothalamic pathway ultimately
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