A sweeping international effort is connecting the dots between genes in our fat cells and our risk for obesity and cardiometabolic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The researchers have identified approximately 90 genes found in fat that could play important roles in such diseases – and could be targeted to develop new treatments or cures.
Unlike many genetics studies, the huge project looked at how genes’ activity actually manifests in human patients – in this case, 770 Finnish men. The results will help doctors and scientists better understand how normal gene variations can affect individuals’ health and risk for disease.
The precise documentation allowed the researchers to draw conclusions about the effects of gene variations that naturally occur in subcutaneous fat.
“Genetic factors do not work in isolation – they work in a holistic way, so I think that these kind of studies that we are publishing are key to understanding what’s happening in human populations,” said [Mete Civelek of the University of Virginia School of Medicine].
[The study can be found here.]
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