Manipulating Molecules in Mice leads to greater processing of energy and lower levels of obesity.
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have genetically altered mice in a way that their bodies will metabolize excess energy and have lower levels of obesity, despite a caloric surplus. The mice were modified to produce a larger amount of MED13, a chemical that affects thyroid function. Mice with the elevated levels were much leaner than their normal counterparts. In contrast, another group of mice had the MED13 gene deleted. These mice had a much higher level of bodyfat and stored a much greater amount of excess energy. The results of this experiment were not exactly surprising since we already have the knowledge concerning how thyroid function affects energy storage and other factors such as insulin sensitivity that often lead to obesity. The reason it is significant is that the researchers used genetic modification rather than drugs to manipulate metabolism.