Scientists have created a mouse that doesn't get as fat on a high fat diet.
You read that right. In a new study out in Nature Neuroscience, scientists tinkered with a single gene in a mouse and made it less likely to get fat. Finally I can eat as many Double Stufs as I want without worrying about gaining weight. If scientists can turn what they've learned into a pill, that is.
How'd the researchers do it? By changing one part of the mouse's brain, the hypothalamus. One of the hypothalamus' many jobs is body weight regulation. So it was a logical place to start.
The scientists couldn't go in with a wrecking ball and tear the hypothalamus apart. It is an important part of the brain with lots of different duties. They needed to something pretty subtle so the mice would survive but be thinner.
What they did was to keep certain cells in the hypothalamus from being able to release a neurotransmitter called GABA. This was enough to make a mouse better able to maintain a lower weight.