Researchers say manipulating an enzyme in the body may someday help people to lose weight.
Scientists at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland say by working with genetically engineered mice, they were able to interfere with the brain's ability to control an animal's response to a high-fat diet.
According to the researchers, a certain gene known as CPT1c makes a protein that protects against weight gain caused by a high-fat diet.
Mice lacking the gene gained more weight than their littermates carrying normal copies of the gene.
The Hopkins researchers are hopeful the discovery has broad implications for understanding the genetic underpinnings of obesity and weight management.
The report is being published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.