Understanding a fat gene may one day help make your fat jeans obsolete. Researchers at the City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles recently identified the MRF-2 gene. The gene and the protein it makes seem to encourage the filling of fat cells. In comparisons of fat cells, mice who lacked MRF-2 had the same number of fat cells, but they weren't stuffed with fat. Researchers say learning how to block or target this fat gene could lead to obesity-controlling treatments in humans.
It's not always a carb-free diet that forces folks to avoid bread and grains. Those with celiac disease suffer debilitating symptoms from an allergic reaction to wheat products. Celiac disease sufferers are pinning their hopes on a clinical trial that's currently recruiting patients. The trial will test an orange juice mixture containing prolylendopeptidase, or PEP. This enzyme may detoxify gluten making it possible for celiac patients to eat foods like breads and cereals.
Even if you're new to tickling the ivories, your brain is hard at work learning where the keys are so your fingers can find them again. German music physiology researchers studied brain images of beginner piano players. After learning notes for just a few minutes, the images showed brain activity in parts of the brain associated with hearing and motor skills. The researchers say that the hand-to-ear link begins right away after hearing a note and learning where it's located, and it is enhanced with additional practice.