The geeks in the lab coats think that they have discovered the Holy Grail of pharmaceuticals:
A Diet Pill that actually works.
Well, sort of.
In a new study, published in the August 31 online edition of Nature Medicine, scientists from the Salk Institute of Biological Studies claim to have identified a genetic master switch for obesity.
This switch, known as TORC1, is designed to turn on a variety of genes in the body.
The researchers believe that subtle mutations in TORC1 may result in an inherited risk factor for obesity.
They also believe that “tweaking mutated and inefficient TORC genes may be possible through drug therapy”. “TORC1 is regulated by phosphate handling enzymes called kinases, and kinases often make for very good drug targets”.
Salk Institute. “New Master Switch Found In Brain Regulates Appetite And Reproduction.” ScienceDaily 2 September 2008. 2 September 2008 <http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/08/080831151343.htm>.