The previously identified "fat gene" may in actuality only interact with the real culprit -- the IRX3 gene that is highly expressed in the brain where it could regulate eating behavior. The gene appears to be strongly associated with obesity, and University of Chicago researchers discovered that mice lacking the gene weighed up to 30% less than those with a functional IRX3. They also had more calorie-burning brown fat cells, didn't gain weight on a high-fat diet and showed more resistance to metabolic diseases.

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