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Studying the genomes of hibernating mammals could improve understanding and treatment of obesity

November 26, 2019

Researchers at the University of Utah have made an important discovery about parts of mammalian genomes linked to hibernation that could improve the understanding and treatment of obesity and metabolic disorders.

Hibernation is a phenomenon that has fascinated scientists for years. Bears and various other mammals pack on the pounds in amounts that would pose a health risk to humans, in preparation for months of sleeping. Yet, when the animals emerge from hibernation, they are as fit as ever.

Now, Christopher Gregg and colleagues report that they have identified which parts of the genome are linked to hibernation and how understanding them will help to control risks for some major diseases.

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