Losing Weight by Gene Editing Your Fat Cells
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brown fat cells

How much do you enjoy dieting? I thought so – most of us would rather play in traffic on the interstate than stick to a diet!

And talk about confusing, there are so many out there. Low carb, paleo, intermittent fasting; lose it fast; make lifestyle changes; I mean, just what is the right way to lose weight?

Did you know you’d have an advantage if you had the “right” kind of fat cells? Scientists are using gene editing to convert white fat cells into energy-burning brown fat cells. White fat cells are the fat storage cells such as the ones around my waist, while brown ones can store fat but also burn it. As we age though, there are less brown ones.

In this study, researchers found a way around this when they identified a protein unique to brown fat cells: the UCP-one. It aids the process of converting fat into energy. So, scientists inserted into white fat cells the gene that makes UCP-one and called them HUMBLE cells which stands for Human brown-like cells.

To test the new cells, they transplanted into mice human white fat cells, brown fat cells or HUMBLE cells. Mice that got white fat cells gained weight, but the other two groups of mice gained far less weight. Plus, the HUMBLE cells were better at signaling brown fat cells in mice to start burning fat. So, maybe you wouldn’t need much to initiate weight loss.

Could this become the brand new way to lose weight? I’d love to go on that diet! Calm down, Dave. That’s a long ways off. You can’t wait that long! Actually, we both won’t gain any weight this coming holiday if there are as few parties as there were during the pandemic.

That was the only silver lining!

For more information…

Body fat transformed by CRISPR gene editing helps mice keep weight off
White fat cells can be turned into energy-burning brown fat using CRISPR gene-editing technology. These engineered cells have helped mice avoid weight gain and diabetes when on a high-fat diet, and could eventually be used to treat obesity-related disorders, say the researchers behind the work...

CRISPR-engineered human brown-like adipocytes prevent diet-induced obesity and ameliorate metabolic syndrome in mice
Brown and brown-like beige/brite adipocytes dissipate energy and have been proposed as therapeutic targets to combat metabolic disorders. However, the therapeutic effects of cell-based therapy in humans remain unclear. Here, we created human brown-like (HUMBLE) cells by engineering human white preadipocytes using CRISPR-Cas9–SAM–gRNA to activate endogenous uncoupling protein 1 expression...

CDC Adult Obesity Facts
Obesity is a common, serious, and costly disease...