The number of linkurl:fat cells; in a person's body is determined during childhood and stays constant throughout life, with about 10 percent of fat cells dying and being replaced annually, according to study published in __Nature__ yesterday (May 4). Understanding the hitherto poorly characterized dynamics of fat cell production and turnover may help researchers target key processes in obesity and related diseases, such as diabetes. "We are generating quite a few fat cells," said linkurl:Kirsty Spalding,; a biologist at Sweden's Karolinska Institute and first author on the study, "but it seems to be really tightly regulated." Spalding said that both the expansion of the fat cell population and the arrival at what will be the final number of fat cells, or linkurl:adipocytes,; in the adult body occur at an earlier age in obese people. Fatter people experience a period of rapid adipoctye production around age two and reach their adult...

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