A fat-based hormone, the first of its kind to be identified, may regulate the body's metabolic rate, according to a linkurl:report;http://www.cell.com/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS0092867408010143 in this week's __Cell.__ The results paradoxically suggest that aspects of metabolic disease could be controlled by spurring the production of new fat cells. "There's a strong dogma that excess fat is bad in every form, that the effects will always be negative," said principal investigator Gokhan Hotamisligil from the Harvard School of Public Health. "In these animals the hypothesis did not hold up." Hotamisligil and colleagues were studying lipid chaperones, which control the storage of fat inside cells. When they created knockout mice missing two of the chaperones, they saw systemic changes in metabolism as well as increased production of new fat cells. Since the new fat seemed to be causing changes in insulin sensitivity in organs such as muscle and liver, the researchers suspected it was releasing...

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