Sweet-Tooth Gene – Brief Article
Wonder why you prefer a fudge brownie for dinner to spaghetti and meatballs, or can’t resist grabbing those last few M&Ms? Maybe you should blame your sweet tooth on your genes (hereditary material in cells). Scientists at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City checked out the differences in DNA (molecules containing all genes) between mice who preferred sugar water to plain water and those who had no preference. Their discovery: a gene that’s expressed (shown as a characteristic) in the rodent sugar lovers, but not in others.
Mice and humans have a similar genetic makeup, so scientists were able to pinpoint the corresponding human gene, called T1R3. The next step: to learn how to switch the gene on or off. “The connection between obesity, diabetes, and a diet rich in sweet food is well known,” says Dr. Y. Gopi Shanker of Mount Sinai. “If we can control the proverbial sweet tooth, it might be of great help to people suffering from these problems.”
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