Investigators hatch new model for testing obesity drugs

Two different teams at Columbia and Harvard have independently created neurons out of iPS cells that regulate appetite, offering a new model for investigators who are studying new weight drugs and various elements of weight control. "Mice are a good model for studying obesity in humans, but it would better to have human cells for testing. Unfortunately, the cells that regulate appetite are located in an inaccessible part of the brain, the hypothalamus. So, until now, we've had to make do with a mouse model or with human cells harvested at autopsy. This has greatly limited our ability to study fundamental aspects of human obesity," said senior author Rudolph Leibel. Release

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