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A pill for obesity?

Harvard stem cell scientists convert white fat to brown fat

Harvard University

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IMAGE: This image shows human pluripotent stem cell-derived fat cells. view more

Credit: Tim Ahfeldt/Harvard University

Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital have taken what they are describing as "the first step toward a pill that can replace the treadmill" for the control of obesity - though it of course would not provide all the additional benefits of exercise.

Chad Cowan, an HSCI Principal Faculty Member and his HSCI team report that they have created a system using human stem cells to screen for compounds that have the potential to turn white, or 'bad', fat cells into brown, or 'good' fat cells, and have already identified two compounds that can accomplish that in human cells.

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