- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Americans have taken their obsession with obesity one step further recently by discovering a protein that stops or starts cells from turning into fat.

A study done by the University of Michigan is the first that identifies the role of the fat switch, called Wnts (pronounced "wints") in fat cells. An experiment was performed on mice, who were made fat or thin depending on whether the scientists had the switch turned on or off. The University of Michigan and the scientific community have a way to go before the experiment could be applied to humans, though. Still, imagine this: In addition to choosing eye color, IQ and sex of a child through genetic engineering, a parent could make them fat-free for life. The notion could save Americans space by eliminating the need for playgrounds, tracks and gyms. And, of course, the airlines could make seats even smaller than they already are. Oh, brave new world, that has such people in it!

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