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‘Exercise genes,’ ‘lazy genes’ may exist: study

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Published : 2013-04-10 17:50
Updated : 2013-04-10 17:51


A study conducted by U.S. scientists claimed that certain genetic traits may induce people to be motivated to exercise and remain active. 

Researchers at the University of Missouri conducted an experiment in which they put rats in cage with a running wheel and observed how much each rat willingly ran on the wheels for six days.

After the experiment, the researchers selected the top 26 runners and 26 slow rats and bred each group separately through 10 generations. 

When the “super runner” and “couch potato” rats of the 10th generation were born, scientists compared the levels of mitochondria in their muscle cells and their body compositions, and conducted thorough genetic evaluations through RNA deep sequencing. 

“The most important thing we identified was the genetic differences between the two lines of rats. Out of more than 17,000 different genes in one part of the brain, we identified 36 genes that may play a role in predisposition to physical activity motivation,” said Frank Booth, a professor at the University of Missouri.

The research team suggested the study could be an important step in identifying additional causes for obesity in humans.

The study was published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

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