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Obesity Vaccine

August 24, 2006

Scientists are developing a vaccine to curb our expanding waistlines.


Vaccinating against weight gain. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Could an obesity vaccine someday rein in our expanding waistlines? Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in California recently announced promising early results. They found that vaccinating rats against a hormone called ghrelin made them gain weight much more slowly than other rats on the same diet.

But don’t plan on eating corn chips and cake frosting for breakfast anytime soon. Lead author Kim Janda notes that these were average-sized rats on normal diets.

KIM JANDA (Scripps Research Institute):
We need to look at more model studies, so we’re going to try look at how it would impact obese animals; we’re gonna look at how it’ll impact animals put on a high-fat diet, things of that nature.

He adds that ghrelin has been linked to a wide range of body functions, so the potential side effects are difficult to guess. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.