POMC Gene Illustrates the Potential to Use Genetic Information to Avoid Foreseeable Health Problems
Mutations to a gene known as POMC help to explain obesity in labradors, and some people, as explained in a July 5, 2016 NYT article. A key quote: “Researchers studying 310 Labradors found that many of them were missing all or part of a gene known as POMC, which is known to regulate appetite in some species and to help sense how much fat the body has stored. Without it, the dogs don’t know when they’ve had enough, so they just keep eating and eating.” The underlying scientific paper is linked in the article and is open access.
This news provides yet another example of the growing numbers of ways that we can start to use genetic knowledge to avoid some manageable heath problems. A key factor will be if the information is accurately distributed to the pertinent audience, and if so, whether it is communicated in a useful manner.