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Scientists claim to have found a gene that triggers satiety and can help prevent excessive eating tendencies.
Good news for those who have difficulty holding their appetite. Scientists claim to have found a gene that triggers satiety and can help prevent excessive eating tendencies.

Researchers from Monash University in Melbourne and the University of Copenhagen said their discovery would open the door to the development of drugs that reduce appetite and increase the desire for exercise.

The gene controls signals between the brain and the intestines found in roundworms. But experts say similar genes are found in humans.

Also believed to be behind the need to sleep after a meal, it only happens when the body stores enough fat.

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"When animals are malnourished, they seek food by exploring their environment, and when they are full they go into a state of sleep," said associate professor Roger Pocock, who led the study.

"Because roundworms share many genes with humans, they are a good model system to study and get better lessons about body processes such as metabolism and disease in humans," he added.

In the UK 58 percent of women and 65 percent of men are overweight or obese, according to the Health and Social Care Information Center.

The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research could pave the way for alternative methods to help people stay slim.

Wrist strap was chosen for this study because the brain is relatively simple, consisting of only 302 neurons and 8,000 synapses.

Instead, humans have 100 trillion synapses and billions of neurons. But humans still share 80 percent of genes with roundworms. So says Dr. Pocock.

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