So, I know you’re on tenterhooks about the Early Career forum, and how I got on.
Well hard luck, I’m going to talk about obesity.
As part of the forum, they held a Twitter chat things. Using #ecfobesity we were invited to join in with a couple of presentations about research into obesity. Drs Gina Leinninger, Dan Bessesen and Anastasia Amaro presented work on recent “Advances in Obesity Research”.
Now Twitter is perfect for awkward folks like myself, as we don’t need to physically ask questions, and you’ll never hear the contempt in my voice when I ask annoyingly specific questions. I definitely recommend having a quick look through the tweets and having a read of the replies from The Endocrine Society, and other bigwigs.
There’s even a question about my buddy Mark.
Ok, that maybe too much of an inside joke. Read my post about Dr Giles Yeo and his work and you’ll understand.
And if you do give that a go, then obviously you’ll want to read about a bunch of new leptin stuff. Dr Leinninger’s talk was about her research into leptin.
She made a mouse with a GFP-tagged leptin receptor, and saw that a lot of the receptor was located in what I will incorrectly call “the pleasure centre” of the brain. So does leptin cause pleasure?
Simple put yes, yes it does.
The leptin receptors are linked to dopamine signalling. You know that sweet, sweet dopamine? Well very specific leptin receptors can give you that same great feeling when you’re full.
Furthermore, if you knock out those very specific receptors you make mice which basically become big, fat slobs. Just like when I was coming towards the end of my PhD, the animals give up on exercise and just eat terrible food. Add in self harm and an irrational hatred of western blots and it’d be identical!
If you stimulate those super special receptors you can pull the animals out of their funk, and start treating themselves better, running around their cage and, I don’t know, eating kale. (Normally I’d worry about not putting a reference after my kale joke, but as I’m writing this on my kindle, it’s a right pain to reference so I’m living the dream and writing nonsense. It’s just like what of them anti-vaccine websites.)
Interestingly, Dr Leinninger came out and stated that she “loves hormones”, which makes me laugh as last night someone asked me what my favourite hormone was.
Today’s quote is from Caitlin Moran