These mice are identical twins. Honest. Want to know what happened?
Epigenetics is what happened. Epigenetics is a fascinating twist on the old nature vs. nurture debate. Apparently, environmental factors significantly affect how our genes are expressed.
And in this case, a very common environmental contaminant, Bisphenol A, turned on some genes that were supposed to be turned off, resulting in obese mice.
But I can’t do it justice. You’ve got to check out this NOVA page. Especially, watch the slide show.
In a way, this is shocking, but on the other hand, it makes a lot of sense. I mean, look around. People are obese. Why is this? Animals in nature don’t become obese, even when food is plentiful. Something is terribly wrong.
These researchers are helping to solve the puzzle. Bless ‘em.