Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Microfiction: Viral advantage

The big brains down at the DNA lab seemed to have finally come up with a winner. When the research that obesity was sometimes connected to a common cold virus, they started planning how to re-engineer a virus that did exactly the opposite, making obese people melt off fat in no time at all.
The actual gene sequencing and splicing of the DNA into the new virus only took a few months, and in the process they cut out all the flu-like symptoms of the original. Medical testing started at once with lab animals, and progressed to human trials in Africa, where a few hundred grand could buy just about any number of officials to let them test freely without irritating government interference. The hardest part was finding people obese enough to test it on.
The jump from vaccine to airborne infection of the new virus happened so fast that they never even got a chance to contain it for profit, let alone for human health.
Within a few months the cat had not only been let out of the bag, but had literally taken flight to every corner of the world. Within a few years, nearly everybody on the planet save for about 12 percent had shed so much excess weight that the Kate Moss heroin waif look was most common. No matter how much people ate, there was no way they could gain weight enough to look more than scrawny. Even bodybuilders and morbidly obese gourmands became stick figures, the virus was terribly efficient.
Of course, those tem percent of the fatties left found a new world, one where that extra hundred or so pounds meant fame, money and a sure ticket to a supermodel career.

Based on a real article, and human nature.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Could being overweight be due to a virus? Recent findings of a American Physiological Society study, as reported by the World Science staff, say that hypothesis might be true.
The study found that a human-infecting virus called AD-37 causes obesity in chickens, which corroborated with previous studies linking other viruses with obesity in animals or humans. Its conclusions appear in the January issue of the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.
AD-37 is an adenovirus, which commonly cause upper respiratory tract infections including the common cold. Leah Whigham of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, lead researcher in the study, reportedly cautioned that more research is needed to determine whether it actually causes obesity in humans since the study showed only a handful of people being infected with the virus. The question of whether curing this will lead to a vaccine or other methodologies is still to be determined.

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