2008-08-20 "Good" fat may be new weapon in obesity fight

http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/08/20/us-fat-cells-idUSN2043946220080820?pageNumber=2

(Reuters) - A new understanding of the origins of brown fat cells -- the "good" kind of fat that burns energy and keeps us warm -- may lead to new treatments for obesity, two research teams reported on Wednesday.

Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston said they used a single molecular switch to turn immature muscle cells into brown fat cells in the lab, suggesting that brown fat may be more akin to muscle cells than conventional white fat cells.

A second team from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, found a protein important for bone growth helped promote the development of brown fat tissue in mice.(Read entire article)

2008-08-20 'Brown' Fat: New Key to Weight Loss? - Studies Show a Type of Fat Found in Newborns Helps Burn Calories

http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20080820/brown-fat-new-key-to-weight-loss

New discoveries surrounding a type of "good" fat that promotes the burning of calories could one day lead to better treatments for obesity, researchers say.

Unlike more recognizable white fat, which stores surplus energy, brown fat burns energy to generate heat.

Newborn babies have brown fat -- presumably to help regulate their body temperature -- but adults are believed to have little. (Read entire article)