May. 5th, 2010

earendil31: (Default)
So the whole intarwebz is up in arms about the story on Fox News about a virus that can cause obesity.  Now lets all beat on Fox for running such nonsense. But before we do that, lets look into the thing, so that we can at least say we did more research than they probably did before running the story.

Turns out, it's a real virus, that really does go around your body and cause you to create more fat cells. The name of the thing is AD 36, which stands for adenovirus serotype 36. Main symptoms you would care about are respiratory and eye infections. It does one other thing too, which is turn adult stem cells from fat tissues into fat cells. Guess what? It doesn't "make you fat". Not all infected people will magically become sumo wrestlers. But about 2.7 times as many sumo wrestlers have this virus in their systems as beanpoles, it turns out. 30% of obese people carry antibodies to AD-36, while 11% of non-obese people have antibodies. That's right, fat and skinny people have been exposed to this virus. But fat people are more likely to have been exposed.

"But it was on Fox, and they are the House of Lies!" I don't disagree with you.  But part of being a House of Lies is to have a Vestibule of Truth so that people will be tricked into coming inside. 

***EDIT*** I'm bringing this up to the main post from the replies

...the quality of the Fox writing has nothing to do with the truth or fiction of the science behind it...

***end edit***

Here's the scholarly journal abstract I got my numbers from.


earendil31: (Default)

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