Their mission was to solve a small but nagging mystery of Alzheimer's disease: How would the brain's ability to store information be affected if they "turned off" the obscure protein LRP1?
But Guojun Bu and his fellow researchers were in for a surprise. As they expected, mice whose brains had been wiped of the LRP1 gene showed Alzheimer's-like memory problems. But they also started to put on weight - fast.
The mice were lethargic. They were on their way to becoming diabetic. And they didn't seem to know when to stop eating.
In other words, they were a lot like the more than 72 million Americans who are obese...