...Last winter, Baylor College of Medicine scientists reported working with mice genetically modified to lack a receptor for the ghrelin hormone.
They found this turned up the fat-burning thermostat in the animals' bodies. In an older group of the mice, the rodents were slimmer than a control group even though they ate just as much and were no more physically active.
Still another mouse study, reported in this month's Cell Metabolism, looked more closely at what happens inside the hypothalamus and found that when they are starved, some neurons in that part of the brain actually start eating bits of themselves, which in turn ramps up hormonal signals to start eating.
Such cellular cannibalism goes on all the time as part of the body's natural housekeeping, but the discovery that this process also helps regulate appetite opens a new possible route for obesity-fighting drugs....