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Scientists have a lock on agenefor obesity in mice and are probably around the corner from pinpointing a counterpart in humans -- a major finding that may confirm doctors' suspicions that many obese people aren't necessarily responsible for their condition, according to a report to be published Thursday in Nature, a scientific journal. The findings -- which raise the possibility that drugs could control weight problems -- were developed by researchers at Rockefeller University. They say they have isolated the first gene that clearly participates in the normal process of regulating weight, though genetics remains one of several factors involved.TIME medical writer Christine Gormansays the discovery, through "top-drawer" research, is the first hard evidence to support a decades-old hypothesis that a "feedback loop" between body and brain regulates weight. In the case of many obese people, she says, the new findings suggest a protein is sending the wrong signal, resulting in lower metabolism and excessive hunger. "The implications for the moment are more psychological than medical or therapeutic," Gorman says. "We don't know how many of the obese people out there have this defect. But this does make the point they are fighting their own genetics."Post your opinion on theHealth & Medecinebulletin board.