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The BBC reports that scientists from Imperial College London have discovered a gene that they believe may compel people to overeat by boosting the appetite. This gene, researchers say, may be responsible for 10 percent of childhood obesity cases - and its detection may allow them to develop a screening program that will allow them to identify carriers.

At the same time, research done at the University of Wisconsin at Madison has identified a virus that scientists believe could be a contributing factor to the skyrocketing obesity epidemic in humans. In the research, more than a third of obese people studied tested positive for a virus, called Ad-36, as opposed to just five percent of non-obese individuals.

While this research is in its very early stages, and scientists warn that conclusions should not be reached prematurely, there is speculation that the obesity virus could be contagious.
KC's View:
We can see it now. Anti-fat fanatics will be pushing for a law requiring fat people to wear surgical masks out in public so they cannot pass along the obesity virus to less corpulent individuals.

That would sound like a Monty Python routine if it didn’t seem so credible for 2003 America…