ecome a key feat

▓utation as a location for scientific development. Earlier this mon

ure of agri▓cul

th, German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner banned cultivation and s

ture. Some fear

ale of GMO maize of type ▓MON 810 produced by U.S. seed giant Monanto

that Germany

. Aigner stated she would make a new review of an applic▓ation for open-air trial cultivation o

government▓ coalition

f the GMO potato Amflo▓ra developed

Collect from 企业/

by German group BASF鈥攚hich is not yet involved in commercial plantings. Related stories:BEIJI▓NG, Dec. 15 -- Scientists may have figured out one reason some peopl

e reach for the french fries instead of an apple. It could be a g▓ene that's been linked to an increased risk of obesity. A study of children found those with a comm

on variation ▓of the gene tend to overeat high-calorie foods. They ate 100 extra calories per meal, whi▓ch over the long term can put on weight, said Colin Palmer, ▓

who led the study at the University of Dundee in Scotland.The findings don't mean that everyone with that version of th▓e gene will eat too much and become obese, he

said. They just might have a tendency to eat more fattening foods."It's still your choice," he said. "This gene will not make you overweight if you do not overea

t." Palmer said the results support the theory that childh▓ood obesity today could be connected to the wides▓pread availability and low cost of high-ca▓lorie foods. Th

e research is published in Thur▓sday's New England Journal of Medicine. Last year, scientists discovered the gene, named FTO, was linked to obesity but they didn't k

now why. Most of the▓ other genes thought to affect body weight influence a▓ppetite. Palmer and his colleagues wanted to know if the FTO gene also had to do with eati

ng behavior, or w▓hether it involved how the body burns calories. They studied over 2,700 Scottish children ages 4 to 10 and put a group of them through ext▓ensive

tests. Nearly two-thirds of the children had at least one copy of the gene variant, about the same▓ proportion found in last year's study of mostly white Europeans.

That study found that those with one copy of the gene variant had a 30 percent increased risk of obesity, and carriers of two copies had almost a 70 percent increas

ed ri▓sk. The gene variation is also found in other populations; the frequency in Chinese is about half that of Europeans. After confir▓ming the obesity link in the

larger Scottish group, the researchers examined 97 of the children. They took a number of measurements, including body ▓fat and metabolic rate. The children were gi

ven three meals at school to evaluate their eating behavior. The meal included a m▓ix of fruits and vegetables, ham, cheese, potato chips, chocolate candies and br

ead rolls. The resea▓rchers found that children with the gene v▓ariation showed no difference in metabo▓lic rates, levels of physical activity or the amount of▓ food

eaten. "The only thing we could find was the fac▓t that they were eating much richer foods," said Palmer. On average, those with the gene▓ variant ate 100 calories mo

re than those without it. Dr. Rudolph Leibel, an obesity researcher at Columbia University in New York, said getting good measurements o▓f how much someone eats is d

ifficult, but the ▓Scottish study did it in a closely controlled manner. He said the overeating may be driven more by the need for calories than a preference for fat

ty foods. Fat is just a good way to get those extra calories. "Bite for bite, there are more calories in a Big Mac than there are in an apple," said Leibel, who w

rote an editorial that accompanies the study in ▓the journal. A recent study in the Amish suggested the variant's effects could be blunted with hours of ▓physical act

ivity. The lead author of that study, Evadnie Rampersaud of the University of Miami, noted that only 76 Scottish children completed all three meal tests. "While the

ban of GMO maize could damage

results are intrigu

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