Laziness? `Blame your genes`

Last Updated: Sep 04, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

London: Are you a bit lazy? Blame your
bone-idle gene, says a new study.

Scientists have based their findings on an analysis of
laboratory rodents -- they found that activity levels can be
enhanced in mice by selective breeding, the process of rearing
animals for particular genetic traits.

The study, led by University of California, showed
that mice bred to enjoy running produced off-spring that also
liked it, indicating the baby mice had inherited the trait of
high activity, the `Daily Express` reported.

Prof Theodore Garland, the lead author, said: "Our
findings have implications for human health. Down the road,
people could be treated pharmacologically for low-activity
levels through drugs that target specific genes that promote
activity.

"Pharmacological interventions in the future could
be used to make it more pleasurable for people to engage in
voluntary exercise. Such interventions could also make it less
comfortable for people to sit still for long periods of time."

Prof Garland and his team began their study in 1993
with 224 mice. The scientists randomly divided the population
of mice into eight separate lines. Four lines were bred for
high levels of daily running with the remaining four used as
controls.

PTI