Fat answers

A SURFEIT, of fat and urges to go on a diet? May be the sea -urchins living'in the icy waters of Antarctica could hold out clues on slimness. Scientists at the University of Southern California in the US believe that the answers -for reducing human obesity he in Antarctic sea urchins.

These amazing creatures not only last for months without food but also manage to reproduce at freezing temperatures. "What we want to know is how, in this extreme environment, does animal development work?" said DonaF Manahan from the -University of Southern California. Experiments conducted led to starving the sea urchins by keeping them for months in sea water that had been filtered -to remove all nutrients. However, they still developed normally. Scientists are now planning to overfeed the sea urchins to determine if they will limit their intake or 'splurge out'. This should hopefully lead to the discovery of either key genes 6r a particular bio-chemical process which could then be used to hit out at human obesity.

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