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Although the idea sounds more like the premise of a B movie than scientific theory two scientists at the University of Wisconsin in Madison believe they've found a virus that causes some people to get fat. Nikhil Dhurandhar and Richard Atkinson reported recently that when they injected a virus known as AD36 into mice and chickens, the animals' body fat increased. Because humans were unlikely to volunteer for such experimentation, the scientists decided to test for the presence of antibodies to the virus. Of 154 people tested, about 15 percent of those who were obese had the antibodies. None of the lean people did.

However, the findings don't necessarily prove that the virus caused obesity in the test group. As several virologists have pointed out, obese people may simply be more susceptible to such a virus.


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