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Science

Japanese team grows energy-burning brown fat cells

OSAKA -- A Japanese clinical testing support company and a government-backed research institution have developed a technique to mass-produce brown fat cells, seen as a key weapon in the fight against obesity.

Brown fat cells convert calories to heat faster than regular fat cells. They are abundant in newborns but decrease with age. Though brown fat is considered a promising avenue for treating obesity and metabolic syndrome, growing the cells had involved complicated processes such as genetic modification.

I'rom Group and the National Center for Global Health and Medicine's research institute have developed a method to culture brown fat from stem cells without genetic tinkering. The cells can be grown in an environment similar to the human body, making them less risky to use.

The process has been patented in Japan and the U.S. The plan is to license the technology to pharmaceutical companies for drug development.

(Nikkei)

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