Today in Research: Slimming Down Obese Monkeys; Staying Sober

Discovered: getting obese monkeys to lose weight, optimism abounds for the religious, when people stop taking risks, communicating with those in a vegetative state.

  • Researchers find a way to slim down obese monkeys -- more exciting than just slimming down obese mice. Humanity's endless quest to get slimmer saw an encouraging development from tests on recently-thinning monkeys. As The Wall Street Journal reports today, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center researchers who gave obese monkeys the drug adipotide saw successful results: they "lost an average of 11 percent of their body weight. They also had big reductions in waist circumference and body-mass index." It's good news, as The Journal writes, because monkeys body-types are more like humans. "[S]uccess in mice studies often fails to translate to people," the paper notes. [The Wall Street Journal]
  • Should heavy drinkers have to be six months sober before getting a liver transplant? This is a very tricky question. Right now, "hospitals commonly require" that patients wait six months before having a transplant to show they're serious about being sober, the Associated Press tells us after noting that there's a new French study that's claiming that this isn't fair and shouldn't be the case. Aside from the study's case, the news outlet surfaces a pretty stark statistic that seems to imply no good answer: "Nearly 6,300 liver transplants were performed last year in the United States, but more than 1,400 Americans died waiting for a new liver, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Adding more people to the list could mean longer waits and more deaths among non-drinkers." [Associated Press]

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