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A*Star scientists find faster way to tell good and bad fat apart

Published on Feb 20, 2014 10:22 AM

Scientists from A*Star have found a faster way to differentiate between good fat and bad fat.

This could speed up high-throughput drug screenings, which are used for discovery of potential drug targets to treat metabolic diseases caused by visceral fat.

Visceral fat is fat that surrounds the internal organs in a body, while subcutaneous fat is found beneath the skin. The difference between both kinds of fats is that the latter is better able to store excess lipids and keep them from leaking into other organs, while the former is less efficient at doing so, resulting in excess lipids entering the blood and other organs. Too much lipids circulating in the body leads to inflammation, high blood pressure, diabetes and coronary plaque formation, a major cause of heart attack and stroke.

The researchers from Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), a member of A*Star, are able for the first time to tell apart subcutaneous from visceral fat stem cells by using specific cell markers. Fat stem cells are young cells that mature into fully functioning fat cells.

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