Purported 'fat drug' doesn't replicate

July 19, 2004 at 1:40 PM
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LONDON, July 19 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists testing claims for a cure of obesity have been unable to replicate the experimental successes of the drug's discoverer and promoter.

Two years ago Dr. Stephen Bloom of Imperial College London and the Hammersmith Hospital described how a hormone called PYY3-36 curbed hunger by telling the appetite center in the brain one's stomach was full, the Independent reported Monday.

But since then, Bloom's research has been questioned by 42 scientists from 15 international research centers, reporting they have been unable to replicate his findings.

The frustrated researchers have taken the unusual step of writing to the journal Nature, which published Bloom's original claims, to express their disappointment.

Matthias Tschop of the University of Cincinnati has led the scientists who tried to repeat Bloom's work.

"Although the reasons for this discrepancy remained undetermined, an effective anti-obesity drug ultimately must produce its effects across a range of situations," says Tschop.

Bloom claims Tschop's group is not conducting its experiments properly.

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