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Polar bear DNA 'may help fight obesity'

New research suggests polar bears' genes may hold the answer to fighting heart problems linked with obesity in humans.

Analysis of polar bears' DNA suggests their genes have mutated to cope with their high-fat diet. Credit: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

Scientists believe the bears' genetic make-up has adapted so that they can eat a diet containing very high levels of fat without any sign of heart disease.

Lead researcher Professor Rasmus Neilsen, of the University of California at Berkeley, said learning more about the bears' DNA may allow scientists "to modulate human physiology down the line".