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News Release

Joslin Wins Spot on Discover Magazine’s Top 100 List

Brown Fat Finding Is Declared One of the Most Important Scientific Accomplishments of 2009

BOSTON – December 8, 2009 – Joslin Diabetes Center researchers have been honored by Discover Magazine in its annual Top 100 list of major scientific accomplishments, for showing that adult humans retain a type of “good” fat previously believed to be present only in babies and children.

Unlike white fat, which stores energy and comprises most body fat, this good fat, called brown fat, is active in burning calories and using energy. In a paper published last April in The New England Journal of Medicine, C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., Aaron Cypess, M.D., and their colleagues demonstrated that brown fat not only exists in adult humans but is metabolically active. This advance could pave the way for new treatments both for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Discover honored the research by the Kahn lab and their colleagues at Joslin, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital, along with related work by two collaborations among European research groups.

Founded in 1980,Discover has a paid circulation of around 600,000 and sells more than 100,000 copies of each issue on newsstands, while hosting more than 1.7 million unique visitors on its Discovermagazine.com Web site each month. The Discover Top 100 is published in its annual Year of Science issue, which is consistently the bestseller for the magazine.