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Orphaned chimps develop less muscle mass than their peers with living moms

Orphaned chimps develop less muscle mass than their peers with living moms

Science
Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The benefits of the nurturing presence of a mom, beyond simply a source of food, are well documented among humans. Time spent with mom is associated with cognitive, social and emotional development. The benefits moms offer juvenile chimpanzees, after they've weaned, are less well understood, but a new study, published this week in the journal Frontiers in Zoology, suggests orphaned chimps develop less muscle mass than chimps with living mothers. "We assessed the muscle mass of 70 offspring from 41 mothers by means of urinary creatinine concentrations, a by-product of metabolic activity in muscles," Tobias Deschner, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, said in a news release. The analysis showed, unsurprisingly, that muscle mas...
Protein tricks muscle into burning more energy during exercise, cold

Protein tricks muscle into burning more energy during exercise, cold

Health
Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Researchers have figured out why people burn fat when they exercise or are cold: A small protein only found in muscles that heat up. Sarcolipin, the small peptide in muscles, boosts muscle energy expenditure and fat oxidization during exercise and cold exposure, according to researchers at the nonprofit Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in Orlando, Fla., who published their findings Tuesday in the journal Cell Report. Although skeletal muscle represents 40 percent to 50 percent of body mass, it consumes most of the glucose and fatty acids. "It has the ability to increase its energy expenditure 20- to 30-fold during intense exercise by stimulating insulin-independent glucose uptake and by switching to higher fatty acid uptake and oxidation," the authors w...