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Discover Magazine speaks with UW's Barnes about intriguing new endurance study

May 08, 2017
UW-Madison's Jill Barnes was recently interviewed by Discover Magazine to provide commentary on a newly published study about endurance.

Barnes is an assistant professor with the School of Education's Department of Kinesiology. She leads the Barnes Lab within the Bruno Balke Biodynamics Laboratory, where she investigates potential risk factors for both cardiovascular disease and dementia. 

The study in questioned injected mice with a certain molecule named GW501516, increasing the expression of a receptor called PPARd that trains our muscles to burn fat over glucose when exercising. Without any kind of training, the injected mice ran roughly 100 minutes longer than normal mice. 

"When we think about exercise and the metabolic benefit of exercise, we think of a few mechanisms… more mitochondria, fiber type shifting from fast- to slow-twitch fibers, enhanced fat metabolism,” Barnes, who was not involved in the study, explained to Discover Magazine. "This study suggests that PPARd affects the muscle’s fuel selection, namely by preferentially burning fat and sparing glucose, without relying on increased mitochondria or slow twitch fibers. The genes activated by PPARd or the GW agonist all appear to be related to enhanced fat metabolism.”

To learn more, read the full Discover Magazine report: "With an Injection, Mice Nearly Double Their Endurance."
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