As Dhruv Sareen sees it, you may one day be able to get personalized drug treatment for obesity, simply by handing over a blood sample or some skin cells.

Sareen leads a team of researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center who have figured out how to take cells from people who are extremely obese and turn them into neurons like some you’d find in the hypothalamus — the part of the brain many researchers think controls weight. In doing so, he has found that these neurons display much of the same weight-related dysfunction as their naturally occurring counterparts, giving science an active tool to better understand one of the single largest determinants of health in the world.

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