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Women in Science fellowship winner probes pregnancy, obesity link

[2019.11.13, Wed 14:03] The fellowships recognise the achievements of exceptional early-career female scientists and award each one $25,000 to help fund their research, including buying equipment, employing a research assistant, conference and travel costs and childcare. Women account for 28.8 per cent of science researchers and fewer than 20 per cent of senior leadership positions globally, UNESCO says. The fellowship will help Dr Solon-Biet test the hypothesis that a pregnant woman's protein intake could determine her child's obesity risk. Previous research suggests protein intake moderates appetite, and we each have a protein set point - a specific protein target that our bodies want to hit to achieve optimal nutritional requirements, Dr Solon-Biet said. Studies of indigenous populations internationally suggest that high protein intake is linked to offspring being more susceptible to obesity when they have access to Western junk-food diets. "You need to eat more of that food to reach that protein target," she said, comparing a bucket of hot chips to a steak. Her research team will test in mice whether a high protein predisposes offspring to obesity.
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