BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) — The possibility that genetics play a role in the readout on a bathroom scale intrigues scientists at South Dakota State University.

Some think obesity might be a sign of superior breeding — that a predisposition to storing fat ensures mankind survives times of famine.

The Argus Leader reports that it's a potential research focus for a new $47 million laboratory being planned in Brookings.

The vision for what is being called the Interdisciplinary Bioscience and Engineering Laboratory is to bring researchers together from diverse disciplines across campus.

They'll tap into expertise for which SDSU is renowned — primarily food production, health and nutrition, and renewable energy. And they'll work together in a 71,000-square-foot facility to tackle challenges such as hunger, obesity, autoimmune diseases and other possibilities.

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