U of I Molecular Modeler Jagdish Patel worked with Canadian scientists to screen several common food additives or contaminants. They discovered that the commonly sprayed organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos puts the break on the burning of calories in the brown adipose tissue of mice and published their work in Nature Communications in August. Slowing down this burning of calories, a process known as diet-induced thermogenesis, causes the body to store these extra calories in the form of white fat, promoting obesity.