Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel and Tulane University in New Orleans published a paper in the journal, Bone, describing the genetic link between fat and bone mass. The researchers aimed to determine the underlying mechanism of this osteocalcin link – whether it was purely environmental or had a genetic basis. They conducted the study on a European population called the Chuvasha – descendants of Bulgarian tribes that have lived along the Volga River for more than a thousand years. As a relatively isolated and ethnically homogeneous population, they are highly appropriate for the study of genetic effects. 1,112 participants over the age of 20 from 230 families were tested for variants in the osteocalcin gene. Genetic information was analyzed in connection with measurements that reflect body mass, including Body Mass Index (BMI), thickness of skin folds, reflecting the amount of fat beneath the skin and others.