The researchers show that, in the fruit fly, the expression of many genes is modified by exposure to alcohol, and that mutations in some of these genes affect the flies’ sensitivity to alcohol. Many of the genes analysed are also found in humans and the authors of the study conclude that studies in the fruit fly Drosophila could shed light on the genetic basis of human response to alcohol, including the susceptibility to alcohol abuse.
Tatiana Morozova, Robert Anholt and Trudy Mackay, from North Carolina State Univeristy, USA, analysed the activity of all Drosophila genes after exposure to alcohol. Using microarray analysis, a technique that enables to measure gene expression levels, they compared the gene expression levels in flies before they were exposed to ethanol, directly after exposure and two hours after exposure.
The results of Morozova et al.’s study show that one single exposure to ethanol is enough to modify the expression of some genes in the fruit fly. Morozova et al. identified a total of 582 genes whose expression is modified by exposure to ethanol. Some of these genes are down-regulated, while others are up-regulated, and a different set of genes is up-regulated as the flies become more tolerant to alcohol. Such genes include genes involved in biosynthesis and the regulation of fatty acid metabolism. “Alcohol-induced fatty acid biosynthesis is well documented in [human] heavy drinkers”, write the authors. “The identification of multiple enzymes associated with intermediary metabolism and fatty acid biosynthesis in the response to alcohol exposure in Drosophila is, therefore, of particular interest.”
Morozova et al. then identified genes that affect sensitivity or tolerance to alcohol, by analysing flies with mutated versions of the genes identified in the microarray experiment. They find that mutations in these genes can induce increased or reduced sensitivity to the effects of ethanol at first exposure, followed by increased or reduced tolerance. Morozova et al. find that the development of tolerance is only partly dependent on initial sensitivity to ethanol.
Flavins keep a handy helper in their pocket
25.04.2018 | University of Freiburg
Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2018 | Information Technology