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.
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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