Fruit flies are a useful model for investigating the contribution genes make to human alcohol sensitivity because, like humans, fruit flies can get 'drunk' if exposed to high levels of alcohol. Similar to many of us after a tipple or two, the intoxicated flies show movement problems, loss of postural control, and sleepiness; they also develop alcohol tolerance after repeated exposure to alcohol.
The research team, comprising Tatiana Morozova, Richard Anholt and Trudy Mackay,at the North Carolina State University, USA identified a number of genes in the fruit fly that appear to be associated with alcohol sensitivity. Interestingly, 23 of these genes have human equivalents (orthologs), which the authors suggest could be linked to alcohol sensitivity in people.
"We can now translate these findings from Drosophila to the human population by asking whether any of the 23 human orthologs are indeed associated with alcohol sensitivity - either drinking behaviour or addiction - in the human population," says Professor Trudy Mackay.
The researchers bred fruit flies for over 25 generations to produce two distinct groups - flies that were highly sensitive to alcohol, and flies that were highly resistant to alcohol.
They then performed whole-genome transcript expression analysis to see how the genetic make-up of these flies had changed from the original base population. This technique allows all genes in the fruit fly to be examined in parallel, whereas earlier studies usually focused on particular individual genes.
Genes that are differentially expressed between the alcohol-resistant and alcohol-sensitive flies are candidate genes for alcohol sensitivity. Over 1000 such genes were identified in this study.
To explore if some of the differentially expressed genes were causally linked to alcohol sensitivity, the researchers looked at mutated versions of the genes. Tests of 35 mutated genes revealed 32 that directly affected sensitivity to alcohol; three of these genes had previously been associated by the research team with alcohol sensitivity or tolerance.
This further study by Mackay and colleagues may provide clues to the genetic basis of alcohol related issues in humans.
New type of photosynthesis discovered
17.06.2018 | Imperial College London
New ID pictures of conducting polymers discover a surprise ABBA fan
17.06.2018 | University of Warwick
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...
Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
15.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
15.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
15.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering