Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bar flies: fruit flies help unravel the genetics of alcohol sensitivity

31.10.2007
Research published in the online open access journal Genome Biology this week has identified a number of genes that are associated with sensitivity to alcohol in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). It is hoped that these findings will help researchers uncover the genetic basis of drinking behaviour in humans.

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.

... more about:
»Genetic »alcohol »associated »genes »sensitivity

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.

Lauren Hillman | alfa
Further information:
http://genomebiology.com/
http://www.biomedcentral.com

Further reports about: Genetic alcohol associated genes sensitivity

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Velcro for human cells
16.01.2019 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht More efficient solar cells imitate photosynthesis
16.01.2019 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

Im Focus: Mission completed – EU partners successfully test new technologies for space robots in Morocco

Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.

Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...

Im Focus: Programming light on a chip

Research opens doors in photonic quantum information processing, optical signal processing and microwave photonics

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Velcro for human cells

16.01.2019 | Life Sciences

Kiel physicists discover new effect in the interaction of plasmas with solids

16.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

The pace at which the world’s permafrost soils are warming

16.01.2019 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>