Sex, Alcohol and Fruit Flies: An Experiment

by Blogburger on March 16, 2012

Scientists are gathering evidence that sexual frustration drives males to drink.

Yeah, we know: Any trip to a nearby watering hole provides plenty such evidence. But the findings from an experiment on fruit flies, published today in the journal Science, furnished more than just confirmation. They also suggest a reason why.

That reason: a brain chemical called neuropeptide F. Male fruit flies who mated had higher levels of this molecule than comrades who didn’t have sex, the study found. Lo and behold, both male flies who lacked sex – and male flies who mated but whose neuropeptide F levels were lowered by the researchers — were more likely to prefer alcohol-laced food.

This could have implications for the study of addiction, and its roots in the complicated dance between nature and nurture, Bloomberg notes.

“I think it’s a pretty good bet that it will translate to humans,”one of the researchers tells the Associated Press. We’d say so.

Image source: Associated Press




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