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Scientists Discover: Male Fruit Flies Get Drunk When Rejected

Scientist Discover: Male Fruit Flies Get Drunk When Rejected

Scientists Discover: Male Fruit Flies Get Drunk When Rejected

They were young males on the make, and they struck out not once, not twice, but a dozen times with a group of attractive females hovering nearby. So they did what so many men do after being repeatedly rejected: they got drunk, using alcohol as a balm for unfulfilled desire.

Fruit flies apparently self-medicate just like many humans do, drowning their sorrows or frustrations for some of the same reasons, scientists reported Thursday. Male flies subjected to what amounted to a long tease — in a glass tube, not a dance club — preferred food spiked with alcohol far more than male flies that were able to mate.

drinking aloneThe study, posted online in the journal Science, suggests that some elements of the brain’s reward system have changed very little during evolution, and these include some of the mechanisms that support addiction. Levels of a brain chemical that is active in regulating appetite predicted the flies’ thirst for alcohol. A similar chemical is linked to drinking in humans.

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From The Editor

peoples climate march

A Weekend To Bend The Course Of History

In September, heads of state are going to New York City for a historic summit on climate change. With our future on the line, we will take a weekend and use it to bend the course of history. In New York City there will be an unprecedented climate mobilisation – in size, beauty, and impact.

To Do That
We Need To Act – Together

Can't make it to NYC?
Find a location nearer to you.

 

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