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  1. #1
    Balls to Monty
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    Sex-starved flies hit the bottle

    Frustrated male fruit flies whose sexual advances are rejected by females turn to alcohol to drown their sorrows, scientists say.



    Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco discovered that rejected male flies have a tiny neuropeptide F molecule in their brain that pushes them to drink far more than their sexually satisfied counterparts.

    The levels of the molecule were higher in sexually satisfied males than in those who got no sex, leading scientists to speculate that their work could shed light on brain mechanisms behind human addiction.

    A similar human molecule - neuropeptide Y - may also link social triggers to behaviours such as heavy drinking and drug abuse, according to the study published in Science journal.

    "If neuropeptide Y turns out to be the transducer between the state of the psyche and the drive to abuse alcohol and drugs, one could develop therapies to inhibit neuropeptide Y receptors," lead researcher Ulrike Heberlein, a professor of anatomy and neurology at UCSF, said.

    She said clinical trials were underway to determine whether neuropeptide Y can alleviate anxiety and other mood disorders as well as obesity.

    For the experiment, male fruit flies were placed in a container with females flies, including both virgins and some that had already mated.

    Virgin females were receptive to courting males and readily mated, but females flies who had mated lost interest in sex for a time because of sex peptide, a substance that males inject with sperm during the encounter.

    Rejected males then stopped trying to mate, even when placed in the same cage as virgin flies.

    But when they were placed by themselves in another container that had two straws - one containing plain food and the other containing food with 15 per cent alcohol - the rejected males binged on the alcohol.

    The scientists said the behaviour was predicted by the levels of neuropeptide F in their brains.

    Sex-starved flies hit the bottle - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

  2. #2
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Who pays for all this "research"

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat

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    Tired of cane toads, is it?

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