03-15-12, 09:37 PM #1
Sex-deprived fruit flies drink more alcohol
If you are deprived of sex do you do the same as the fruit fly ?
Now a group of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has discovered that a tiny molecule in the fly's brain called neuropeptide F governs this behavior—as the levels of the molecule change in their brains, the flies' behavior changes as well.
The new work may help shed light on the brain mechanisms that make social interaction rewarding for animals and those that underlie human addiction. A similar human molecule, called neuropeptide Y, may likewise connect social triggers to behaviors like excessive drinking and drug abuse. Adjusting the levels of neuropeptide Y in people may alter their addictive behavior—which is exactly what the UCSF team observed in the fruit flies.
"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," said Ulrike Heberlein, PhD, a Professor of Anatomy and Neurology at UCSF, who led the research.
Clinical trials are underway, she added, to test whether delivery of neuropeptide Y can alleviate anxiety and other mood disorders as well as obesity.
A Reward Switch in the Brain
The experiments, described this week in the journal Science, started with male fruit flies placed in a container with either virgin female flies or female flies that had already mated. While virgin females readily mate and are receptive toward courting males, once they have mated, females flies lose their interest in sex for a time because of the influence of a substance known as sex peptide, which males inject along with sperm at the culmination of the encounter. This causes them to reject the advances of the male flies.
The rejected males then gave up trying to mate altogether. Even when placed in the same cage as virgin flies, they were not as keen to have sex. Their drinking behavior also changed.
When placed by themselves in a new container and presented with two straws, one containing plain food and the other containing food supplemented with 15 percent alcohol, the sexually rejected flies binged on the alcohol, drinking far more than their sexually satisfied cousins whose advances were never spurned. The difference was not only apparent in their behavior. It was completely predicted by the levels of neuropeptide F in their brains.
03-15-12, 10:46 PM #2
I've read this before.
The point of this apparently has to do with the advantage of feasting on overripe fruit, which is so high in sugar it's readily converted to alcohol. So the best genes are the ones that smell overripe fruit, and to preserve them the dirty deed needs to take place at the scene of the bacchanal.
And who does this reminded us of?
Barflies, of course
03-16-12, 02:10 AM #3
It's clearly because the flies are depressed, and alcohol, as we all know, is the cure for everything.
03-16-12, 04:45 AM #4
I'll drink to that.
Oh, yes, and then when they get up in the morning, hung over, and go out in the glare of the sun, they tend to mutate (like an appendage growing out of the eye, we've all had mornings like that) because they're not only easily damaged emotionally, but also genetically.
They're just sensitive types.
And that's why they mostly hang out in cheesy bars, where they can bask in the low UV of neon bulbs and buzz around the half comatose patrons, whose breath probably smells to them like a cheesburger and fries smells to us.
03-16-12, 12:17 PM #5
Harruaagsh! for ther g fivckin fruiiut flays.
Thatsh what I say.
03-16-12, 04:22 PM #6
I wonder which is the causality?
Without sex, you drink more alcohol. Or, if you drink more alcohol then you don't get sex.
Is it possible the reverse?
You quit drinking then you get sex.
03-23-12, 08:50 PM #7
Heres to Alcohol...the source of and solution to all of life's problems!
04-04-12, 11:32 AM #8
I think it is a delicate balance, if you drink u get sex, less drinking less sex, which leads to more drinking and more sex. I am not talking about alcoholics, because when they drink they don't get shit but more alcohol and trouble
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