Thu, May 25, 2017 | updated 12:18 PM IST

Could these genes drive you towards booze addiction?

Updated: Aug 05, 2016 11:18 IST      
Could these genes drive you towards booze addiction?

Washington D.C, Aug 5 (ANI): A team of researchers has discovered hundreds of genes and genetic codes that appear to play a role in increasing the desire to drink alcohol.

The study at Indiana and Purdue universities, which used rats carefully bred to either drink large amounts of alcohol or to spurn it, not only reinforces the view that the genetics of alcoholism are important, complex and involve many genes, but also that the sections of the genetic code that regulate the actions of genes are at least as important as the genes themselves.

By using high-alcohol-drinking rat lines, the researchers avoided issues that have made genomic analyses of alcoholism in humans difficult, such as inaccurate family histories of drinking, drinking variability and non-genetic economic, social and cultural factors. Although not identical to humans, the genetics of rats and mice often provide powerful clues to genetic activities in humans.

Conducting complete genome analyses of the two lines of rats, the researchers identified key regions of genetic code known as signatures of selection in 930 genes associated with alcohol preference. The majority of the areas were within single gene regions, often within sections of the genetic code that promote or otherwise regulate the activities of the genes.

"This research highlights that alcoholism in rats has a strong genetic component and is influenced by many hundreds of genes, each with small effects. There is no single gene responsible for alcoholism. However, critical regulatory pathways involving several of the genes discovered were found, suggesting that potential pharmacological solutions may be possible," said co-senior author William M. Muir.

Co-senior author Feng C. Zhou noted that "some of the regulatory pathways included those involved with the brain's ability to make new connections over time in response to new activities or environmental factors, what we call neuronal plasticity. Others included neurological and immune systems involved with stress."

"Predictions of risk of alcoholism might become possible," said Muir, "but will require a large number of genetic markers."

Future research, they said, will include verification of these results through analysis of genetic activity that occurs in response to alcohol drinking and also examination of these newly found genes in humans afflicted with the disease.

The study is published in PLOS Genetics. (ANI)

Being 'cruel to be kind' really works!

Updated: May 25, 2017 07:29 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 25 (ANI): Can making people feel bad really help them? Yes, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

DNA may have only modest impact on sexual assault arrests

Updated: May 24, 2017 19:06 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Most arrests in sexual assault cases occur before crime laboratory results are available, a new study found, suggesting that DNA testing may influence arrests in just a small number of cases.

Full Story >>

Your eyes can reveal if you have the post-disaster blues

Updated: May 24, 2017 16:01 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Turns out, your eyes really are the windows to your soul as a recent study has found that depression risk following a natural disaster can be predicted via pupil dilation.

Full Story >>

Size of whale has evolved in the recent past!

Updated: May 24, 2017 11:03 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 7 (ANI): Interestingly, blue whales, the largest vertebrate animal that ever lived, have recently evolved into giants.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 7 (ANI): A team of researchers discovered that deep portions of earth's mantle might be as hot as it was more than 2.5 billion years ago.

Full Story >>

Death by Kissing Bugs more common than thought: Study

Updated: May 22, 2017 13:26 IST     

New York [USA], May 22 (ANI): Kissing Bugs, who like to bite humans around their lips and faces, as they sleep, are more dangerous than you have ever thought of.

Full Story >>

Now, deaf-blind can 'watch' television with this technology

Updated: May 21, 2017 14:15 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 21 (ANI): In a first, researchers have developed a new technology that types Braille or subtitles of television channels in real time and helps deaf-blind people "watch" television without intermediaries.

Full Story >>

Planting trees cannot replace cutting CO2 emissions!

Updated: May 18, 2017 17:15 IST     

New Delhi [INDIA], May 18 (ANI): According to a new study, growing plants and then storing CO2, taken up from the atmosphere, is no viable option to counteract unmitigated emissions from fossil fuel burning.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 17 (ANI): Large families and strong social ties may help female rhesus macaques live longer, by reducing their chances of dying by 2.3 percent in one year, reveals a new study.

Full Story >>

Turns out, 'drunk you' not that different from 'sober you'

Updated: May 16, 2017 07:21 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 16 (ANI): Your personality may change when you drink, but less than you think, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Researchers find ways to make solar energy affordable

Updated: May 14, 2017 21:20 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): In a recent study, researchers used data science to determine and predict the effects of exposure to weather and other conditions on materials in solar panels.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): Just like students choose their flatmates, Briton researchers have found that males of great tit birds are quiet selective when it comes to neighbourhood and opt to nest together with like-minded neighbours to improve their chances of survival.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A group of international scientists studying China's Yellow River has come up with an analytic formula that could help officials better predict and prevent its all-too-frequent floods, which threaten as many as 80 million people.

Full Story >>

'Winged' snakes once slithered the Earth

Updated: May 13, 2017 12:54 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A mysterious 5-million-year-old "winged serpent" has finally been identified as a new species of ancient snakes.

Full Story >>

Newly-found distant 'warm Neptune' has primitive atmosphere

Updated: May 12, 2017 10:33 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 12 (ANI): A team of scientists has discovered a distant Neptune-sized planet that has clear skies and an atmosphere almost entirely composed of hydrogen and helium, scientists have discovered.

Full Story >>

New 3-D printed 'bionic skin' lets robots 'feel'

Updated: May 11, 2017 12:27 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a revolutionary process for 3D printing stretchable electronic sensory devices that could give robots the ability to feel their environment.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): African lion is the next big cat species to become extinct as they have lost most of their prey, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

The hidden cost of helping your co-workers

Updated: May 10, 2017 19:56 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): If you're a co-worker who helps other, you are likely to feel good, but are those good feelings coming at a price?

Full Story >>

Scientists track brain developments of newborn babies

Updated: May 10, 2017 15:25 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): Researchers can now easily study how the human brain develops as scientists have published ground-breaking scans of newborn babies' brains.

Full Story >>

Device to check ripeness of tomatoes?

Updated: May 10, 2017 12:30 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): Future farmers may be zapping tomatoes with lasers!

Full Story >>