Facebook   Twitter    YouTube    RSS Feed    Android App    iPhone and iPad App     BlackBerry App    
Subscribe to Newsletter


  • Barfies: Sex and Booze


    Guys, when your sweetheart says "No thanks" to sex, do you knock back a few stiff drinks to feel better? Turns out fruit flies do pretty much the same thing.

    That's the word from a new study that may explain why both species react that way.

    In Friday's issue of the journal Science, researchers propose a biological explanation for why "Not tonight, dear" may lead to "Gimme another beer." If it proves true in people, it may help scientists find new medications to fight alcoholism.

    In that case, we can thank thousands of frustrated flies.

    One by one, these eager Lotharios were put into a container with a female that had just mated. So she was really, really not interested in doing it again anytime soon. She would run away. She would kick the male. She would stick out her egg-laying organ to hold him at bay.

    The male flies went through three hour-long sessions of this every day for four days, enough rejection to discourage them from trying any more.

    After that experience, rejected flies were put in vials and given a choice of regular food or alcohol-laced food. They consistently went for the alcohol more than did the male flies that had just mated. In fact, they evidently got drunk.

    Some rejected males were moved to a different environment, where groups of guys mingled with receptive females. After the guys had sex, their yen for alcohol declined.

    The researchers also paired thousands of other male flies with dead virgin females, so that they didn't experience rejection but didn't have sex either. They still drank alcohol.

    What's going on here?

    The researchers did other work that implicates a substance in the fly brain called NPF. They theorize that pleasurable activities like having sex boost the activity of brain circuits that use NPF, and that feels good. If a fly is denied sex, the system goes into deficit, driving the fly to seek other rewarding activities such as drinking alcohol.

    "I think it's a pretty good bet that it will translate to humans," said Ulrike Heberlein of the University of California, San Francisco, who led the research. If so, "one can say we could now understand why a negative experience, such as a sexual rejection, could drive somebody to drink."

    Further research into NPF brain circuitry could shed light on the biology of alcohol abuse and possibly point to treatments someday, said Troy Zars of the University of Missouri in Columbia, who didn't participate in the new work.

    Fruit flies are a favorite lab animal in part because scientists have exquisite control over their biology. Here, the researchers were able to alter brain function to zero in on NPF's role.

    Whatever the relevance to humans, the work already pays off when Heberlein meets people at parties.

    "It makes for wonderful conversation," she said. "When you tell them this story, they just really can't believe it."
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. rpm's Avatar
      rpm -
      Guys, when your sweetheart says "No thanks" to sex, do you knock back a few stiff drinks to feel better? Turns out fruit flies do pretty much the same thing.

      That's the word from a new study that may explain why both species react that way.

      In Friday's issue of the journal Science, researchers propose a biological explanation for why "Not tonight, dear" may lead to "Gimme another beer." If it proves true in people, it may help scientists find new medications to fight alcoholism.
    1. ponder's Avatar
      ponder -
    1. Picard's Avatar
      Picard -
      So this is why I'm drinking so much.
    1. Ninja'd's Avatar
      Ninja'd -
      I fap instead.
    1. Mike Hoxbig's Avatar
      Mike Hoxbig -
      Quote Originally Posted by ponder View Post
      I forgot how bad 80s special effects was. That movie had me freaked out as a lighty, but it's a hoot now.
    1. Sinbad's Avatar
      Sinbad -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hoxbig View Post
      I forgot how bad 80s special effects was. That movie had me freaked out as a lighty, but it's a hoot now.
      hell me too. It was HORRENDOUS back then!
    1. rorz0r's Avatar
      rorz0r -
      Quote Originally Posted by rpm View Post
      In Friday's issue of the journal Science, researchers propose a biological explanation for why "Not tonight, dear" may lead to "Gimme another beer." If it proves true in people, it may help scientists find new medications to fight alcoholism.
      "Be back in an hour honey. The doc prescribed me some sex, to be taken in the mornings and evenings."
  • 300x250 advertisement

  • Recent Articles

    rpm-1

    Booze for hire



    A Latvian company's scheme to circumvent liquor laws by hiring out rather than selling alcoholic drinks backfired on Thursday when tax authorities pulled its license and launched an audit.

    Categories: General SA News 
    rpm 24-07-2014 04:37 PM Go to last post
    rpm-1

    Ramaphosa speaks about Die Stem



    South African leaders need to reach out to those in the Afrikaans-speaking and African communities on their concerns about singing the full national anthem, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

    Categories: General SA News 
    rpm 24-07-2014 04:18 PM Go to last post
    rpm-1

    Don't fear national minimum wage: Ramaphosa



    Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday warned against "angst" over the proposed introduction of a national minimum wage.

    Categories: General SA News 
    rpm 24-07-2014 02:15 PM Go to last post
    rpm-1

    Kyalami sold for R205 million



    The Kyalami race circuit, which has hosted racing greats including Ayrton Senna, was sold at an auction for R205 million in Johannesburg on Thursday.

    Categories: General SA News 
    rpm 24-07-2014 02:12 PM Go to last post