Latest Ulrike Heberlein Stories

2011-02-10 08:26:27

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy put their babies at risk for fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) a disorder that damages the developing baby's brain. Despite the severe consequences of drinking while pregnant, mothers-to-be continue their damaging habits- up to 3 in every 1000 babies are born with FAS. FAS causes behavioral problems, growth defects, intellectual disabilities, and abnormal facial features. Previously, it was unsure how alcohol causes these effects,...

2011-02-08 12:37:57

Scientists use fruit flies to study how prenatal alcohol exposure causes FAS Drinking excess alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) due to the damaging effects of alcohol on a developing baby's brain. Despite its harmful effects, pregnant mothers continue to drink alcohol "“ up to 3 in every 1000 babies are born with FAS, which causes intellectual disabilities, behavioral problems, growth defects and abnormal facial features. How alcohol causes these effects is...

2009-12-10 13:39:53

When given the chance to consume alcohol at will, fruit flies behave in ways that look an awful lot like human alcoholism. That's according to a study published online on December 10th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, that is one of the first to consider alcohol self-administration in the insects. "The flies choose to consume alcohol to intoxicating levels, they will do so even if alcohol is made unpalatable, and they relapse to drinking high levels of alcohol after being...

2009-05-25 14:15:13

Rats given a cancer-fighting drug spontaneously consume less alcohol, U.S. researchers say. However, the rat's taste for another rewarding beverage -- sugar water -- is unaffected. The researchers say erlotinib -- a drug used to treat non-small cell lung cancer -- makes fruit flies and rats more sensitive to alcohol. This is a very powerful example of how simple model organisms -- and the little fruit fly in particular -- can be used to move quickly from an unknown gene to a potential...

2009-05-21 13:26:41

A class of drugs already approved as cancer treatments might also help to beat alcohol addiction. That's the conclusion of a discovery in flies of a gene, dubbed happyhour, that has an important and previously unknown role in controlling the insects' response to alcohol. Animals with a mutant version of the gene grow increasingly resistant to alcohol's sedative effects, the research shows. The researchers report further evidence that the gene normally does its work by blocking the so-called...

2005-08-11 13:31:04

By Alison McCook NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Fruit flies carry a gene - aptly named 'hangover' - that appears to help them become tolerant to alcohol. Tolerance is thought to promote dependence, so if a similar gene is found in humans, it might lead to drugs to treat or prevent alcoholism. In the journal Nature, researchers report that only fruit flies that carry a functioning 'hangover' gene develop a tolerance for alcohol. "If humans have a gene that has a function similar to that...

Word of the Day
  • Good cheer; viands.
  • To revel; to feast.
The word 'bellycheer' may come from 'belle cheer', "good cheer".