"Lightweight" mice are also "mildly hyperactive when exposed to a novel environment and are smaller than wild-type animals." It's amazing how much you can learn about human drunkenness from abnormal mice.
The "lightweight" mice share the gene unc-79 with humans, though it is not yet known if this gene is also responsible for drunken behavior and alcoholism in mankind.
"Nobody has ever studied these genes in humans before," notes research leader professor David Speca of UCSF's Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center.
"There's a chance that they are part of a new and relatively unexplored
biochemical pathway that may tell us something about human
susceptibility to alcoholism."
No news on whether lightweight mice grew maudlin, became overly affectionate, or careened about drunkenly in their rodent wheels.
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