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Genetically engineered worms can't get drunk


Posted on Friday, 18 July, 2014 | Comment icon 25 comments

Is the invention of a sobriety pill on the horizon ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
Scientists have produced a worm with altered genes that is incapable of ever becoming intoxicated.
Created by neuroscientists at the University of Texas, the worms never show any signs of drunkenness no matter how much alcohol their bodies absorb.

The key lies in the modification of what are known as "human alcohol targets", molecular channels that bind alcohol within the body and trigger all the usual behaviors that we tend to associate with intoxication.

For the worms this type of drunken behavior tends to manifest as an inability to move around smoothly and a complete disinterest in procreation.

"This is the first example of altering a human alcohol target to prevent intoxication in an animal," said study author Jon Pierce-Shimomura. "We got pretty lucky and found a way to make the channel insensitive to alcohol without affecting its normal function."

It is believed that this research could one day lead to the development of a James Bond style sobriety pill, making it possible for a human to drink any quantity of alcohol without ever becoming drunk.

Source: Independent | Comments (25)

Tags: Worm, Alcohol, Sobriety

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by little_dreamer on 19 July, 2014, 1:31
Worms love tequila. .... Pity the poor worm who can't even enjoy the booze that he's drowning in.
Comment icon #17 Posted by libstaK on 19 July, 2014, 3:07
neither can normal worms ? how can a worm even attempt to get drunk anyway? ive been alive 34years and never seen a drunk worm in my life? ive never once seen in worm wriggle into my local and say 'can I have have a pint please'? Well worms do feed on the fallen fruits of various flora which no doubt ripen and ferment on the ground under various natural conditions, I think worms probably do get drunk - they might even be prone to being complete alcoholics depending on their particular "terrritory" and diet.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Michelle on 19 July, 2014, 3:31
I've known some women who had this mutation. It's impressive to witness... but not to finance. My momma always said she didn't have to worry about a man getting me drunk and taking advantage of me. She trained me well.
Comment icon #19 Posted by SirSethers on 20 July, 2014, 1:24
So are these genetically altered worms going to be the pill we eat in order to stay sober?
Comment icon #20 Posted by SaraT on 21 July, 2014, 1:07
What then would be the payoff for destroying your liver, if you couldn't get roaring drunk? :/
Comment icon #21 Posted by Lucason on 21 July, 2014, 17:59
really? with all the money and resources we have this is what our greatest minds are doing. Drunk Free Worms?? common ppl get back to work and stop puffin of the magic dragon
Comment icon #22 Posted by Calle on 21 July, 2014, 20:58
first worms next humans, if people can't get drunk, there is no need to make alcohol, 1 problem is solved.
Comment icon #23 Posted by jmccr8 on 22 July, 2014, 3:41
Hello Tequila jmccr8
Comment icon #24 Posted by George Ford on 22 July, 2014, 17:47
Wait, so it only stops the neurological effects of alcohol. It would mean you get all the damage to your digestive system and liver, kidneys and skin etc, but just not get drunk? Seems pretty pointless. Now create magic worms that can be turned into pills to make me drunk with none of the physical damaging effects of alcohol and I'll be 1st in line to test it!
Comment icon #25 Posted by RaymondEternal on 4 August, 2014, 13:14
*Plot twist* the dna used came from Humans...


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