Scientists Create Worm That Can’t Get DRUNK While Researching Drug to Combat Alcohol Abuse

Researchers say tests on worms could lead to treatment for alcoholics and even help spies dupe rivals at the poker table

Try saying this when drunk:

Try saying this when drunk: the worm caenorhabditis elegans


Scientists looking for a drug to make humans immune to the effects of alcohol have created a worm that can’t get drunk.

The worms, Caenorhabditis elegans, were mutated by biologists to withstand the side effects of consuming so much of the liquid.

It has long been a holy grail of pharmaceutical companies to create a drug that helps combat alcohol disorders.

Jon Pierce-Shimomura, assistant professor in the University of Texas’ College of Natural Sciences and Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research and author of the study, said the worms’ ‘cravings’ are reduced.

Prof Pierce-Shimomura said: “We got pretty lucky and found a way to make the channel insensitive to alcohol without affecting its normal function.

“Our findings provide exciting evidence that future pharmaceuticals might aim at this portion of the alcohol target to prevent problems in alcohol abuse disorders.”

The research has other potential uses – M15 could be interested in its possible role in spying.

Prof Pierce-Shimomura added: “The research could even be used to develop a ‘James Bond’ drug someday, which would enable a spy to drink his opponent under the table, without getting drunk himself.

“Such a drug could potentially be used to treat alcoholics, since it would counteract the intoxicating and potentially addicting effects of the alcohol.”

Scientists say the worms, Caenorhabditis elegans, are actually quiet good at getting drunk – they start to crawl slower and, unlike the average clubber on a Saturday night, they move in a STRAIGHTER line.

The research was published in The Journal of Neuroscience, which reports that mice might be next in trials.

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