With Worms

Stay in Touch; 7/5/10, SMH

Tiny worms which took “hair of the dog” to treat their hangovers exposed themselves to increased alcohol dependency. Just like people. Neuroscientists from Britain’s University of Southampton found that the nerve cells of one-millimetre worms exhibited the same symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and dependency as humans. Video footage showed the worms became overactive in alcohol withdrawal and showed spontaneous and deep body bends – a behaviour rarely seen in “teetotal” worms. The behaviour eased when they were given small doses of alcohol, which in turn increased their dependency.”This research … enables us to define how alcohol affects signalling in nerve circuits which leads to changes in behaviour,” Professor Lindy Holden- Dye said.