Forlorn Fruit Flies Turn to Drink
A new study by American scientists has discovered that lonely fruit flies who fail to find romance drown their sorrows in alcohol.
Though study chief Troy Zars of the University of Missouri said the findings weren’t yet totally conclusive the BBC said reported that the ‘sex-starved’ flies’ actions matched the behaviour of similarly frustrated ‘hard-drinking mice’ (http://bbc.in/xSuHiY ). The Guardian was more empathetic.
“Male fruit flies, when rejected by females, turn to alcohol. They are far more likely to booze than their happy, consummated peers,” said the paper (in a feature headlined ‘in praise of fruit flies.’
“How poignant to discover that humans and Drosophila melanogastershare . . . react to disappointment in love in the same sad, time-honoured way,” the paper added. (http://bit.ly/GG2xZC )
Details of the fruit flies’ tragic lives were revealed weeks after scientists published research on honeybees which suggested that scout bees are more adventurous than stay at home hive bees, sharing genetic traits with humans who are thrill-seekers.
Entomologist Gene Robinson of the University of Illinois said they discovered ‘massive differences’ in gene structures between bees and compared them to the ‘same molecular pathways implicated in novelty-seeking in humans’.
“In people, for example, dopamine has been linked to the reward system,” Science News reported, “reinforcing the pleasure of doing certain activities.” http://bit.ly/xv358j
The journal said evidence suggests squids also have highly developed personalities like honeybees, having uncovered individual members of each species who consistently seek new experiences more than their risk-averse kin.
“In animals, scientists call that “novelty-seeking,” Science News noted, “While people who exhibit similar traits get labels like “extrovert.”
Jonty Skrufff: http://listn.to/JontySkrufff