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Sexual Deprivation Increases Ethanol Intake in Drosophila

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Science  16 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6074, pp. 1351-1355
DOI: 10.1126/science.1215932

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  • Ethanol —— a double-edged sword on human health
    • Qiuyun Liu, Professor, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Improved Variety Reproduction in Aquatic Economic Animals, Sun Yat-sen University
    • Other Contributors:
      • Gang Li, Professor, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
      • Yue Xiao, Student, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
      • Liang Cui, Student, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China

    Wine brewing has a long tradition. Attenuated respiratory chain accompanying a normal Krebs cycle may characterize age-related diseases, leading to the accumulation of organic acids including oxalate. Insoluble and rigid salts are formed between oxalate and numerous metal ions that can do damage to cells (1-2). Compounds with similar structure to oxalate such as ethanol and acetic acid could extend lifespan after moderate intake (3-4). Another structurally related compound glyoxylate is commonly used in skin care products in the removal of age-related wrinkles. Wine has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to keep warm, and treat limb numbness and other symptoms. Ethanol possesses a hydroxyl group whose oxygen atom forms potent hydrogen bonds with protons. The local buildup of HCl can be mutagenic to DNA (5-7), and therefore ethanol is slightly carcinogenic to sensitive people after overconsumption (8-9). Augmented proton traffic and proton antiport induced by ethanol may have other negative consequences on human health as a result of increased osmotic pressure or acidosis.

    Yue Xiao, 1,2 Gang Li, 1,2 Liang Cui, 1,2 Qiuyun Liu 1,*
    1. Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Improved Variety Reproduction in Aquatic Economic Animals, State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, Biotechnology Research Center, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China.
    2. Equal contribution.

    *Correspondence author.
    E-mail address:...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.