This St. Patrick's Day, the drunkest guy in the room might also be the loneliest one.
A new study found that male fruit flies that were rejected by females prefer alcohol. Sounds familiar. Research published this week in the journal Science discovered that, when presented with a food “mash” soaked with alcohol and one without, rejected man-flies preferred the hooch.
The California-based work was led by …
… former UC San Francisco neuroscientist Galit Shohat-Ophir.
The academic and his team split 24 male flies into two groups, allowing one to have at with 20 females “that were ready to mate;” the others got females that had already mated and would automatically reject them.
The result is the group of rejects had a “high preference” for the alcohol-soaked food placed in front of them and the satiated dude-flies had an “aversion” to the alco-eats, according to Shohat-Ophir.
In fact, those un-sexed fruit flies drank four times more alcohol than the ones that got some.
What's more, the poor loser flies had half the amount of neuropeptide F (NPF), a chemical in the brain that regulates alcohol, as the studs. Shohat-Ophir says NPF “is necessary to mediate this link between sex and alcohol … “
So, back to that guy at the end of the bar. Is he self-medicating, self-loathing and self-absorbed after being laughed at by a lady? Or is he putting on beer goggles so he can lower his standards?
It remains to be seen. Shohat-Ophir:
Our results certainly don't translate directly from flies to humans, but it does bring up questions and suggest future studies.
One thing's for sure: Beer is clearly a guy's go-to plan B.