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Alcohol Roundup

September 22, 2006

Scientists have found several genes linked to alcoholism.


Genes for alcoholism. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have finished a comprehensive scan of the human genome in search of genes linked to alcoholism. They found that as many as 51 regions might play a role in making people susceptible to alcohol abuse. They hope their findings will help them understand all sorts of addictions and lead to better prevention and treatment.

In related news, scientists have found that the average alcohol content of beer, wine, and liquor sold in the United States has gone down since the 1950s. They say people now choose mixed drinks and light beer over stiffer drinks like whiskey that were common in the 50s. But people drink more now, so the total amount of alcohol consumed is in fact slightly more than it was in the 50s.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.