Mighty Natural

What you need to know about the role your skin plays

What you need to know about the role your skin plays

Sara Brown, Professor of Molecular and Genetic Dermatology, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, University of Dundee
Cancer pain can be eased by palliative radiation therapy

Cancer pain can be eased by palliative radiation therapy

Jonathan Klein, Radiation Oncologist and Assistant Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Why some people can't stop running, according to sport psychology

Why some people can't stop running, according to sport psychology

Andrew Wood, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology, Staffordshire University
Marijuana is a lot more than just THC

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC

James David Adams, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Southern California
Doctors need to talk through treatment options better for black men with prostate cancer

Doctors need to talk through treatment options better for black men with prostate cancer

Rajesh Balkrishnan, Professor, Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia
Vaping is an urgent threat to public health

Vaping is an urgent threat to public health

Elliott M. Reichardt, Research Associate, University of Calgary

How Alcohol Triggers DNA Changes That Increase Cravings

How Alcohol Triggers DNA Changes That Increase CravingsBinge and heavy drinking may trigger a long-lasting genetic change, resulting in an even greater craving for alcohol, according to a new study.

“We found that people who drink heavily may be changing their DNA in a way that makes them crave alcohol even more,” says senior author Dipak K. Sarkar, a professor in and the director of the endocrine program in the animal sciences department at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

“This may help explain why alcoholism is such a powerful addiction, and may one day contribute to new ways to treat alcoholism or help prevent at-risk people from becoming addicted.”

In 2016, more than 3 million people died from the harmful use of alcohol, according a World Health Organization report. That’s 5 percent of all global deaths. More than three-quarters of alcohol-caused deaths were among men. The harmful use of alcohol also caused 5.1 percent of the worldwide toll of disease and injuries.

Researchers focused on two genes implicated in the control of drinking behavior: PER2, which influences the body’s biological clock, and POMC, which regulates our stress-response system.

By comparing groups of moderate, binge, and heavy drinkers, the researchers found that an alcohol-influenced gene modification process called methylation changed the two genes in the binge and heavy drinkers. The binge and heavy drinkers also showed reductions in gene expression, or the rate at which these genes create proteins. These changes increased with greater alcohol intake.

Additionally, in an experiment, the drinkers viewed stress-related, neutral, or alcohol-related images. Researchers also showed them containers of beer and subsequently tasted beer, and their motivation to drink was evaluated. The result: alcohol-fueled changes in the genes of binge and heavy drinkers were associated with a greater desire for alcohol.

The findings may eventually help researchers identify biomarkers—measurable indicators such as proteins or modified genes—that could predict an individual’s risk for binge or heavy drinking, says Sarkar.

The research appears in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Source: Rutgers University

Long-term Effects Of Binge Drinking

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Health & Wellness

Doctors need to talk through treatment options better for black men with prostate cancer

Doctors need to talk through treatment options better for black men with prostate cancer

Rajesh Balkrishnan, Professor, Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia

Fitness & Exercise

Should Children And Adolescents Lift Weights?

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