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50 Years Ago

50 years ago, alcohol use was linked to several gene variants

Excerpt from the December 24, 1966, issue of Science News

3:30pm, December 15, 2016
people toasting

BOTTOMS UP  Genes affect how much alcohol people drink, but researchers haven’t yet found all of them. There may be hundreds.

A case for genetic drinking

Whether one drinks at all, how much and how often are partly due to heredity, [according to a Finnish study of 902 male twins].… A genetic element in alcoholism “seems highly plausible,” [researchers] said.… Surprisingly, genes also have much to do with creating an abstainer. Lack of control — which should resemble alcoholism — is no single gene, but a group of traits. — Science News, December 24, 1966


As the Finnish researchers predicted, how much or how little someone drinks may be influenced by many genes. A study of rats published August 4 in PLOS Genetics

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