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



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.

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

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content