Flies on meth burn through sugar | Science News

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Flies on meth burn through sugar

Cellular effects may explain why addicts often have a sweet tooth

5:56pm, April 20, 2011

A famous antidrug ad compares the brain on drugs to a frying egg. Now, a new study gives a broad look at how methamphetamine might scramble the entire body.

In one of the broadest surveys yet, U.S. researchers have illustrated the many genetic and cellular impacts of meth exposure in fruit flies. In addition to likely wreaking havoc on muscles and sperm, the drug seems to kick fly sugar metabolism into overdrive, the group reports online April 20 in PLoS ONE.

“One tends to think of methamphetamine as being a drug of abuse largely for fairly advanced organisms,” says Desmond Smith, a geneticist at UCLA who was not involved in this study. “It was quite nifty to try and look at what’s happening in the humble fly.”

Though flies and people are very different beasts, meth appears to tweak some of the same basic biochemical networks in both, says Barry Pittendrigh, a coauthor of the new report. And while the fruit fly Dros

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content