Heavy drinking may change DNA, leading to increased craving for alcohol

Medical Xpress | January 29, 2019

Binge and heavy drinking may trigger a long-lasting genetic change, resulting in an even greater craving for alcohol, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "We found that people who drink heavily may be changing their DNA in a way that makes them crave alcohol even more," said Distinguished Professor Dipak K. Sarkar, senior author of the study and director of the Endocrine Program in the Department of Animal Sciences 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 to a World Health Organization report. That is 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. Scientists at Rutgers and Yale University School of Medicine 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.

Spotlight

Over the last decade, improvements in next generation DNA sequencing technology have transformed the field of genomics, making it an essential tool in modern genetic and clinical research laboratories. The facility to sequence whole genomes or specific genomic regions of interest is delivering new insights into a variety of applications such as human health and disease, metagenomics, antimicrobial resistance, evolutionary biology, and crop breeding. One of the key steps of WGS is the accurate assembly of the vast amount of data generated into a contiguous stretch of DNA sequence. This review provides a background to the DNA assembly process and the associated advantages of long or ultra-long DNA read, as provided by nanopore sequencing technology

Spotlight

Over the last decade, improvements in next generation DNA sequencing technology have transformed the field of genomics, making it an essential tool in modern genetic and clinical research laboratories. The facility to sequence whole genomes or specific genomic regions of interest is delivering new insights into a variety of applications such as human health and disease, metagenomics, antimicrobial resistance, evolutionary biology, and crop breeding. One of the key steps of WGS is the accurate assembly of the vast amount of data generated into a contiguous stretch of DNA sequence. This review provides a background to the DNA assembly process and the associated advantages of long or ultra-long DNA read, as provided by nanopore sequencing technology

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