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Scientists claim even consuming alcohol within weekly 'low-risk' guidelines can harm your health

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Scientists have claimed that even consuming alcohol within weekly'low-risk' guidelines can harm one's health -- and even cause hospitalisation or death. The researchers from Canada warned that moderate drinkers are not'insulated from harm' -- and that they account for significant numbers of alcohol-related issues. For example, their investigation found that 50 per cent of cancer deaths resulting from alcohol use in British Columbia occurred among moderate drinkers. Furthermore, 38 per cent of all alcohol-attributable deaths there were experienced by either people drinking below the weekly limit, or among former drinkers. Based on their findings, the researchers have suggested that the majority of countries should tighten their recommendations around alcohol -- the UK included.


Secret to persuading people to drink less wine at home is reducing bottle size

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Switching to smaller bottles of wine when drinking from home'significantly reduces' how much you'll get through in a session, according to researchers. Experts from the University of Cambridge looked at the effects varying wine bottle sizes had on the amount people would drink in a single sitting while at home. The team found that people buying 50cl (18oz) bottles of wine instead of the usual 75cl (26oz) bottles drank about 4.5 per cent less than they normally would. First authors Dr Eleni Mantzari and Saphsa Codling said smaller bottles made people feel they'd'finished their drinking session' when they reached the end of the bottle. For households drinking between 52 and 211 onces of wine per week, buying wine in 50cl bottles compared to 75cl bottles reduces consumption by 4.5 per cent.


Four brain genes help explain obsessive compulsive disorder

New Scientist

Four genes have been identified that are linked to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The genes all play a role in the same brain circuit, and may help explain why people are more likely to have OCD if they have a relative with the condition. People with OCD have intrusive thoughts and feel driven to repeat rituals, such as handwashing, to relieve their anxiety. To investigate if OCD has a genetic basis, Hyun Ji Noh at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and her colleagues compared more than 600 genes across 592 people with OCD, and 560 people who don't have it. They chose these candidate genes from several lines of evidence.



Scientists bred booze-dependent rats for decades discover genes linked to compulsive drinking

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Scientists have discovered 930 genes that drive the brain to compulsively crave drinks. They reached this conclusion after decades of breeding alcohol-dependent rats, who drank profusely. Comparing the genomes of these rats to sober rats, the team at Purdue University found stark differences. It suggests their bodies were biologically programmed to crave alcohol, according to lead author Dr William Muir. 'This research highlights that alcoholism in rats has a strong genetic component and is influenced by many hundreds of genes, each with small effects,' Dr Muir said.