Marc G Airhart
Monday, 23 January 2017
Adron Harris, director of the Waggoner Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research, and his team mapped the differences in gene expression between an alcoholic's brain and a non-alcoholic's brain. They found that, as a person becomes dependent on alcohol, thousands of genes in their brains are turned up or down, like a dimmer switch on a lightbulb, compared to the same genes in a healthy person's brain. The scientists are now using an innovative technique to find drugs that can, in a sense, turn those switches back to their original settings and, they hope, revert an alcoholic's brain into a non-alcoholic brain. The work might help the millions of people who suffer with the emotional, financial and health consequences of alcoholism.
About the author
Marc Airhart is the Communications Coordinator for the College of Natural Sciences. A long time member of the National Association of Science Writers, he has written for national publications including Scientific American, Mercury, The Earth Scientist, Environmental Engineer & Scientist, and StarDate Magazine. He also spent 11 years as a writer and producer for the Earth & Sky radio series.