Scientists study worm for nicotine habit

Nov 03, 2006

A tiny worm may provide big answers for modeling the genetics of nicotine dependence, said researchers at the University of Michigan.

The 1-millimeter C. elegans nematode is strikingly similar to humans in its susceptibility to nicotine, the university said in a news release. This discovery should allow researchers to better understand how nicotine dependence works and possibly lead to ways to block the cravings that humans experience.

The research team found that the nematode could get hooked on nicotine as well as respond to nicotine exposure, tolerance, sensitization and withdrawal -- similar to humans, the university said.

Researchers said the worm's response paralleled humans', but identifying the gene that triggered the behavior in both was easier in the worm.

When researchers blocked or removed the gene from the worm, it didn't responded to nicotine exposures, the university said. When the gene was reintroduced, the nicotine sensitivity resumed.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Telomere extension turns back aging clock in cultured human cells, study finds

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tons of released drugs taint US water

Apr 20, 2009

(AP) -- U.S. manufacturers, including major drugmakers, have legally released at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into waterways that often provide drinking water - contamination the federal government ...

Snail toxins reveal novel way to fight severe nerve pain

Nov 13, 2006

A brand new approach to treating severe nerve pain – by aiming drugs at a previously unrecognized molecular target – has been discovered by University of Utah scientists who study the venoms of deadly, ...

Scientists Test Anti-obesity Vaccine

Jul 31, 2006

In what may be the first published breakthrough of its kind in the global battle against obesity, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have developed an anti-obesity vaccine that significantly slowed weight gain and ...

Recommended for you

Gene may open door for improved keloid, scar treatment

Jan 23, 2015

Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have identified a gene that may offer a better understanding of how keloid scars develop and potentially open the door to improved treatment for the often painful, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.