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: New therapy against rare gene defects

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

New therapy against rare gene defects

Apr 15, 2014

On 15th April is the 1st International Pompe Disease Day, a campaign to raise awareness of this rare but severe gene defect. Pompe Disease is only one of more than 40 metabolic disorders that mainly affect children under ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Melting during cooling period

(Phys.org) —A University of Maine research team says stratification of the North Atlantic Ocean contributed to summer warming and glacial melting in Scotland during the period recognized for abrupt cooling ...