Hexbyte Glen Cove Honeybees show withdrawal symptoms when weaned off alcohol thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Honeybees show withdrawal symptoms when weaned off alcohol

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

A team of researchers from Jagiellonian University and the Polish Academy of Sciences has found that honeybees fed a diet of alcohol-spiked food exhibit withdrawal symptoms when the alcohol is removed. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the group describes experiments they conducted with honeybees and why they believe their findings are relevant to treatment of alcoholism in humans.

Prior research has found that studying the habits of other creatures can lead to new insights into —such research has sometimes involved the study of addiction in other animals. In this new effort, the researchers wondered about the impact of alcohol on —in the wild they are quite often exposed to naturally occurring alcohol in nectar.

To learn more about how alcohol might impact honeybees, the researchers set up several beehives in an area where their diet was restricted to the food given to them by the research team. The food for the bees consisted of a type of . Once the hives were set up, the researchers added a small amount of alcohol to the sucrose, which was consumed by the . The team allowed the bees to live on the alcohol-spiked sucrose for a significant period of time—long enough for them to become hooked on it. They then made the bees quit cold turkey and monitored how they behaved.

The researchers found that after the alcohol was withdrawn, the bees that worked inside the hive began eating more of the sucrose than they had before and experienced a small increase in mortality rates—an indication that they had developed a dependence on the alcohol. The researchers then resumed adding alcohol to the sucrose but in higher amounts—in some cases, increasing the alcohol concentrations to 20%. The bees reacted much like humans, exhibiting impaired locomotion and problems with foraging and learning new tasks.

The researchers also found that the bees that went out foraging had a higher tolerance for alcohol than the worker bees who remained in the hive. They suggest this indicates that the foragers had developed a resistance to as they encountered it so often as part of their job.

More information:
Monika Ostap-Chec et al, Discontinued alcohol consumption elicits withdrawal symptoms in honeybees, Biology Letters (2021). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2021.0182

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Honeybees show withdrawal symptoms when weaned off alcohol (2021, June 16)
retrieved 16 June 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-06-honeybees-symptoms-weaned-alcohol.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Social identity within the anti-vaccine movement thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Social identity within the anti-vaccine movement

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

A study of more than 1,000 demographically representative participants found that about 22 percent of Americans self-identify as anti-vaxxers, and tend to embrace the label as a form of social identity.

According to the study by researchers including Texas A&M University School of Public Health assistant professor Timothy Callaghan, 8 percent of this group “always” self-identify this way, with 14 percent “sometimes” identifying as part of the anti-vaccine movement. The results were published in the journal Politics, Groups, and Identities.

“We found these results both surprising and concerning,” Callaghan said. “The fact that 22 percent of Americans at least sometimes identify as was much higher than expected and demonstrates the scope of the challenge in vaccinating the population against COVID-19 and other .”

Researchers also found that participants who scored high on the anti-vaccine measure were less trusting of scientific experts and more individualistic. Additionally, study results show that there is increased opposition to childhood vaccine requirements among those who self-identify as anti-vaxxers.

The study serves as a “blueprint” for other researchers to further examine how socially identifying as an anti-vaxxer impacts health policies and public health. Callaghan notes that Americans socially identifying as anti-vaxxers adds another layer of complexity to mitigating the anti-vaccine movement. Changing a core feature of one’s underlying is a difficult task—one that likely cannot be fixed with traditional messaging.

Moving forward, Callaghan and other members of the research team hope to investigate how endorsement of the anti-vaccine label varies across the country based on states and levels of rurality, as well as interventions that might reduce individuals’ social attachment to the label.

More information:
Matt Motta et al, Identifying the prevalence, correlates, and policy consequences of anti-vaccine social identity, Politics, Groups, and Identities (2021). DOI: 10.1080/21565503.2021.1932528

Social identity within the anti-vaccine movement (2021, June 4)
retrieved 5 June 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-06-social-identity-anti-vaccine-movement.html

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