Friday, October 03, 2008

Drink Up

Ever think there’s a possible chance that mammals are alcoholic? Or even yet, that they can consume more than frat boys or any humans in general? Well a study shows that there are these tiny Malaysian mammals (size of a rat), the pen tail tree shrews, are regular drinkers of a naturally fermented palm “beer” locates in trees. The fermented palm is flowers that produce nectar with 3.8 alcohol strength; same level contents as most beers. What’s more amazing are that these Malaysian mammals tolerance are so high that don’t even get drunk after drinking the “beer” for two hours a night. Scientists have found that these “beers” are the tree shrews s main food source. A test has shown that consuming this much alcohol in other mammals can be very dangerous.

There's positives to consuming the fermented palm “beer” for the shrew and plants. The production of alcohol is a key component to the plant because it attracts the mammal to pollinate their flowers. Intake of alcohol can also lower the rate of having cardiovascular risk.

Ok, I just want to make sure that I am not promoting drinking whatsoever.

Thanks guys for commenting on my blog. I as all of you were also very surprised about the amount of alcohol intake from an extremely small mammal. These shrew have an efficient way to metabolizing alcohol than humans, but scientists are still unclear about how the metabolizing works. Experts believe that evolution may be involved because the shrew and the tree palm both belong to the ancient lineage, so the shrew may evolve an efficient detoxifying pathways. There are also six other species that consume the flowers for alcohol intake as their food source, but at a smaller amount. The pen tail shrew never moved like they were drunk as researchers been monitoring these creatures. These mammal can become a break-through to helping alcohol abuse. "This discovery will probably not lead directly to a cure for human alcoholism in the sense that they have something that we can copy and are less vulnerable, Dr Frank Wiens tells the Telegraph.

- David Huynh (3)


At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is something new. Never would of peg a mammal as an alcoholic, but hey the times are changing. Do you think that if the pen tail tree shrews drank another kind of alcohol, that they may in fact get sick or have some kind of un-welcomed reaction. I wonder if it only relates to this one specific tree because of the synergistic relationships between the two organisms. Do you know of any other mammal that on an everyday basis drink some form of alcohol?

Katie Cole

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a really interesting article, since the alcohol seems to have little effect on them I wonder how their bodies manage it. Seemingly, since they are so small they must process it much differently than humans do. Do you know anything about this?

Erica Damon

At 10:28 AM, Blogger PWH said...

It is amazing that consuming this much alcohol does not harm them. Since it would harm other mammals I am wondering who these malaysian mammals predators are? If the alcohol is their main food source would that end of hurting their predators? Or is it possible that they do not have that many predators because of this?

-Tara Quist

At 11:19 AM, Blogger PWH said...

This is an interesting topic. It's unbelievable that these little animals can maintain so much alcohol. I wonder what is exactly responsible for allowing this large amount of alcohol intake to not affect these little animals.

Chantal Gomes

At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Because the species is considered similar to the ancient ancestors of all primates, its 55-million-year bender suggests that our own taste for alcohol might predate the known advent of brewing some 9,000 years ago." Quoted from the same article.

Alcoholism is a part of evolution? Perhaps studying the addicting affects of alcohol on other primates would shine some light on the evolutionary significance of alcohol abuse or addictions in general.

Jordan Grinstein

At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting and pretty entertaining. This is not the bats main source of nutrients is it?

Ericka Adey

At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting article. How do the bats process the huge amount of alcohol? Do they just have an incredibly high level of enzymes or does their body function differently from other mammals? Is it their main source of food?

Hanbing Guo

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wondering how their bodies process this "alcohol"? Does it affect their liver or brain in any way?
Do you think that because they drink so much, their bodies have evolutionized to survive with high levels of alcohol?
This is very interesting because most people tend to assume that humans are the most "complex" organisms, but here is an organism that can drink large amounts of alcohol and not be affected.
The body of humans on the other hand, get all out of sync with the smallest amount of alcohol.

Brena Sena

At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only do I find it find it interesting that a flower/fruits produce that much alcohol content, but that fact that there tiny Malaysian mammals can intake that much alcohol and not get “drunk.” Just wondering if they have tested long enough to see how much of these fruits do these tiny mammals have to eat in order for them to get drunk. Infect do they ever get alcohol poisoning or are the saseptable to alcohol poisoning.

Tenzing Y. Dundutsang

At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is definitely an unusual topic! What I'd like to know here is what part of their body processes the alcohol and how does it affect them? In humans, we use our liver to process the amount of alcohol in our blood but it is considered a toxin that gets us drunk. For this animal, their bodies have clearly adapted to taking in this much alcohol. Maybe the alcohol to their bodies is like water to ours.

Posted by Sarah Moltzen

At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to read over this one a few times. but this is a very interesting article. however if it is there native food source i could imagine they would be used to it. but us humans are only brewing it for a evolutionary short time.
-Matthew Sousa


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