Neuroscientists have created mutant worms that don't get intoxicated by alcohol, by inserting a modified human alcohol target into the worms.
An alcohol target is any neuronal molecule that binds alcohol, of which there are many.
One important aspect of this modified alcohol target, a neuronal channel called the BK channel, is that the mutation only affects its response to alcohol. The BK channel typically regulates many important functions including activity of neurons, blood vessels, the respiratory tract and bladder. The alcohol-insensitive mutation does not disrupt these functions at all.
The work that could lead to new drugs to treat the symptoms of people going through alcohol withdrawal.