NIH Spent Over $300,000 In 2017 To Get Rodents Drunk

Julia Cohen | Reporter

The National Institutes of Health funded a $341,004 project to get prairie voles drunk in order to simulate human drunkenness, according to the NIH website.

“We have initiated studies analyzing effects of social environment on alcohol consumption and … sex-dependent effects of voluntary alcohol consumption on the formation of male-female bonds in prairie voles,” the NIH report on the project states.

The project report states that the experiment uses prairie voles to simulate human relationships because “many features of [human] social bonding can be modeled using socially monogamous prairie voles.” (RELATED: Toddler Dies After Drunk Driving Illegal Immigrant Smashes Into Ambulance)

So far, the study has found that “voluntary alcohol consumption inhibited formation of partner presence in male animals, but facilitated partner preferences in females.”

The study also found that when only one rodent in a monogamous pair drank alcohol, their relationship with their sober partner suffered, according to a November 2017 article from EurekAlert!

“During the social connection test, males who had drunk alone spent less time with their original female partner, whereas those who had never drunk or those who had drunk alongside their partner huddled with them for longer,” the EurekAlert article stated.

The project, which was done by Oregon Health & Science University, has been ongoing since May 1, 2011 and is set to end in January 2022, according to the NIH website.

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