Teasing apart the causes and effects of drinking is therefore something I expect craft brewers have a strong interest in, and a researcher at Idaho State may be able to help them out.
Fred Risinger never gives his eastern Idaho bar patrons a last call -- but then his customers are mice. Some are teetotalers who eschew the mouse-sized shots of alcohol they can obtain at any time simply by pressing a lever in their cage. Others Risinger describes as "your wine with dinner mice." And some are raging alcoholics, downing, in human terms, several fifths of liquor each day.Remember the old slogan?--"Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one." This isn't the attitude craft brewers want to encourage. It would be cool if alcoholism could be a treatable disease in the future.
Risinger, an Idaho State University professor, said what makes the alcohol cravings in the individual mice different is the same thing that makes the alcohol cravings in humans different: genetics.
His goal is to find the right combination of drugs to short-circuit those genetic cravings that would lead the heavy drinkers, first with mice and then humans, to be able to turn away from alcohol.