The sequence analysis of the gene alcohol dehydrogenase 7 (ADH7) in 85 species of mammals showed that the most effective way metabolize alcohol primates and bats, reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Activity one of the enzymes that converts ethyl alcohol to acetaldehyde in different species may differ by orders of magnitude, so the transfer to man of research results of the alcohol obtained in other mammals, can lead to incorrect conclusions.
People consume beverages containing ethanol, for a long time. For example, on the territory of modern Israel beer brewed at least 13,000 years ago, although its appearance and taste was different. The ability and willingness of our species to drink alcohol associated with its evolutionary heritage: the ancestors of humans, like many other primates, eating fruits that ferment, if overripe. But other mammals caught on craving for alcohol: a long time it was believed that elephants in Africa especially eat fermented fruits to get drunk. However, 15-16 years ago, this view is actively challenged under the pretext that the early scientists were anthropomorphized elephants.
Employees of the canadian University of calgary, led by Amanda Melin (Melin Amanda) decided to evaluate the ability of different mammals to metabolize ethyl alcohol: the better developed it is, the more ethanol can theoretically eat the animal and not to poison and no sleep. Action C2H5OH neutralize the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) that convert this compound to acetaldehyde. They are encoded by different genes and expressed in different organs. The first acts ADH7, because this enzyme is produced mainly in the stomach, oral cavity and esophagus. Many other alcohol dehydrogenase are formed mostly in the liver and have been working with etanolsoderzhaschih food, and with alcohol getting into the blood. So the researchers compared the sequences of coding genes, ADH7, and not other enzymes of the same group.
Scientists selected data for gene ADH7 for 85 species of mammals from different groups: rodents, bats, primates, ungulates, Robotnik, raptors, cetaceans and others. They looked to see if the species that gene; if so, if there are mutations, of which alcohol dehydrogenase 7 may not function properly (e.g., stop codonsthat are not at the end of the gene, and earlier). Took into account dietary habits of the animal, the proportion of nectar and fruits in his diet. Theoretically, the more similar food eating mammal, the higher the chance to encounter ethanol in nature.