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Male fruit flies that have been rejected by females drink significantly more alcohol than those that have mated freely, scientists say.
In an article in Science, researchers suggest that alcohol stimulates the flies' brains as a "reward" in a similar way to sexual conquest. The work points to a brain chemical called neuropeptide F, which seems to be regulated by the flies' behaviour. Human brains have a similar chemical, which may react in a similar way. The connection between alcohol and this chemical, which in humans is known as neuropeptide Y, has already been noted in studies involving hard-drinking mice.