Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Anthropology Series: Drunken Monkey Style

I am so glad that research dollars at the National Institutes of Health are being put to valuable use on crucial research:
Monkeys drink more alcohol when housed alone, and some like to end a long day in the lab with a boozy cocktail, according to a new analysis of alcohol consumption among members of a rhesus macaque social group.

The study, recently published in the journal Methods, also found that booze affects monkeys much the same way it affects people.
WOW! Really? Who would have thought?
"It was not unusual to see some of the monkeys stumble and fall, sway, and vomit," Chen added. "In a few of our heavy drinkers, they would drink until they fell asleep."
Amazing. Not only do they look like us -- they even APE us in their drunkenness!?
In yet another study, the scientists gave a group of male monkeys 24-hour access to the beverage dispensers. According to the researchers, a spike in consumption immediately followed the facility’s working hours.

"Like humans, monkeys are more likely to drink after stressful periods, such as soon after the daily 8-5 testing hours and after a long week of testing," said Chen.
To be fair, the NIH researchers say that they are going to be looking for cures or treatments for alcoholism in humans. I still think they're probably just making bets on which monkeys will make out drunkenly after getting sloshed. It must be fun to watch the monkeys try to clamber around their cages hammered. Where is PETA on this? [Article from Discovery]


Justin said...

I grew up right next to NIH and many of my friends' parents worked there. One time my friend Dan's dad (who worked there) was driving us somewhere, and as we passed by NIH there was a group of protesters holding up sings that said "Honk if You're Against Animal Cruelty", etc. My friend Dan's dad (who was usually a fairly quiet guy) rolled down the window and screamed, "How about your f*cking kid? Would you rather they test on him?"

Octopus Grigori said...

A valid point made by your friend Dan's dad. I think it depends on the kid.