Male fruit flies rejected by their female counterparts drown their sorrows in alcohol, according to a new study published in Science.
Scientists let a group of male flies look at the females, but didn't allow some of them to mate. Afterward, they found that the frustrated flies preferred food spiked with alcohol far more than their satisfied peers.
If that behavior sounds a lot like the way rejected human males act, that's because the brain chemical that caused the effect -- neuropeptide F -- is very similar to a chemical called neuropeptide Y that has been linked to drinking in people. The lower the level of NPF, the stronger the flies' appetite for alcohol became.
According to neurobiologists, the study suggests that a drug designed to increase NPY activity in humans could help reduce drinking.