It may seem just conventional wisdom that a hard-knock life can drive you to drinking. But could you prove it scientifically? That’s what researchers at the US National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism set out to do in a bizarre study involving 97 rhesus macaque monkeys, reports the NEW SCIENTIST.
First, the scientists separated 40 of the monkeys from their mothers at birth to simulate a “difficult childhood.” Sure enough, when the researchers offered the motherless macaques a sweetened alcohol solution 3-5 years later, they lapped up the sauce more heavily than their family-values-raised counterparts. The results are straightforward — unlike, the MoJo Wire presumes, the problem of what to do with 40 emotionally-scarred, boozed-out primates.
Will the study prove useful? “We believe these results generalise to humans,” says one researcher, suggesting that stress-prone children could be identified and taught to cope from an early age to prevent future Alcoholics Anonymous candidacies. The monkeys, sprawled under the bar stools and slurring the lyrics to “Danny Boy,” could not be reached for comment.