Binge drinking disrupts immune system in young adults, study finds

Binge drinking in young, healthy adults significantly disrupts the immune system, according to a study led by a researcher now at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Depending on their weight, study participants drank four or five shots of vodka. Twenty minutes after reaching peak intoxication, their immune systems revved up. But when measured again, at two hours and five hours after peak intoxication, their immune systems had become less active than when sober.

The study by Majid Afshar, MD, MSCR, and colleagues is published online ahead of print inĀ Alcohol, an international, peer-reviewed journal.

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Nature, nurture and time

A new study shows that the role of genetics in complex traits, including obesity, varies over time. CREDIT Michael Helfenbein

A new study shows that the role of genetics in complex traits, including obesity, varies over time.
CREDIT
Michael Helfenbein

A new study has produced the best evidence yet that the role of genetics in complex traits, including obesity, varies over time. Both the era in which scientific research is conducted and the era in which subjects were born may have an impact on the degree to which genetic factors are present in scientific data.

“I liken it to a kind of uncertainty principle, or ‘observer effect,’ for genetics,” said Nicholas Christakis, a Yale professor of sociology, ecology & evolutionary biology, and medicine, and co-author of the study. “In principle, any study of how DNA affects bodily outcomes may thus be finding effects that are not ever-enduring, or may be missing effects that — but for the timing of the research — are enduring.”

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