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Sexually Rejected Flies Turn To Booze

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the you've-lost-that-buzzing-feeling dept.

Science 95

sciencehabit writes "Offer a male fruit fly a choice between food soaked in alcohol and its nonalcoholic equivalent, and his decision will depend on whether he's mated recently or been rejected by a female. Flies that have been given the cold shoulder are more likely to go for the booze, researchers have found. It's the first discovery, in fruit flies, of a social interaction that influences future behavior."

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Was it unexpected? (5, Funny)

oreiasecaman (2466136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372013)

I guess if I were a sexually-deprived fly I would be drinking too... just like I do as a sexually-deprived basement dweller

Re:Was it unexpected? (4, Funny)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372183)

Try offering the female fruit flies a banana...

Winos don't get laid often (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372541)

That's a fact everybody already knew

I mean, who wants to hit the sack with a drunk?

Re:Winos don't get laid often (4, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373443)

another drunk

Re:Winos don't get laid often (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373983)

Clearly you went to all the wrong parties in college.

Damn I miss being that age....

Time flies like an arrow (1)

drainbramage (588291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373601)

Fruit flies like a bananna?

Re:Time flies like an arrow (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383047)

That's correct. Time's passage is altered by gravity, much like an arrow.

Re:Was it unexpected? (1)

lord sibn (649162) | more than 2 years ago | (#39390967)

There may be something to this. It has been said that time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana...

Re:Was it unexpected? (1)

arunce (1934350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372227)

With such a short life even I would turn to booze.

Re:Was it unexpected? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373459)

no need to be sexually deprived. you have two hands, you have a computer hooked to the Free Porn Spigot a.k.a internet. sure, the satisfaction is shorter than sex with a partner before strong urges reappear, but you can at least enjoy quantity over quality.

Re:Was it unexpected? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39376067)

Watching Top Gear is not the same as driving a Ferrari on the Nürburgring.

Re:Was it unexpected? (1)

bitflippant (2198664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39393179)

Watching Top Gear might actually be better than driving a broke down piece of #$%^ jalopy since there aren't enough Ferrari's to go around.

This is old news. You have probably heard it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375317)

...described as the "Slashdot Effect".

He's not drinking as compensation. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372033)

It's just to make the un-attractive fruit flies around look better.

Re:He's not drinking as compensation. (0)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375231)

Have you ever seen a fruit fly? Up close? If I was rejected by something that fugly, I'd hit the booze too!

There's a Reason (5, Funny)

perry64 (1324755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372067)

Probably like most /. readers, he needs the alcohol to get up the nerve to approach the female fly.

And if that doesn't work... (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372175)

...do the flies give up and turn to World of Warcraft?

Re:And if that doesn't work... (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372211)

Probably, but they didn't test for that.

Re:There's a Reason (4, Funny)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372433)

Speak for yourself. I have never needed alcohol in order to approach a female fly.

Re:There's a Reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39376505)

Did anyone else read flies as files?

Re:There's a Reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39379201)

Did anyone else read flies as files?

yes .... although really sleep deprived.

Time flies like an arrow... (5, Funny)

aldo.gs (985038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372077)

... fruit flies like a bottle of booze.

Re:Time flies like an arrow... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373439)

Are you in knowledge or posession of such time flies? I guess there will be "Producido en Espana" on the ... bottle?

Also, does the arrow they allegedly 'like' have some connection with the time travel implied?

(Posting anonymously for obvious security reasons.)

Re:Time flies like an arrow... (1)

Psychotic_Wrath (693928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373553)

This has got to be one of the worst/best puns I have read on /. I commend you for your work.

Re:Time flies like an arrow... (2)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374075)

Sure, flies can be drunks... but chiggers can't be boozers. :)

Re:Like a bottle of booze. (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375797)

Wait, so Fruit Flies are Liking Jack Daniels on Flybook?! No wonder Zynga is doing well with Flyville.

Technical writers, too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372083)

Just saying.

Sexually Rejected 'FILES"? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372087)

Must be a Gnome3/Gnome Shell problem ;-)

And when their drinking buddies reject them... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372111)

...they turn to Slashdot.

What about... (1)

bengoerz (581218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372155)

What about hooker flies? Another study, I suppose.

Re:What about... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373859)

Well, there's a spider that bribes the female with food. I guess you could consider that athropostitution?

An article not to be missed! (4, Funny)

Tynin (634655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372169)

Nerdy fly fetishes of the world, your time is now! The fly on fly doggy style action shot is just...

::notices the wife unit enter the room::

Uh... oh... hi honey! Oh no, I only read ScienceMag for the articles... !

Re:An article not to be missed! (2, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372545)

I gotta admit, I saw that *cough* fly girl in the middle with the wings of a moth and the back of a Bayonetta [flickr.com] , and I was like "DAT ASS."

Re:An article not to be missed! (3, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39376583)

I gotta admit, I saw that *cough* fly girl in the middle with the wings of a moth and the back of a Bayonetta, and I was like "DAT ASS."

Indeed, there seems to be a thing going with scientists and flies' bootylicious backsides [theregister.co.uk] :-O

Re:An article not to be missed! (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380113)

If they are the same sort of horse flies I experienced when growing up they are vicious bastards. They will bite anything that moves and the bites hurt. Not itchy like a mosquito bite, but actually painful. I can't imagine Beyonce being too pleased about this. Not that I care or anything...

Re:An article not to be missed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39382191)

I have a sneaking suspicion most folks don't follow links before they comment.

Re:An article not to be missed! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375845)

Aw yeah that fly gettin' some B-)

Hit that juicy abdomen, fly man! :D

Not surprising (5, Funny)

InsectOverlord (1758006) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372179)

It must suck to be sexually rejected AND lack hands.

Re:Not surprising (2)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372687)

I have no mod points but you get an honorary one anyway.

Great... (1, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372215)

Another scientific reason for women to say we arw the lowest form of life and reject us. Pepe Lopez, here I come.

Re:Great... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373665)

Another scientific reason for women to say we arw the lowest form of life

If you get into that kind of discussion with women and are serious about it, you have problems.

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375985)

I guess you haven't spoken with many women.

In related news ... (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372235)

... flies get shit-faced.

I misread the title and was REALLY confused... (3, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372355)

I read it as "Sexually Rejected Files Turn To Booze". I was completely confounded for a moment until I expanded the summary, and saw the words "male fruit fly", which I read correctly.

Bizarre.... I don't typically have dyslexic moments.

Re:I misread the title and was REALLY confused... (1)

AsherMaximum (937491) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372523)

I did the same thing when I saw the twitter post. I though Slashdot was having an Onion News moment or something!

Re:I misread the title and was REALLY confused... (2)

Tyrannosaur (2485772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372677)

I am so glad I was not alone in reading "files"

Re:I misread the title and was REALLY confused... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372823)

I made the same mistake. I really don't think it's so much of a dyslexic moment as much as it is that you probably see the word "files" on a regular basis and so your brain is more likely to initially think that word when you're quickly skimming headlines. There's also a general lack of context until you get down to the bit about fruit flies, that unless you're reading very slowly, and deliberately, it's not a difficult mistake to make. There are plenty of interesting examples that illustrate how our brain really doesn't read every single letter in a word and can tolerate mistakes to an extent that it can still derive meaning from something that would give a spell checker trouble.

Re:I misread the title and was REALLY confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373367)

Same here...

Re:I misread the title and was REALLY confused... (1)

Roachie (2180772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373633)

I too was all like: "what the fuck is a sexually rejected FILE?"

I need a new career.

Re:I misread the title and was REALLY confused... (3, Interesting)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373791)

Well, remember

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a tatol mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

Not actually determining the order of "e, i, l" is probably common in humans reading this title, so some people will just pick "files" since it fits all the data they've gathered at a glance. Also, "i" and "l" are so close that the two alternatives are hard to distinguish, leading to more errors. Neither of these issues falls under the term dyslexia. While it's common to call letter transpositions dyslexia, the term actually means something quite different. It roughly translates to "difficulty with words" and generally denotes difficulty reading caused by neurological problems (as opposed to, say, poor instruction). Just to fight social stigma, I should mention that dyslexia is essentially uncorrelated with intelligence--dyslexics tend to read more slowly and have trouble spelling, but they're not on average either smarter or stupider.

[Note: I'm not sure if the quote above is actually supported by academic research, though there's clearly at least some truth to it. snopes [snopes.com] isn't sure either. Really one should ask a linguist.]

Re:I misread the title and was REALLY confused... (1)

ed1park (100777) | more than 2 years ago | (#39376643)

Plus, most people here have a predisposition to computer files on the mind and not flies.

Re:I misread the title and was REALLY confused... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374233)

Guilty. I had to read the headline twice.

Re:I misread the title and was REALLY confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374465)

Combine this with the 'Lord of the Flies' comment below, and it makes a new name for a file manager app: 'Lord of the Files'. Or maybe a job title for the IT guy that is stuck with maintaining the department file server. Or something.

My god you are one sick bastard (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374567)

Such a Freudian slip of the mind shows a diseased mind that is best examined... from 2 km through a sniper scope... I should know... I read it that way too.

You know you are a nerd when your brain tries to relate any sentence with the word sex in it, to computers.

So that is where the term comes from (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372475)

Of course I'm talking about "bar flies".

I must be a fly... (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372859)

...because I would have produced the same test result.

Re:I must be a fly... (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372937)

Are you a fly, dreaming you are a man, or a man, dreaming you are a fly?

Re:I must be a fly... (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373757)

I'd have trouble telling if the female flies had rejected me or not.

Small bottles??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39372861)

How'd they make bottles small enough for the flies to hold on to?

Re:Small bottles??? (1)

lvxferre (2470098) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374251)

Thanks to the scientists studying drinking behaviour of flies, nanobottles had to be developed, improving our nanotechnology knowledge. Scientifical researching pays off in some strange ways...

Stupid flies (3, Funny)

dzr0001 (1053034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372971)

This is only because the flies don't know how to give the alcohol soaked food to the female flies first.

WTF? (-1, Troll)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39372981)

people starve, people die, yet we study the drinking habits of fruit-fly, OFFS!

Re:WTF? (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373033)

One's man boring data is another man's life passion.

We have different interests. Go figure!

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373093)

people die, yet we study the drinking habits of fruit-fly

There are over 75,000 alcohol related deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Is that enough to warrant some research?

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373355)

...on those 75000 deaths? Yes.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375675)

Guess what? A lot of biology research starts with fruit flies.

New data, new hypothesis (3, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373373)

There are over 75,000 alcohol related deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Is that enough to warrant some research?

Maybe a significant number of those deaths were actually sexual-rejection-related deaths after all. Mothers Against Sexual Rejection, anyone?

Re:New data, new hypothesis (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374171)

I prefer "mothers against kinetically endured lasting overly virulent embargos of sexually oriented obscene nature"

Commonly referred to as MAKE LOVE SOON ...

Re:New data, new hypothesis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39376949)

Mothers Against Sexual Rejection, anyone?

I think brazzers has already made that website...

Re:WTF? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373499)

no, we already know depressed people turn to drink. we already know how and why ODing on booze can kill. we already know why and how drunken sots are dangerous to self and others. no research needed.

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373735)

Except they identified a particular protein that is created in these depressed males that causes them to turn to alcohol. Considering ~50% of fly proteins have homologs in humans, it may be a good target for drugs in the future. Still think it's a useless study?

Re:WTF? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39376351)

I can save you even more research money, people will choose booze over your hypothetical protein suppressor.

Re:WTF? (2)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39377557)

Yes, you've found the cure for everything: cynicism!

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374863)

scientists study fruit-files and other simpler creatures not for fun, but to better understand biology and so to find better cures for human diseases. We are made of the same components as all the other living beings ultimately. Drinking habits is something irrelevant here and obviously not appliable to insects like we intend to humans.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375521)

people die, yet we study the drinking habits of fruit-fly

There are over 75,000 alcohol related deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Is that enough to warrant some research?

Is that flies or people?

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375661)

One of the interesting things I learned from reading Mary Roach's *Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex* (ISBN-13: 978-0393064643) is that it's very difficult for researchers to get funding for research that has anything to do with sex. Scientists resort to stratagems like including "physiology" in study titles, or simply paying for their research out of their own pocket.

You oughtn't have to make a special "applicability" argument to research on sex, given that it is not only an important part of human welfare, it's fundamental to the survival of most life forms on Earth. Anything like that *other* than sex would not be controversial in the least. We don't demand an immediate explanation of why a researcher is interested in anatomy, genetics, nutrition or non-reproductive physiology, but sex research is automatically assumed frivolous until proven otherwise.

Now I wouldn't want to draw too confident a physiological or genetic parallel between Drosophila melanogaster and human behavior. Perhaps we'll find out it is mere coincidence that alcohol plays a special role in Drosophila reproductive behavior (these are *fruit* flies, after all). That it has humorous parallels with human reproductive behavior doesn't negate the scientific value of knowing more about this extremely important research species.

On the other hand, there might be something other than coincidence at work here, and that would be *very* significant.

In either case, our discomfort with our *own* reproductive behavior has no bearing on the scientific value of research like this.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373529)

Say every single person had their education prepare them for their coming life as an R&D engineer focused on improving the lightbulb. How much faster do you think lightbulb technology would advance with 5 billion adults actively working on improving the lightbulb, compared with, say, 1000? How much would society lose in other areas by having these people devote their lives to improving the lightbulb, which 99% of them couldn't give a shit about, rather than other areas or other work?

Concurrent advancements in technology and civilization. Learn about it, please.

Re:WTF? (1)

gottspeed (2060872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373707)

Actually shortly after its release the IEC put engineers world-wide into a race to decrease the life of the light-bulb. A product that lasts is a failure in business.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373943)

Apparently the tinfoil hat companies have learned a thing or two about sales from the IEC, judging by your post. (Not to mention, you completely missed the point of the post.)

Re:WTF? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373679)

people starve, people die, yet we study the drinking habits of fruit-fly, OFFS!

And you post on slashdot. Who is wasting more time? Go save some starving people.

Re:WTF? (3, Informative)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374035)

While you perhaps could have been more eloquent, you have a point. Malnutrition is a terrible problem and needs to be more effectively addressed on an international level. Allowing people fleeing hunger in their home country refugee status in other countries would help, as would more thoughtful subsidy policy, better access to seeds and fertilizers, less social stigma about being poor, and more efficient use of existing resources. To be fair, the number of malnurished people has generally declined over the last several decades as a fraction of world population so something is being done about the problem, but there's still nearly a billion people (yes, three times the population of the US) who suffer from malnutrition each year.

On the other hand, there several arguments in favor of this research:
  * One never knows when and where pure research will pay off. Science builds on previous work, so who knows what will become of this? Is it inconceivable that a more effective method of dealing with mosquito-borne malaria might come of this? That's just one possible route to an application out of innumerable ones, most of which I can't conceive of now.
  * Many believe knowledge has intrinsic value beyond practical applications. I agree. Stupidity is humanity's single worst plague, and it is fought with both knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge. Spreading science--which ideally embodies evidenced-based, rigorous reasoning--by funding scientists fights stupidity effectively (though scientists could stand to be better communicators, on the whole).
  * Other branches of academic research have even less hope of achieving applicability. Literary analysis and some corners of math and theoretical physics come to mind. Why pick on this one?

Re:WTF? (1)

EJB (9167) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374257)

It's useful research. If we can get them to booze *before* having sex, we'll have less food spoilage due to fruit fly maggots...

Yuo fx4il it... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39373347)

I know there's ... (1)

Chakra5 (1417951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373437)

... a wingman joke in here somehwere.....

Troy Zars of the University of Missouri (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373609)

your tax dollars at work people, wonder how much grant money that cost us

Those Were The Days (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39373611)

...when I was Lord of Flies

Now look what you did (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374201)

You became a bad example for fruit flies!

The surprise is... (1)

pRock85 (2011582) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374487)

The the surprise is that flies are so similar to humans, not that the phenomena happened .

But what about... (1)

rgbatduke (1231380) | more than 2 years ago | (#39376279)

...the equally important discovery that after successfully mating, both flies lie on their backs and smoke cigarettes?

Women Cause Lots Of Societal Issues (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39376309)

Its far from politically correct to say these things, but for decades study after study has consistently shown women are the root cause of many of society's woes. Everything from cheating to sexual divients, and even rapests and serial killers frequently share a common factor - hateful rejection by women throughout their teenage years. The fact is, a lot of women simple don't reject, they scornfully spur wouldbe suitors.

Later, many women use sex as a weapon. This is directly equatable to conditional love. Thusly, women who use sex as a weapon in a relationship are actually begging their mate to cheat on them. After all, who doesn't want to feel love and who isn't going to attempt find some. Even though its not technically love, its the closest they will ever find so long as they remain in a relationship with such a horribly broken partner. This is why in most relationships where men cheat, women are literally the cause of said cheating.

I could go on and on - and yes, even for men, excessive drinking is frequently a sign of an unhealthy relationship whereby the women is the root cause.

As I said, none of this is P.C., but that's the facts. The simple truth is, women are literally are large part of many of the worst social problems society has to deal with. And culturally, American women tend to rank up there on the top of problems. Which is also why many other cultures don't experience the same cultural problems America does.

The fact that fruitflies suffer at least one of the same social issues as a result of interaction with females is facinating to say the least.

Re:Women Cause Lots Of Societal Issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39385329)

Woman have what men want. But as always, it is scarcity which is the cause of trouble. A scarcity created as society demands that woman are monogamous and pregnant. Of course we see loop-holes in this construct everyday but society discourages free-love or renting a woman by the hour. Unfortunately prostitution is seen as masculine inadequacy or outright crime. And most societies don't allow desperate school-girls to be mistresses.

The nearly inexhaustible supply of sex makes it a commodity. Society spends a lot saying it isn't through policies like 'sex equals love' (commonly heard in protestant Christianity). As a commodity it can be directly monetized or otherwise traded to the highest bidder. That would be the man with the best body, fame, popularity or wealth. But if a man has already paid for sex, what is the point of cheating? Yes if the woman reneges on the deal, the man has an excuse, but that does not validate the generalisation that men are cheating because the woman is greedy and dishonest. A man who doesn't leave his manipulative partner is also being greedy and dishonest by having extra-marital sex.

One can equally argue that woman are driven to drink by men. And that dishonesty by men creates problems in society too.

Yes. Westernized society spends a lot of time saying women aren't the prick-teasing prostitutes we see nearly everyday. But controlling female sexuality, as every industrialised society attempts to do, creates a cost to their culture. The past and still-current practices of denying education, political independence, financial independence, workplace equality, sexual freedom to half the population is segragation/apartheid. While such apartheid advances the ultimate goal of women being monogamous and pregnant, it also prevents women from contributing more than babies to society.

More Problems in the World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39379117)

Just what Jr. needs, another daddy fruit fly on the sauce.

Now I know (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39380183)

Now I know why fruit flies are all over the place when they fly - and also why they are so easy to kill.
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