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A Landmark Study on the Origins of Alcoholism

By studying rats in a smarter way, scientists are finally learning something useful about why some drinkers become addicted and others don’t.

  • Ed Yong
  • The Atlantic

For Markus Heilig, the years of dead ends were starting to grate.

Alcohilic 1a Alex Bueckert SHUTTERSTOCK LLLLA seasoned psychiatrist, Heilig joined the National Institutes of Health in 2004 with grand ambitions of finding new ways to treat addiction and alcoholism.

“It was the age of the neuroscience revolution, and all this new tech gave us many ways of manipulating animal brains,” he recalls.

By studying addictive behavior in laboratory rats and…

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