Small amounts of alcohol at an very early age can lead to a long-lasting impact on fish and humans, revealed in a study.Alcohol exposure makes fish anti-social, reports the Discovery News.
Robert Gerlai, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, and colleagues examined the neurological effects of alcohol exposure in zebra fish and noticed developmental problems similar to what is seen in humans whose mothers consumed alcohol during pregnancy.
They placed small amounts of alcohol in the water of zebra fish embryo tanks. The amount used was not enough to cause physical deformations.
Instead, researchers saw anti-social behaviors in these zebra fish.
"The more alcohol we give them, the more anti-social they become as adults," Gerlai told the Toronto Star.
"It changed their social skills, which resemble what you find in mild foetal alcohol syndrome in humans," he added.
Interestingly, he found that anti-social behaviors increased with the amount of alcohol added to the embryos' tanks.
Ultimately, the research allows scientists to study alcohol's impact on development and behavior in a controlled environment.