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Exploring in the classroom the relationship between alcohol intake and behavioral disorders through an animal model.

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Hernández-García, Samanta  ORCID logo
Guerrero-Rubio, M Alejandra  ORCID logo
Henarejos-Escudero, Paula  ORCID logo
Martínez-Rodríguez, Pedro  ORCID logo
Gandía-Herrero, Fernando  ORCID logo


Alcohol consumption has profound effects on behavior, such as impaired judgment, addiction or even death. It is estimated that alcohol contributes to around three million deaths worldwide, 13.5% of them in young people with ages between 20 and 39 years. Consequently, it is necessary to raise awareness among college and high school students of the risk related to alcohol drinking. The small nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an animal widely used as a model organism to study nearly all aspects of Biochemistry. It is a powerful tool to test the potential bioactivity and molecular mechanisms of natural compounds and drugs in vivo. Therefore, it is an interesting topic to include in an undergraduate course of Biotechnology, Biochemistry or Biology students among other scientific vocations. C. elegans is also used as a neurobiological model to evaluate substances' neurotoxicity and behavioral effects. The proposed experiment introduces students to the handling of this preclinical model and to the evaluation of behavioral alterations induced by chemicals in scientific research. The effects of different doses of ethanol on C. elegans behavior are studied using a versatile chemotaxis assay. This laboratory experiment is suitable for an undergraduate course. The practical session can be used in the global strategies of information and awareness of educational centres to mitigate the impact of alcohol abuse among students, both in formal courses or in Science fairs or exhibitions.


Publication status: Published

Funder: Universidad de Murcia


alcohol abuse, biotechnology, consumer chemistry, drugs/pharmaceuticals, hands‐on learning, laboratory instruction, scientific practice, toxicology, Animals, Caenorhabditis elegans, Alcohol Drinking, Humans, Students, Ethanol, Disease Models, Animal, Models, Animal, Behavior, Animal

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Biochem Mol Biol Educ

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Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (PID2021‐122896NB‐I00)
Fundación Séneca (21587/FPI/21)