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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of sucrose-substitution initiation on patterns of drinking by Lewis rats during continuous alcohol access.

Initiation of alcohol drinking using the sucrose-substitution procedure was studied in inbred Lewis rats. One group of animals was initiated to self-administer alcohol prior to being placed in the continuous-access condition, whereas the second group of animals did not undergo initiation. During the continuous-access period, the animals were housed in operant chambers where they had continuous access to alcohol (10% v/v), food, and water during daily 23-h experimental sessions. After 5 weeks of baseline conditions, the response, requirement for food was increased over weeks. This was followed by weekly increases in the ethanol response requirement with the food response requirement returned to baseline conditions. In the continuous-access condition, both groups consumed similar amounts of alcohol by the end of the 4-week baseline period and showed similar numbers of dippers presented per alcohol bout and number of alcohol bouts per day. During the food response requirement manipulation, alcohol consumption increased for both groups but intake increased significantly more for the noninitiated group. The difference between groups was accounted for by a larger number of alcohol drinking bouts per day for the noninitiated group. Alcohol consumption decreased at each increase in ethanol reinforcement response requirement for both groups. Alcohol-reinforced responding per session increased for the noninitiated animals but remained unchanged for the initiated group during this condition. Responding increased substantially for both groups when the alcohol reinforcement response requirement was returned to baseline conditions. These results suggest that alcohol may serve more as a food source for noninitiated animals during the food reinforcement manipulation and that initiation may result in more resistance to change during the alcohol reinforcement manipulation. These data show that the type of initial exposure to alcohol can impact future drinking patterns.[1]


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