Health

Heavy drinkers consuming more than half of all alcohol

La Trobe University researchers have found the heaviest drinking 10 per cent of Australians drink over half the alcohol consumed in Australia, downing an average of six standard drinks per day.

Overweight & Obesity

Can gut microbes and genes do the job of weight loss surgery?

Mice that have undergone weight loss surgery experience a change in the composition of their gut bacteria and the functioning of their genes, leading scientists to explore the possibility of mimicking these changes to develop ...

Neuroscience

Oxytocin could help treat alcohol use disorder

The neuropeptide oxytocin blocks enhanced drinking in alcohol-dependent rats, according to a study published April 16 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology led by Drs. Tunstall, Koob and Vendruscolo of the National Institutes ...

Genetics

Pathway contributing to fatty liver disease discovered

Researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found a protein that is a critical regulator in the development of fatty liver disease in mice, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.

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Alcohol

In chemistry, an alcohol is any organic compound in which a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group. The general formula for a simple acyclic alcohol is CnH2n+1OH. In common terms, the word alcohol refers to ethanol, the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages.

Ethanol is a colorless, volatile liquid with a mild odor which can be obtained by the fermentation of sugars. (Industrially, it is more commonly obtained by ethylene hydration—the reaction of ethylene with water in the presence of phosphoric acid.) Ethanol is the most widely used depressant in the world, and has been for thousands of years. This sense underlies the term alcoholism (addiction to alcohol).

Other alcohols are usually described with a clarifying adjective, as in isopropyl alcohol (propan-2-ol) or wood alcohol (methyl alcohol, or methanol). The suffix -ol appears in the IUPAC chemical name of all alcohols.[citation needed]

There are three major subsets of alcohols: primary (1°), secondary (2°) and tertiary (3°), based upon the number of carbon atoms the C-OH group's carbon (shown in red) is bonded to. Ethanol is a simple 'primary' alcohol. The simplest secondary alcohol is isopropyl alcohol (propan-2-ol), and a simple tertiary alcohol is tert-butyl alcohol (2-methylpropan-2-ol).

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