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3. Measuring Alcohol Sensitivity A mouse that has consumed alcohol has trouble walking across the balance beam without a foot slipping off.

Are all mice equally sensitive to alcohol? As with humans, the answer is no. We can measure how affected a mouse is by alcohol by having it do certain tasks, such as walking across a balance beam. Normally, a mouse can walk across the beam with all four feet staying on top. A mouse that has consumed a bit too much alcohol, however (like the one in this photo) will have trouble with its coordination, and won’t be able to get across without having a foot slip off.

We find that certain strains of mice -- mice with different genes -- are more or less impaired by (sensitive to) the effects of alcohol. Humans are the same way.

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