Neuroscientists have used human molecules to create mutant worms that don’t get drunk on alcohol. “This is the first example of altering a human alcohol target to prevent intoxication in an animal,” says Jon Pierce-Shimomura, assistant professor at University of Texas at Austin. An alcohol target is any neuronal molecule that binds alcohol, of which there are many. One important aspect of this modified alcohol target, a neuronal channel called the BK channel, is that the mutation only affects its response to alcohol. The BK channel typically regulates many important functions, including activity of neurons, blood vessels, the respiratory tract, and bladder. The alcohol-insensitive mutation does not disrupt these functions at all. “We got pretty lucky and found a way to make the channel insensitive to alcohol without affecting its normal function,” says Pierce-Shimomura, who is corresponding author of the study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.