Late Night: Genetics, Booze, and Babies


The BBC reports the scientists have discovered that binge drinking has a genetic component–has to do with dopamine.  And hot on heels of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s royal puking, a British porcelain company has launched a mug celebrating the cause of Her Royal Highness’ hyperemesis gravidarum.

Scientists believe some people have a gene that hard-wires them for binge drinking by boosting levels of a happy brain chemical triggered by alcohol. The gene – RASGRF-2 – is one of many already suggested to be linked with problem drinking, PNAS journal reports.The King’s College London team found animals lacking the gene had far less desire for alcohol than those with it. Brain scans of 663 teenage boys showed those with a version of the gene had heightened dopamine responses in tests….

When the researchers later contacted the same boys at the age of 16 and asked them about their drinking habits, they found the boys with the ‘culprit’ variation on the RASGRF-2 gene drank more frequently.

But binge drinking isn’t the cause of Kate’s clutching the throne. Nope she’s preggers. And within hours of the announcement,

a Staffordshire pottery firm said it was already starting work on a commemorative mug. The Emma Bridgewater firm, in Stoke-on-Trent, started to produce the blue, red and white mugs, which say, “A royal baby in 2013″, on Tuesday morning.

The company said it also planned to produce another with the baby’s name to mark the birth.

What should the baby be named? Tradition holds that they have the name of a past monarch, preferably one in good standing. Oliver (as in Cromwell) is a non-starter. Diana, oh my. That would be rich. I am hoping for Dagobert or Hagar. Here’s a list of projected popular names for 2013.  What suggestion do you have?


14 Responses to "Late Night: Genetics, Booze, and Babies"
Elliott | Tuesday December 4, 2012 08:04 pm 1

Arthur was the most magical king,
Alfred – he was great,
But I’m rooting for Matilde.

Twain | Tuesday December 4, 2012 08:08 pm 2

No matter what the name, the poor baby is going to have pathetic Charles for a grandfather.

Elliott | Tuesday December 4, 2012 08:19 pm 3

What if she’s having twins – and then needs a Caesarian?

EvilDrPuma | Tuesday December 4, 2012 08:35 pm 4

“What suggestion do you have?”

Richard. (After King Richard IV, of course. See also: Sorry for the URL, but none of the bloody features are working for me tonight.

ChristineEdmonson | Tuesday December 4, 2012 08:38 pm 5

I vote for Victoria Charlotte Eugenie Elizabeth … er, Windsor. Or, Queen Vicky!

EvilDrPuma | Tuesday December 4, 2012 08:40 pm 6

Oh, of course, after I complain about it, everything works fine. Here’s some more of Richard IV. Let jubilation reign!

oldgold | Tuesday December 4, 2012 08:49 pm 7

Just a couple day into this Windsor pregnancy nonsense and we have already hit rock fricken bottom.

As a member of the “Jersey Shore’s” royal court – if not the queen bee – new mom Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi has some words of wisdom to share with the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton.

I may not survive this.

EvilDrPuma | Tuesday December 4, 2012 08:57 pm 8

You mean Snooki wasn’t washed out to sea by Sandy? Damn.

Jane Hamsher | Tuesday December 4, 2012 09:07 pm 9

I’m pulling for Dumbledore if it’s a boy. If it’s a girl, definitely Snookie.

tejanarusa | Tuesday December 4, 2012 09:20 pm 10
In response to Elliott @ 1

Elliott – Are you thinking of naming the baby for the mother of Henry II? Not sure about the karma of that one; her claim to the throne, while pretty good as the only living legitimate child of Henry I, and her insistence on fighting her cousin Stephen over it, caused years of misery for the people she wanted to rule.

I’d be for Elizabeth for a girl,after the first Elizabeth, of course. And it is nice to know that the rules of succession have been changed, so that a first-born girl will be heir, even if she ultimately has a brother.
(although an article in the Times on hypemesis gravidarum said that most women who’ve had it find it so horrible they never have another child).

eCAHNomics | Tuesday December 4, 2012 09:42 pm 11

I have analogous problem (problem = bigger than “issue”). I need to name honey bee queens, but bee generation=1 year or less, and human generation = 20 years. I’m running hard just to keep in place with naming all the queens, given the amazing # of bee swarms this year.

wynota skunk | Tuesday December 4, 2012 09:44 pm 12

Wynota S., of course, is perfect for royalty from Britain. It beats the heck out of Poque Mehone which Irishmen think is appropriate for all royal occasions, British, anyway. Oneoff is also good, methinks.

Dearie | Tuesday December 4, 2012 09:58 pm 13
In response to eCAHNomics @ 11

I’ve been wondering about your bees, eCAHN.
Glad to hear they are doing well.

Brisingamen2 | Wednesday December 5, 2012 09:25 am 14

Well, if it’s a girl — how about:

Victoria Alexandra Mary Elizabeth

In order, that is: Great-Great-Great-Great Grandmother, Great-Great-Great Grandmother, Great-Great Grandmother, Great Grandmother (and Grandmother).

What I’d really like to see: Diana Victoria Alexandra Katherine.

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