Alcohol That Doesn’t Give You A Hangover May Soon Be Real, Thanks To Science

Let me tell you something. I didn’t have a drink last night and I feel fucking fantastic today. Alive. Like I can perform my job. I should never drink.

But I love it. I drink every night. It tastes so god damn good. And makes me happy. But it leaves me with brutal hangovers. Even two drinks a night will make me groggy and a little queasy in the morning.

It’s those hangovers that keep me tame. That keep me sane. If I were to never get a hangover, holy hell, I would be blackout drunk every day of my life. You would, too. Don’t act like you have the kind of self-control you think you do.

So why the fuck are scientists trying to invent hangover-free booze? To wreck the entire world? Maybe. Maybe they just want to watch the ensuing chaos when everyone is half-cocked 24 hours a day for the rest of their lives.

But that’s just what scientists in Illinois are doing, working on a wine I’ve dubbed SUPERWINE.

University of Illinois scientists have engineered a “jailbreaking” yeast that could greatly increase the health benefits of wine while reducing the toxic byproducts that cause your morning-after headache.

Recently scientists have developed a “genome knife” that cuts across multiple copies of a target gene in the genome very precisely–until all copies are cut. Jin’s group has now used this enzyme, RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease, to do precise metabolic engineering of polyploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains that have been widely used in the wine, beer, and fermentation industries.

The possibilities for improved nutritive value in foods are staggering, he said. “Wine, for instance, contains the healthful component resveratrol. With engineered yeast, we could increase the amount of resveratrol in a variety of wine by 10 times or more. But we could also add metabolic pathways to introduce bioactive compounds from other foods, such as ginseng, into the wine yeast.”

Another benefit is that winemakers can clone the enzyme to enhance malolactic fermentation, a secondary fermentation process that makes wine smooth. Improper malolactic fermentation generates the toxic byproducts that may cause hangover symptoms, he said.

Great, just great. We’re all gonna be super healthy off our SUPERWINE, yet wind up every night drunkenly crying alone in front of our TVs before waking up and having a perfectly productive day at the office.

Actually… that doesn’t sound so bad. I’m in.

[H/T Death and Taxes]