No More Wine Hangovers?

If you like drinking wine, you also hate wine hangovers that are filled with intense headaches and chills. But, a recent scientific breakthrough from scientists at the University of Illinois may have solved this problem for winos everywhere.

Their research was published recently in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal, and it discusses a type of bio-engineered yeast that might be able to cure wine hangovers. They refer to it as a “genome knife” which will allow them to do “precise metabolic engineering” on the types of microbes that are used to produce wines, beers, and other fermented drinks.

They are planning on using this “knife” to enhance all the health benefits that come with drinking wine as they also negate many of the drawbacks, like the wine hangovers. This news is truly exciting to winos everywhere.

Image Source: flickr/lequiphoto

Yong-Su Jin, an associate professor at the university, explains that the polyploid strains of yeast found in breads and boozy beverages have historically been hard to tinker with because they have complex genomes with multiple copies of each gene. But the new “genome knife” can slice through all of the copies of a gene with improved precision, meaning that there would no longer be the issue of unaltered copies of the gene repairing altered copies after the fact. The “knife,” for the record, isn’t a teeny tiny stainless steel blade, but an enzyme (a little less fun, but perhaps more realistic).

But enough about the science—let’s talk about getting drunk!

The yeast engineered by this new enzyme tool can, for example, result in wine with increased levels of resveratrol, the very fun compound responsible for the “red wine is good for you” chatter that we’ve all been privy to and occasionally abused to justify getting two bottles deep on Charles Shaw on a Monday night. Resveratrol is a pretty magical antioxidant compound that can allegedly do everything from fight cancer and heart disease to clear up our zits to help preserve the sharpness of our pithy minds. And now we can have ten times as much of it in each glass of Bordeaux!

The “genome knife” also has properties that enable it to activate a secondary malolactic fermentation process, which makes wine smoother and results in fewer toxic byproducts that could be the cause of hangover doom.




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