New Nanocapsule Medicine Could Sober You Up In Seconds

Anyone who's ever had a couple of drinks knows that as fun as it can be, sometimes it'd be nice if you could just make all that haze go away, right away. There's no solution for your average drunk yet, but researchers at MIT have managed to put together an injection that can turn a party mouse into a stone-cold sober one practically on the spot.

The process involves taking a whole bunch of alcohol-smashing enzymes and wrapping them up in a nanoscale shell. Once you do that, you've got something that functions almost as the same as normal organelles, the body's natural enzyme-containers. And by flushing the system with a ton of alcohol-eaters, you can lower BAC by a lot, and fast. It's like flushing your (or a rat's) system with a whole bunch of extra liver cells.

In preliminary tests, drunk mice injected with the solution sobered up much quicker than those injected with a control. Obviously, there's a long way to go before this is fit for human consumption, but Yunfeng Lu, one of the research leaders, imagines it could ultimately lead to a drunkeness "antidote" of sorts. Possibly as something as simply as a pill. In the meantime, other enzyme drugs -- including one that destroys the substance that causes male-pattern baldness -- are under development.

Someday, we're bound to see "insta-sober" medicine. The real question is: will they beat cars that can drive you home on their own when your'e drunk? [MIT Technology Review]

Image by Mihai Simonia/Shutterstock

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    humm..what about don't drink so much...

      But that would be logical. Plus the government doesn't want people to reduce the amount they drink. Doing so would damage an industy that supplies arround a third of all tax to the government.

      Same reason they don't want people to quit smoking. They rais the tax on cigarets to compensate for people quiting smoking.

        "The Australian tax mix is broadly similar to most OECD countries (Chart 4), although there are a few distinguishing features.
        Like most countries, Australia raises the majority of its taxation revenue (62.3 per cent in 2010) from direct taxation, which is levied on incomes — wages, salaries, payrolls and profits...
        The remaining 37.7 per cent of Australia’s taxation revenue is derived from indirect taxation, including the goods and services tax, excise and customs duties, and property taxes. The OECD average is 38.4 per cent."

        "Sales taxes, inclusive of the GST, contribute 14.6 per cent. The remaining 11.0 per cent of taxation receipts are mostly accounted for by excise and customs duties."


        So that 11% is not just alcohol either, it is all excise tax AND custom duties...

          Indeed. I only have FY 09-10 figures, but alcohol excise raised about $3.1 bn, tobacco excise $5.7 bn and excise on petroleum and other fuels $15.7 bn. Alcohol excise is a relatively small proportion of revenue.

            Don't let facts get in the way of a good argument... too much talk-back radio I suspect.

              Well then, in that case, lets encourage drinking and smoking.

              Lets drop the age limit back down to 12.

                Don't get me wrong Tony. I support increased excise taxes on tobacco to the point that it is basically only for the wealthy and stupid. I'm an ex-smoker and it was the hardest thing I ever did in my life. I dread anyone else getting addicted to something that pretty much gives you nothing in return.

                Alcohol, well it should be taxed at a level that maximises revenue for the government while not encouraging excessive drinking.

                Gambling, the same.

                Let's face it, you've got to have some vices and fun.

                But I also think we should consider legalising and taxing all drugs.

                Substance abuse is a health problem, not a criminal problem.

                It is time to end the hypocrisy and accept that people will do whatever they want to their bodies. Harm minimisatioin should be the ultimate goal.

                But ultimately - it isn't JUST about government revenue raising.

                (Although parking tickets are... what a joke. Try to get a council staff member to help you with a DA. It is near impossible. But they somehow manage to send at least two people down every street of Sydney multiple times a day....)

    Answer the important quetion - were the mice hungover?

    This would be handy for the Police force if they could turn it into some sort of Pepper spray, we know how much they love their gadgets attached to their person (and they would be unable to force a medication down someones throat, however spraying them in the face or zapping them with electricity is perfectly acceptable), and this 1 would make their jobs allot easier in areas riddled with violent drunks such as Kings Cross

    The market potential once refined will be huge.
    Pub's & clubs selling this stuff on exit would have massive profits. Also potentially curb alcohol related crime, road trauma etc... Not to mention too drunk to serve? Here pop this, now will that be a Coopers or Carlton? Anything that will help you drink more brewers are going to get behind.
    Hospitals could use to counter alcohol poisoning.
    Corporate junkets, spies, hookers....yeah you get my drift.
    If done right could potentially change the drinking culture.

    Last edited 18/02/13 6:14 pm

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