"MedTech, another biobeer, please."

Jim Downey's picture

Ah, gotta love the advancement of science - soon, you'll be able to drink beer with the legitimate claim that you are doing it for your health:

Anti-cancer beer under development

NEW YORK: American students have designed a genetically modified yeast that can ferment beer and produces the chemical resveratrol, known to offer some protection against developing cancer.

* * *

The idea for the healthier beer, dubbed 'Biobeer', started out as a joke. "You could say that the inspiration for the project came from a student who really enjoys his beer," said Thomas Segall-Shapiro, a member of the team behind the project.

And from USA Today:

Students are working to modify the yeast with two sets of genes, including one that will allow the yeast to metabolize sugars and produce an intermediate chemical. The second set will convert that chemical to resveratrol.

That should result in a healthier beer, produced at no additional cost, said Stevenson.

Why beer? Stevenson points to the numbers: Americans consumed 20.5 gallons of beer per capita in 2005, but only 2.5 gallons of red wine.

Resveratrol is a popular anti-oxidant thought to play a role in extending life, fighting the development of cancer, and maintaining cardiovascular health. It is a naturally produced chemical, found in high concentrations in a variety of foods, and has been proposed as one of the health benefits of drinking red wines (it is present in grape skins, and red wines are fermented with the skin, leading to a high concentration of resveratrol). Introducing this chemical into beer this way would seem to offer another way to get supplemental protection - though of course, health authorities will caution that excess consumption of alcohol carries risks of its own. Personally, I've always figured that alcohol is a good sterilizing agent, and consumption of it in one of my preferred forms was a good way to make sure that I reduced exposure to dangerous germs . . .

Jim Downey

(Hat tip to GvR for the USA Today link. Cross Posted to my blog.)

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GvonR's picture

Just wish they had kept the

Just wish they had kept the working name for it-"Frankenbeer" is SO much cooler than "Biobeer".

Prosit

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