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Drink with impunity: Take the hangover pill

Posting in Technology

This mouse doesn't look like he cares, but if he did, he could pop a couple of nano-encapsulated enzymes to stave off a hangover.

Somehow this story seems appropriate for a Monday morning, which is when many SmartPlanet readers will see it: Researchers have developed a capsule that could prevent and alleviate hangovers.

A team led by professor Yunfeng Lu at the University of California, Los Angeles combined two enzymes that detoxify blood alcohol in the same way the liver does,  Phys.org reports, citing a study in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. (While the liver is much better known for alcohol damage, don't forget that it is the organ that detoxifies alcohol in the blood).

They fed the mix to - who else - laboratory mice and discovered that blood alcohol levels fell much more quickly in the rodents that received the enzymes than in those that did not.

"The pill acts in a way extremely similar to the way your liver does," Lu said. "With further research, this discovery could be used as a preventative measure or antidote for alcohol intoxications." The capsule measured tens of nanometers in diameter, with a one-nanometer thin wall.

Lu and his team did not reveal whether the mice had been singing karaoke while inebriated.

Image from Katiephd.com

— By on February 17, 2013, 9:11 PM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure