New Nanocapsule Medicine Could Sober You Up in Seconds

By Eric Limer on at

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 drunkenness "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]
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