For those who are feeling bleak about the economy and downright suicidal about how dumb the election has become, cheer up. Science—and better still, science with commercial applications—continues apace, making the world a better place. Popular Science reports that a bunch of college students and professors at Rice are working on genetically modified beer that lowers the risk of heart disease.
To create their BioBeer, the students are attempting to genetically alter a strain of yeast so that it produces resveratrol [a chemical present in wine that lowers the risk of heart disease and cancer] while also fermenting beer.
They plan to enter their brew, based on Houston's Saint Arnold wheat beer, in the world's largest synthetic biology competition: International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM), taking place November 8th and 9th in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
We should count ourselves lucky that these guys haven't taken their suds and gone gulching, since they're certainly laboring in an unfree world. To wit: 1) Most of the team is under 21, and therefore can't legally consume their scientific breakthrough, and 2) "Don't start dreaming of BioBeer-filled games of beer pong or flip cup anytime soon. Until this team of young researchers eliminates all the additive 'marker' chemicals in their brew and the FDA approves, no one will be drinking a drop."