Beer even Kurzweil would love

A team of students at Rice University — many of them under 21 — have spliced genes into brewer's yeast to increase its output of resveratrol, the same healthful chemical found in red wine. In the future it will be possible to get all of one's medicinal needs met by beer, I bet. (It's nearly possible now.)

An iGEM requirement is that all of the biological "parts," also called BioBricks, be freely available to any team, a requirement the Rice team followed. However, they eventually hope to modify their yeast enough that they will be granted a patent. They also hope to publish their results sometime next year.

But don't expect to swill this brew soon. The team would need to remove certain genetic markers in the yeast cells first. FDA approval might then be necessary as well, since the yeast could be classified as a genetically modified organism.

Filtering the beer would eliminate the yeast but remove the medical benefits as well. The yeast cells produce resverstrol inside the cells. The cells have to burst for the human body to access the resverstrol. The easiest way is to let the stomach do what it does best.

'Bio-Beer' Designed to Extend Life [Discovery.com]

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