Wine Without The Hangover? Scientists Are Working On It

First Posted: Mar 20, 2015 01:11 AM EDT

Researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered how to make wine without the hangover. With the help of a "genome knife," researchers believe they can reduce the next-day pain from alcohol toxins that cause this type of unpleasantness that most of us are all too familiar with.

Researchers had to precisely cut across multiple copies of a target gene in the genome, making the set goal a very difficult task.

"Fermented foods - such as beer, wine, and bread - are made with polyploid strains of yeast, which means they contain multiple copies of genes in the genome," Yong-Su Jin, a researcher involved in the study explained, in a news release. "Until now, it's been very difficult to do genetic engineering in polyploid strains, because if you altered a gene in one copy of the genome, an unaltered copy would correct the one that had been changed."

During the study, researchers worked with the enzyme RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease for exact metabolic engineering of polyploidy Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. 

Prior to this, it's been rather difficult difficult to break down copies of the genome that make up fermented foods like beer, wine and bread, which are composed of polypoid strains of yeast; part of this is because by altering a gene one copy of the genome, an unaltered copy would correct the one that had been changed in the first place.

"In the past, scientists have had to use antibiotic markers to indicate the spot of genetic alteration in an organism, and many persons objected to their use in foods because of the danger of developing antibiotic resistance. With the genome knife, we can cut the genome very precisely and efficiently so we don't have to use antibiotic markers to confirm a genetic event."

More information regarding the findings can be seen via the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

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