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Guinan served up Synthehol in Ten Forward on Star Trek: TNG

Researchers are looking at using benzodiazepines to replace alcohol without its ill side-effects. The most commonly known member of the family is diazepam, pictured here, which acts as the chief ingredient in Valium.  (Source: 3D Chem)

Questions remain, however, about ill-effects that diazepam and many other members of the benzodiazepine family have.
Research echoes Star Trek "synthehol" a non-addictive space-age alcohol substitute

Ever wanted to imbibe a spirit and let the rush and buzz sweep over you, and then not have to worry about acting like a drunken fool or waking up the next day with a killer headache?  Such fantasies have long been actualized in the world of science-fiction, most notably in the Star Trek franchise, where characters indulge in Synthehol, a next generation alcohol-substitute that gives the buzz of drinking without its ill-side effects.

Perhaps inspired by that fictional science, researchers at the Imperial College London are seeking to make a real world Synthehol-like beverage for guilt-free enjoyment.  The research is led by Professor David Nutt, considered by most to be Britain's top drugs expert.  Professor Nutt is a somewhat controversial figure who was recently canned from a government advisory position due to his comments on cannabis and ecstasy.

Professor Nutt's team is focusing on chemicals similar to Valium that work on the same nerves as alcohol, giving a "buzzed" feeling of wellbeing and relaxation.  The selected candidate could be quickly switched off by ingesting a chemical counter-agent, allowing partiers to safely drive home.  The novel drug also is being designed not to affect the mood centers of the brain which alcohol incidentally triggers.  This accidental triggering is believed to be the major source of alcohol addiction, so in theory, the new alcohol substitute could be non-addicting (according to the researchers), or at least less so.

The researchers are looking at thousands of benzodiazepines, a class of chemicals consisting of fused carbon and nitrogen rings that act on neurotransmitters.  Diazepam, the most well known member of the family, is the chief ingredient in Valium.

Like alcohol, the synthetic spirit is being designed to be tasteless and colorless, though it will likely lack the characteristic "burn" that alcohol creates when ingested.  Professor Nutt believes that the beer, wine and spirits industry could eventually embrace the substance.  He says that this could have a profound effect on society, eliminating the hundreds of millions that suffer the ill effects of intoxication and alcohol addiction worldwide.  Alcohol use and abuse is not only linked to a variety of injuries and medical afflictions, but also to a large percentage of the crimes committed worldwide.

Professor Nutt says that he can personally attest to the safety and efficacy of "benzos".  He states, "I’ve been in experiments where I’ve taken benzo. One minute I was sedated and nearly asleep, five minutes later I was giving a lecture. No one’s ever tried targeting this before, possibly because it will be so hard to get it past the regulators. Most of the benzos are controlled under the Medicines Act [in Britain]. The law gives a privileged position to alcohol, which has been around for 3,000 years. But why not use advances in pharmacology to find something safer and better?"

Despite this early optimism, significant questions remain.  "Benzos" like valium have been linked to cognitive impairments and paradoxical effects such as aggression or behavioral disinhibition occasionally occur among users.  While they don't addict like alcohol, they have been shown to induce tolerance, physical dependence and upon cessation of use, a withdrawal syndrome.  There's also concern for the potential for teratogenicity (causation of birth defects) and increased risks when benzos are consumed with other drugs.

Nonetheless, you can't fault Professor Nutt and his team for trying to create a next generation alcohol substitute.  That goal is ambitious and would surely be enough to make even Quark, "The Synthehol King", excited, if he existed in the real world.



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Beer Goggles will always have their place
By Lord 666 on 12/29/2009 10:19:48 AM , Rating: 4
With this new fangled idea, what will people use as an excuse for going hogging the night before?




By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/29/2009 10:25:30 AM , Rating: 5
Why not blame Obama... everyone else does ;-)


RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By straycat74 on 12/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By amanojaku on 12/29/2009 10:43:54 AM , Rating: 4
That's true of all politicians, they have their fans and detractors. Obama is just another politician, but the reaction against him is so extreme that it creates an equally intense reaction in those who support him, and vice versa. Personally, he's par for the course as presidents go in their first year, no better or worse. He just inherited a crap-ass America that was the result of many factors, economic, political or otherwise. Dissatisfaction tends to breed high expectations and little faith, so it's only natural that people don't trust him. And the fact that he's a little darker than most people at that level tends to breed a lack of respect, but there aren't many people who would admit that. *cough* Rep. Wilson and Limbaugh *cough*


RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By straycat74 on 12/29/2009 10:59:02 AM , Rating: 2
So everyone would feel better about his policies if he were white?

quote:
Personally, he's par for the course as presidents go in their first year


http://www.pollster.com/blogs/obama_worst_first_ye...

You can search for another source if you want, but the Obama friendly media gloss over it and make excuses.

quote:
He just inherited a crap-ass America that was the result of many factors, economic, political or otherwise.


Look into the "Bush" recession in his first year that was inherited from the previous administration. Then 9-11. Look at the tax policies and the recovery of the economy. It is now historical fact, and you can argue all you want, but we recovered quickly and had near full employment and lower deficits. Try to take an objective view at things to get some perspective.

If we want another great depression, we can just keep spending money we don't have on Government projects. They may pay people money to work, but that money is printed, not created, and therefore has a negative impact on the economy.


RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By amanojaku on 12/29/2009 11:45:34 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
So everyone would feel better about his policies if he were white?
I never mentioned his policies. I said there has been outright disrespect, from the "You lie" shout to the "I hope he fails" comment. Clinton got more respect than that during his impeachment when everyone knew he was lying. Nixon got more respect during Watergate. And why would you want your president to fail? That would mean the country would fail, as well. If anything, you would want him to be receptive of your alternate viewpoint, which means *gasp* working together. Kind of like in a democracy...

As to the approval ratings, that doesn't really mean much. I don't remember getting polled and I wonder how many on this site have. In other words, who is being asked and do they embody the same principals and ideals as we do? More importantly, are these individuals even capable of understanding what these politicians have to deal with? There are many books dedicated to reevaluating political careers, the circumstances that affected them and their impact on society. You don't always know the whole story, and when the truth comes out you may be shocked to see how wrong you might have been.

Bush came into office in Jan 2001. The recession didn't begin until March 2001, and that was the peak of business growth. In other words, his first year in office was during a great economy. It was 2002 when the economic outlook became negative.

As to 9/11, what exactly did he do? Nothing, really. It was rescue workiers across the country (police, firemen, medical workers, etc...) who traveled to NYC to help out. Bush's approval rating went to 90%, yet there is no record of what he actually did beyond speeches. I know he did nothing because I live 30 minutes away from where the WTC used to be. Actually, he did do something. He declared war on Iraq and Afghanistan, and we all know how those are going... Oh, and he used this as justification for illegal spying on citizens, but we won't go there...

And as for the EGTRRA and JGTRRA the economy has continued to decline for the last nine years. At best they may have slowed that decline, but they have not prevented it, nor was there the historic recovery you claimed.

quote:
If we want another great depression, we can just keep spending money we don't have on Government projects.
I said the same thing about the $700B bailout, otherwise known as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. A fat lot of good it's done for people's jobs.


RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By straycat74 on 12/29/09, Rating: -1
By amanojaku on 12/29/2009 1:11:00 PM , Rating: 2
Statistics are not the same as emotions: America did not behave as if it was in a recession during 2001. Even economists are in disagreement about whether or not it was a recession due to the fact that it lasted 8 months and was not severe. A chart of a depression typically has a shape (V, U, W, L) that clearly points to a long lasting recession, possibly a depression if sustained for 3-4 years. The economic trend did not support a prolonged recession, and that was the case.

Obama is from Chicago, and I know he's gone to the DMV. In fact, a lot of Democrats are from major cities, so they've had to deal with city agencies at some point. And they're politicians in the US. They know damn well the government can't run all of the country's businesses and expect them to function well. It's true that Democrats favor increased visibility into corporate functions, and who can blame them? AIG? Enron? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? General Motors? Lehman Brothers? Washington Mutual? If they haven't gone extinct then they're sucking on the government's teat, and trying to do it by the same screwed up rules that got them in trouble in the first place. I don't want the government to control them, but I think they'd be a bit more honest if they were more transparent. Or they can get off the government's teats and pay the taxes they're supposed to. And if that means a few executives go fly coach f*ck 'em. They lay off the guys with the $50,000 salaries first when they could just suffer a pay reduction. 5% from each exec would save a hell of a lot more than letting go five people who do work. Seems to me all those tax savings go to lining a few guys' pockets.

And last, Joe Wilson. It's alright for him to disagree with proposed bills. In fact it's his duty to point out flaws when they exist, which in this case there was a minor hole. But he didn't do that. And Obama's group was in the process of revising the proposal, so Wilson's outburst was neither appropriate nor constructive. By the way, the hole was that illegal immigrants could participate in the health program if they had paid for their own insurance. In other words, they weren't getting access to doctors and medical treatment for free. Obama was aware of that loophole and it was closed in the next revision. As you can imagine, the size of the document would make speedy revisions difficult...


By straycat74 on 12/29/2009 12:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As to the approval ratings, that doesn't really mean much. I don't remember getting polled


Look at this map. It reminds me of the new Verizon commercials. AT&T must be an Obama fan.

http://kevinschulke.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/20...


RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By MrBungle123 on 12/29/2009 12:28:51 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I never mentioned his policies. I said there has been outright disrespect, from the "You lie" shout

He was effectively lying... The "You Lie!" incident was regarding a speech on the so called health care bill not covering illegal aliens... Obama said it didn't, the bill does not allow for coverage of illegal aliens it just fails to implement an effective check to make sure that the people receiving care are legally in the country. Given human nature, the result is that illegal aliens will receive benefits. Sounds like a lie to me, Thank you Joe Wilson for saying what needs to be said.

quote:
to the "I hope he fails" comment... And why would you want your president to fail? That would mean the country would fail, as well.

I hope Obama fails... I hope he fails because the policies he wishes to implement would be a disaster.

I hope, somehow, Obama fails to get this Health Care bill to his desk, because 10 years of new taxes are necessary to pay for the first 5 years of this thing... where are the next 5 years going to come from? It is a fiscal ticking time bomb which will result in rationed care and stifled innovation.

I hope Obama fails to push through his cap-and-trade idea because it would be fiscally disastrous for America's already weak manufacturing sector, energy production, and will reduce individuals freedom and quality of life through increased retail prices and carbon taxes.

I hope Obama fails in all his endeavors to expand the size of government by appointing radical leftists to head government agencies such as the FCC and EPA, because I just want them to leave me alone, I'm sick of the nanny state.

If Obama was trying to do things which I supported I would want him to succeed… but he’s not. Obama != America, America is the people that reside within her borders and the values, ideas, and culture that they exhibit NOT the political "leaders" who hold a particular office.

quote:
If anything, you would want him to be receptive of your alternate viewpoint, which means *gasp* working together. Kind of like in a democracy...

Except, Obama and his goons in congress do not listen to the ideas of any of the dissenters. (Even when the dissent outnumbers those in favor) They ram massive 1000+ page bills through with party line votes; they refuse to take the time to read them (who is writing these things?), they refuse to allow the minority party to make ammendments to the legislation, and treat the tax payers like their own personal piggy bank. Sounds more like an oligarchy than a democracy and is a long way away from the representative republic that we're supposed to be.


RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/09, Rating: 0
By Nfarce on 12/29/2009 9:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Funny. I remember the Democrats in Congress screaming that SOMETHING had to be done. That these banks were "too big to fail". That we simply could NOT wait.


Don't forget about that near trillion dollar Stimulus Bill that HAD to be rushed through and passed at the beginning of the year so as Joe Biden said, to "stop unemployment from going above 8%" and my favorite line, to "save and create jobs."

There will have been over 4 million jobs lost during 2009 and unemployment at 10%. The only thing in the Washington Propoganda machine that will be mentioned is how many jobs have been saved/created (BFD at 640,000 - or a whopping 16% of the jobs LOST) under the so-called Stimulus Bill. Yes, that bill which was loaded with special pet projects, local pork, and other run of the mill shenanigans - just like the Health Care bill.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28956.ht...

Most politicians didn't even read the damn thing and here we are nearly a year later with NOTHING to show for that little ramrodded legislation. But the bottom line is that Democrats have controlled Congress (both House and Senate) for three years nearly and the White House for one year nearly. They no longer have ANY excuses to blame Republicans - or Bush. Their finger pointing is wearing thin on those who put them in power: the Moderates and Independents.

But hey, they can always just raise taxes on those big evil rich people and big evil private enterprise, can't they? That will teach them who's boss.

And then we have the latest terrorist attack attempt on a US airliner where at first Dept. Of Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano* said “the system worked”. At first. Then Obama said "it was an isolated incident" a couple days later. Now, FIVE days later, Obama says it was a bunch of "systemic failures." That is, our international terrorist watch list and actions.

But hey, you're doing a heck of a job, Napolean...err, Napolitano. And close Gitmo where terrorists get fat because they have it so good compared to prisons in Russia, China, Iran, etc. too!

*What is up with Democrats appointing women named Janet to major positions in government positions who wind up being bumbling incompetents?


By Globemaster on 12/30/2009 12:44:42 AM , Rating: 2
Dude, seriously? I hope he fails as well in enacting policies that I think will damage our country. I also think that one idiot shouting in Congress is nothing more than an one idiot shouting in Congress.

I couldn't care less that he's not white - in fact, I think it's awesome and I probably give him more slack than I should because of my white guilt, just like I always go out of my way to say "sir" and "ma'am" to older non-caucasians because I want them to know that not all of "us" are racist. (That may make me accidentally hyper-inversely racist, which probably isn't great, but I think I'm just overcompensating. It's coming from a positive impulse at least...) Honestly, though, his Presidency stirs no negative feelings at all, just appreciation for the historic nature of it and some relief.

Anyway, as a (mostly) Libertarian, I can summarize very easily my views of the Dems and Repubs (in general - obviously stereotyping and not meant to encompass all the members of the parties). Dems only talk about what "should" be - always looking at an abstract and "fair" utopia that is highly unrealistic. Repubs look at what can be done in reality and can fairly be accused of a lack of vision as a result - they probably wouldn't have tried to put people on the moon, etc. Dems want to govern what I can say and do in public (PC, green movement, mandatory health care, etc) and Repubs want to govern what I can do in private (abortion, drugs, sex positions, etc). Neither wants to allow me to be free, they just want to control different aspects of my life. Dems love the territory we call the US, but they think our laws are unfair, our people are racist and we are all boorish. Repubs think everything about our country is absolutely perfect and never needs any change.

We obviously need a balance because they're both wrong, but we're in more dangerous territory now that we've been in since FDR. With greater than 50% of the population paying no taxes now, we're on a potentially non-recoverable road to the majority of the population being forever dependent on government. If they actually vote, the can vote for everything and it won't cost them anything (short term). Of course, eventually, all the productive people will just give up when their top marginal taxes hit 90% (when instituted in 1861 it was 3%, it was over 90% in the 40's and 50's and 70% as recently as 1981) and we'll collapse economically, but that won't happen for a while.

Read Jefferson - JFK is quoted as saying at a dinner of Nobel Laureates that "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone". In his Second Inaugural Address, he declared it “the pleasure and the pride of an American to ask; what farmer, what mechanic, what laborer ever sees a tax gatherer of the United States?”

Now, anyone making more than the ruling class deem "fair" see that tax gatherer. Soon, anyone who doesn't buy health insurance will meet that tax gatherer. We are so far from our Founders that it's sickening.

Finally, does it seem like the current political climate is for a move away from the rampant individualism of un-restrained capitalism, but not desiring the severe control of state socialism? Does it seem like we're trying to achieve this through significant government control and regulation over business and labour? If you answered yes, you may be interested to know that was Mussolini's definition of the "Corporate State" and a key part of Fascism.

I'm not saying that we're necessarily going there on purpose, but watch out for the slippery slope! If we set the conditions, someone nefarious may pop up and take advantage.

Happy New Year!!!


RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By jonmcc33 on 12/29/2009 2:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Look into the "Bush" recession in his first year that was inherited from the previous administration. Then 9-11. Look at the tax policies and the recovery of the economy. It is now historical fact, and you can argue all you want, but we recovered quickly and had near full employment and lower deficits. Try to take an objective view at things to get some perspective.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recessions_in...

Bush was US President from Jan 2001 to Jan 2009. The Clinton administration left no recession at all. The recession for George Bush lasted from Mar 2001 to Nov 2001. That was not "inherited". That was started and ended during his first year in office. To inherit something it must have started (ie been declared) before he was sworn in.

So you are wrong. In fact, the current recession started in Dec 2007 and has been ongoing since then. So in fact, Obama did inherit the recession left behind from the previous administration.

Please get your facts straight.


By straycat74 on 12/29/2009 2:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
So which policies enacted by Bush helped initiate the recession?

How Long did the bush recession last?

Why can't hope and change fix the current economic situation? Or do you believe nothing can be done?


By ZachDontScare on 12/29/2009 2:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
You need to get your facts straight. The economy was heading directly into a recession in 2000. The stock market started heading south in 2000, and the IT industry was collapsing. Bush was even warning about it when he ran for election - and being attacked in the media for doing so. Remember all the ruckus about him 'talking down' the economy? I took a dot-com job in mid-2000, and even then everyone there knew what was coming and we were joking we'd be out of business within a year.

imo, Clinton and Greenspan caused that recession by kicking off the dot-com bust. The boom wouldnt have lasted forever, but Clinton's attacks on Microsoft, which coincided with large stock market drops (investors get weary of that sort of thing), and Greenspan's refusal to drop rates when he should have - literally out of spite because he didnt like the dot-com industry - caused the bubble to burst rather than slowly deflate.


By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/2009 1:10:50 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
That's true of all politicians, they have their fans and detractors. Obama is just another politician, but the reaction against him is so extreme that it creates an equally intense reaction in those who support him, and vice versa. Personally, he's par for the course as presidents go in their first year, no better or worse. He just inherited a crap-ass America that was the result of many factors, economic, political or otherwise. Dissatisfaction tends to breed high expectations and little faith, so it's only natural that people don't trust him. And the fact that he's a little darker than most people at that level tends to breed a lack of respect, but there aren't many people who would admit that. *cough* Rep. Wilson and Limbaugh *cough*


It's cute when ignorant people try to write like they are smart.


By saiga6360 on 12/29/2009 10:44:44 AM , Rating: 2
a messiah generally doesn't do anything wrong. what would be the point.


RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By Yawgm0th on 12/29/2009 12:40:06 PM , Rating: 4
Look what you started.

Successful troll is successful?


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 12/29/2009 1:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like he hit a home run.


RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/2009 1:06:27 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Why not blame Obama... everyone else does ;-)


Was there even a remote connection between the topic, his post, and this statement from you ?


By straycat74 on 12/29/2009 2:03:15 PM , Rating: 2
At least his focus is on the same thing as Clinton.

http://blog.newsweek.com/photos/thegaggle/images/1...


RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By AlexWade on 12/29/2009 1:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
Actually. If you are a conservative you blame Obama. If you are a liberal, you blame Bush.


RE: Beer Goggles will always have their place
By Jeffk464 on 12/29/2009 1:25:06 PM , Rating: 5
I'm independent, I blame all the bastard politicians. :)


By straycat74 on 12/29/2009 2:02:18 PM , Rating: 1
Cop-out


By MrBungle123 on 12/29/2009 2:30:42 PM , Rating: 2
if you're a Republican Hack you blame ONLY Obama, if you're a Democrat Hack you blame ONLY Bush... If you care more about whats actually happening than what party is in office then you blame both.

Credit should be given where it is due... This bailout government favoritism started under Bush and Obama has just taken the idea and ran with it.


By straycat74 on 12/29/2009 2:37:30 PM , Rating: 1
It's afternoon, and the good posts are being rated down. The liberals in the audience must have finally got out of bed.


By Jeffk464 on 12/29/2009 1:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
I thought there already was a safer alternative to alcohol, its called weed. I heard a news story where they were suggesting that the use of weed could get alcoholics off of alcohol. The problem is of coarse that most employers fire anyone that tests positive for weed.


Hm...
By daemonios on 12/29/2009 10:49:18 AM , Rating: 5
You lost me at "While they don't addict like alcohol, they have been shown to induce tolerance, physical dependence and upon cessation of use, a withdrawal syndrome."

So... Tolerance? Check. Means you'll have to do more to get the same effect. Physical dependence and withdrawal syndrome? Check. Means when you get used to it you won't function very well without it. It's also made specifically to make you feel good. How is it not addictive again? Not to say that it WILL be addictive, just that the conclusion doesn't seem to follow the premises.




RE: Hm...
By AstroCreep on 12/29/2009 11:05:47 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, so we take one potentially addicive substance (to be used recreationally) and replace it with another (again, to be used recreationally)?

While alcohol-withdrawl CAN kill someone due to its effects on the body, benny-withdrawl ("Withdrawl" because of the ody's dependence on it) can put one into a situation that can be deadly, such as a convulsion, coma, or catatonia. My understanding is that there hasn't been any deaths directly related to the physical withdrawl itself, however.


RE: Hm...
By MonkeyPaw on 12/29/2009 1:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, yet another artificial substance created in a lab that gets called "food." We eat so much fake crap already, in excess of course, and we top it off with no physical activity. We've replaced real food with mystery meat on a bun made with triple bleached flour and high-fructose corn syrup, and we wash it down with more high-fructose corn syrup. Want to lower health care costs? The math isn't that tough: cheap fake food equals chronic health issues and a life of medical bills. We spend so much money treating illnesses that are preventable.


RE: Hm...
By gstrickler on 12/29/2009 3:40:59 PM , Rating: 4
The US is the only country in the world with significant use of HFCS, and that's entirely due to government imposed quotas and subsidies. We limit the amount of cane and/or beet sugar that can be produced for US distribution, imposing heavy tariffs any that is imported, while allowing US cane sugar producers to export all they want at world market prices. Then, we pay subsidies to corn farmers to grow corn for production of animal feed, ethanol production, and corn starch (most of which is then converted to HFCS). And if that weren't bad enough, we then pay subsidies to the ethanol producers for making ethanol from that corn.

Bad policy, bad economics, and bad science. It results in higher prices for food, fuel, and significant health consequences and healthcare costs.


RE: Hm...
By straycat74 on 12/29/2009 6:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yet another example of the government knowing better.


April Fools?
By straycat74 on 12/29/2009 10:27:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Professor Nutt is a somewhat controversial figure who was recently canned




RE: April Fools?
By daemonios on 12/29/2009 10:33:03 AM , Rating: 4
They were probably trying to stay away from the easy but already established pun of the "Nutt sacking affair" hehehe.


RE: April Fools?
By rpsgc on 12/29/2009 11:22:48 AM , Rating: 3
He's Nutts! Nutts I tells ya!


RE: April Fools?
By scrapsma54 on 12/29/2009 12:21:21 PM , Rating: 3
If it were true, this Nutt job doesn't seem able to handle his booze.


Synthetic alcohol
By Drag0nFire on 12/29/2009 11:56:56 AM , Rating: 2
Synthetic (petroleum based) alcohol can be already be made without the ketones and other substances found in grain alcohols that cause hangovers. My chemistry professor back in college said that it was even possible to create chemical duplicates of grain alcohols at a fraction of the price. Problem is that the government banned such practices at the behest of the grain lobby.

A side note, one can tell the differences between a petroleum based alcohol and a grain based alcohol by carbon dating. =D




RE: Synthetic alcohol
By Bateluer on 12/29/2009 11:59:20 AM , Rating: 2
Would it have the same 'flavors'?


RE: Synthetic alcohol
By foolsgambit11 on 12/30/2009 2:35:53 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely not. The 'higher alcohols' the OP was talking about are a major factor in the flavor profiles of many alcoholic beverages. They are responsible for, for instance, the banana flavor in Guinness, as well as making up part of other flavor notes you may find in your favorite beer or wine - toffee, butter, apple, some spicy notes, etc. They can also impart an acetone-like flavor, though you won't find this in many marketed beers - it's more likely the result of a botched-homebrew - save some niche-beers made to have very high alcohol contents.

But for a spirit like Vodka, which often aims to be as flavorless as possible, I can see no reason why synthetic alcohol wouldn't be a perfect fit. There would still be the burning sensation of the alcohol, though, if that's the 'flavor' you're talking about.


Inconsitancies
By karkas on 12/29/2009 5:11:05 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Diazepam, the most well known member of the family, is the chief ingredient in Valium.

Diazepam is more appropriately characterized as the "active compound" in Valium rather than the "chief ingredient."

quote:
While they don't addict like alcohol, they have been shown to induce tolerance, physical dependence and upon cessation of use, a withdrawal syndrome.

I don't understand this sentence. You state that benzos don't addict like alcohol, but in the same sentence state that they cause physical dependence and withdrawal syndrome. That is addiction. Benzodiazepines absolutely cause addiction.

quote:
The novel drug also is being designed not to affect the mood centers of the brain which alcohol incidentally triggers. This accidental triggering is believed to be the major source of alcohol addiction, so in theory, the new alcohol substitute could be non-addicting (according to the researchers), or at least less so.

I presume they are referring the nucleus accumbens, which is responsible for the release of dopamine. Are they claiming to induce euphoria without causing a release of dopamine? Sounds fishy.

quote:
Professor Nutt says that he can personally attest to the safety and efficacy of "benzos".

He can attest all he wants. Medical history is strewn with corpses of benzo users. Which brings me to my final point...

quote:
He states, "I’ve been in experiments where I’ve taken benzo. One minute I was sedated and nearly asleep, five minutes later I was giving a lecture.

He is talking about the drug "flumazenil". An antidote to benzodiazepines. Of course its only availible via injection. So unless they are able to reformulate it (which may or may not be possible), I don't see that flying over too well. But maybe they are only hoping to capitalize on the nature of reversal. The article doesn't elaborate.
Actually, the antidote would have to have no effect on the benzo receptors because rapid reversal of someone addicted to benzos has a nasty habit of causing seizure and death .

To be honest it looks like this researcher is simply trying to develop an ultra-rapid acting, soluble, orally bioavailable benzodiazepine. While intriguing, I'm rather sceptical that this will ever be safe for recreational use.




RE: Inconsitancies
By drmo on 1/5/2010 3:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't understand this sentence. You state that benzos don't addict like alcohol, but in the same sentence state that they cause physical dependence and withdrawal syndrome. That is addiction. Benzodiazepines absolutely cause addiction.


As I understand it, addiction is not the same as dependence. Addiction usually indicates a compulsion and often self-destructive behavior. For example, one may be dependent upon prednisone, and can suffer serious withdrawal, but I don't think people feel a compulsion to take it. Many things that can cause dependency, can also become addictive.


Ummm...
By Motoman on 12/29/2009 11:54:28 AM , Rating: 2
...so I'm curious as to how one would expect this substance to get into beer/wine/etc.?

Alcohol is in beer/wine/etc. because it occurs as part of the brewing process. You can't make beer (or whatever) without creating alcohol as a necessary part of the brewing/distilling process.

Yes, you can then go back and remove the alcohol from the brew...but that often destroys the flavor, and is an expensive and time-consuming extra step. Then just to add this stuff back in?

Call me crazy, but I don't see it happening...




RE: Ummm...
By johnsonx on 12/29/2009 1:50:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I thought that too. Having personally brewed beer, I don't recall purchasing a small bottle of alcohol to add to the finished mix to give it a kick.

The entire article reads as if alcohol is some evil chemical cooked up in a lab and then added in at the end to otherwise harmless mixes. Alcohol is a natural product of the brewing process; indeed, it's essentially yeast piss! Likewise, the bubbles in "real" beer are yeast burps (or perhaps yeast farts if you prefer).

This line of the article seems nonsensical:
quote:
Professor Nutt believes that the beer, wine and spirits industry could eventually embrace the substance.

The beer and wine industries certainly would have no use for the substance. Yes, as Motoman pointed out, they could make beer and then distill out the alcohol (the process by which non-alcoholic beer is made), then add synthehol back in, but who would buy it?

Certainly one could use "synthehol" to make some contrived girl drinks like "coolers", "hard lemonade" and similar things. No comment here about the "girl drinks" being the last ones we want made with anything over than alcohol....

Ironically, many distilled spirits would be most adaptable to use of "synthehol". Since the majority of the flavor and color of hard alcohol comes from the aging process, along with some added flavors, it would make less difference to start with "synthehol" instead of alcohol. That assumes of course that the aging processes would proceed similarly.


Do i drink too much
By mozozozo on 12/29/2009 12:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
BBC did a program about alcohol a while back featuring Dr. Nutt and his drug. The video is available via torrent. Very interesting program.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ndtxm




No replacement...
By Yawgm0th on 12/29/2009 12:41:36 PM , Rating: 2
...for a good bottle of single malt Scotch. End of story.




Benzo's are addictive
By ipay on 12/30/2009 7:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
Benzodiazepines are very very very addictive.

Source: Recovering benzo addict...




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