How Science Will Get You Drunker

Maybe U.S. politicians should pay attention to the way their counterparts in Britain are tackling the important issues. The British government has decided to shell out £1 million (that’s about $1.5 million) to fund researchers trying to create a synthetic yeast that’ll help brewers make stronger, cheaper beer.

Why in the world would a government spend money like that? One, because they have their priorities in the right place. Two, because this research would also result in the “first-ever synthetic lifeform.” (What could go wrong?) Scientists’ first order of business will be to construct a version of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the yeast used to ferment beer. After that, they’ll attempt to change the yeast’s genome — yeast is a living organism — to tolerate more alcohol before dying.

We’re all for a more potent beer, but what happens if these lab-created molecules go all Rage Virus or morph into giant blood-sucking paramecium? According to the Brits, there’s nothing to worry about on that front, as the organism will be incapable of thriving in the wild. Hmm … where have we heard that one before?

Jurassic Park GIF