Nanocapsule Could Serve as Both Vaccine and Cure for a Hangover
Researchers at UCLA have developed a nanoscale-polymer capsule capable of containing two complimentary enzymes to create a pill that helps the body quickly eliminate the effects of a hangover—an “anti-hangover pill”, if you will.
If my own hangover this morning is any indication, the news of this research is likely to capture the interest of the general public and generate a bit more interest in the field of nanotechnology.
Yunfeng Lu, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UCLA, and his colleagues described their nanoscale pill in the journal Nature Nanotechnology (“Biomimetic enzyme nanocomplexes and their use as antidotes and preventive measures for alcohol intoxication”). Look at that title again—not only are they claiming the pill could serve as antidote for a hangover, but it might also be used to prevent them in the first place.
Lu and his colleagues attempted to mimic the body's reaction to hangovers by combining two enzymes that carry out different functions. Together they eliminate the toxins of the alcohol.
The first, alcohol oxidase, supports the body’s oxidation of alcohol. The unfortunate side effect of this oxidation, however, is the production of hydrogen peroxide, which is itself toxic. So the pill contains another enzyme that transforms the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.
“The pill acts in a way extremely similar to the way your liver does," Lu says in the university press release. "With further research, this discovery could be used as a preventative measure or antidote for alcohol intoxication."