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Scientists Invent Useless Alcohol Pill, Drinking Gets Less Fun

By chillinwill · Dec 2, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Leave it to the Russians to invent a much more efficient way to consume alcohol and reenforce bad social stereotypes.

    Satisfied that all disease has been cured, the world’s energy problems are a thing of the past and our lives are about as perfect as they can possibly be, Russian scientists have figured out a way to transmografy booze in to pill form.

    The new pills can be made from any kind of alcohol, be it vodka, whiskey, cognac, brandy or what ever you’d like your pills made out of, although it doesn’t really make a difference since you won’t be tasting your hooch.

    This is, indeed, a world of wonder. Where things that people have absolutely no business improving are improved. The scientists claim that this would make it easier for booze hounds to avoid getting to messed up, thus defeating the purpose of consuming alcohol in the first place.

    Of course, the pill probably won’t catch on with normal people who enjoy sitting around and having a beer with friends, but it sure saves shelf space, not to mention leaves your breath smelling as fresh and clean as a Prohibition-era meadow. Plus, it’s way easier to carry from the car in to the house.

    And it will hopefully keep kids from trying things like this.

    Phil Fuller
    December 1, 2009


  1. rawbeer
    This reminds me of the Jetsons, with their pilled-up food. It's nonsense...people like to DRINK. SWIM often drinks one beer - barely an effective dose at all, especially when the beer is sipped over a half hour or so - just for the flavor and relaxation. A pill with an equivalent amount of alcohol would probably not even be noticeable.
    I guess this is a blessing for kids, washed-up, stomach-failure boozehounds, people who can't hold their drink...in general, people who shouldn't be drinking in the first place. And it makes over-dosing 10x easier. Hooray for science.
  2. Amphetarize
    This is actually good. SWIM likes the alcohol buzz but hates drinking that vile liquid.

    I have a feeling this could make alcohol addiction more common though, since popping a couple of pills is much easier and quicker than drinking.
  3. pinksox
    SWIM kinda has to agree on the point of liking the feel of a moderate alcohol buzz, and the disinhibition that accompanies it, but not being able to stand the taste. Swimmy hasnt even had so much as a drink since 2002 because, for her, the buzz just isn't worth consuming the vile stuff.

    Swimmy would be curious if pill users experience the same sort of hangover effects as well.
  4. Combination

    Yea... "normal" people...

    When you drink beer you are normal... :confused:
  5. Spare Chaynge
    swim would purchase some of these. Seems like they could come into handy.... When distilled spirits first appeared they became popular due to the logistical ease at which they could be transported, traded and stored. Swim knows with the invention of the airplane and other quick and easy transportation methods this problem was eliminated, but we still drink spirits. The pill form would allow for even greater transportation and storage.

    This could be of benefit in the far future when carrying a litter of vodka to the moon is impractical. :)

    Or for people who have a need to travel very light, the military, campers, hikers, etc.

    Even better for people who are going to 2-3 day camping music fest, they always prohibit liquor and limit the beer count per person...one or two pills maybe all you need to make that night "fun".
  6. Dickon
    I am curious about this. I have heard about some method of getting ethanol to exist in a solid form, but just think about it for a moment. One "unit" of alcohol is 10ml of alcohol. Now I know alcohol doesn't weigh exactly the same as water, but roughly that would be 10g. Let's roughly double that to add any solidifying agents and we're at about 20g for one unit. This would be about 20 fairly hefty pills. Considering that a pint (just over 500ml for those not au fait with imperial units. American pints may be different) of beer is generally speaking 2 units or more, we're talking 40-50 pills (horse pills, not iddy biddy tablets) to make the equivalence of one pint of beer, so this invention is somewhat daft.

    I am assuming this is what this article is on about and not something more a la Prof Nutt who is trying to design a substitute for alcohol in a pill form. This would be an entirely different matter, and with the current legislative framework I think a fools errand. Could you really see a pill of such a kind being/remaining legal?

    I think the idea of incorporating solidified alcohol into food is a winner commercially speaking, although it would heap opprobrium onto the heads of those marketing it ["Oh, Gasp, the Kids, the Kids!"] but alcohol in a pill? No. Theoretically interesting, but imagine swallowing a who bottle of 100 large vitamin pills and I think you'll see my point.

  7. Piglet
    The Dutch invented powdered alcohol some years back.
  8. chillinwill
    Do away with the glasses, pop a vodka pill

    Good news for Vodka lovers as you can consume your favourite drink just like any other solid food, without the hassle of carrying heavy glass bottles.

    Russian professor Evgeny Moskalev of Saint Petersburg Technological University has evolved a technique that allows turning alcohol into powder and packing it in pills.

    The new technique can solidify any kind of alcohol, including whisky, cognac, wine and beer. “Dry” vodka can be wrapped in paper and carried around in a pocket or a bag. Vodka in form of a pill would come handy at parties when “consumers” would be able to calculate their exact required dosage. Prof Moskalev worked for the defence industry during the Soviet regime, but during Gorbachev’s perestroika and the economic turmoil he had to start freelancing.

    “One company wanted to capsulate water and spirit based extract for an animal medication. Animals do not like the smell of spirit but in capsule form it could be added to their food. As a result, we developed a technology that allowed us to turn any liquid solution into powder,” the scientist was quoted as saying by a web portal.

    The technology was tested on spirit of 96 per cent purity and the know-how was patented. However, Moskalev himself prefers the classic way — a shot from a glass and a pickled cumber to chase it with.

    “Unfortunately, spirit can be only retained in capsules made of stearic acid, so powdered vodka tastes like a candle. Generally, an unpleasant taste could be easily removed with flavouring agents,” Moskalev said. “To be honest, I did not like vodka in pills. It is much better to eat it with a dessert spoon, although you can’t eat more than three or four spoons and the effect is weak. So, vodka is best consumed the old way,” the scientist explained.

    He says powdered alcohol could be interesting for bakers who have to use it for baked goods and ice cream all the time.

    November 29, 2009
    Deccan Herald
  9. Alfa
    Thats a much better article. The ridiculous article in the OP is more opinion than anything else.
  10. chillinwill
    Can you move that last article I just posted and make that the OP and move that opinionated article down to the bottom to replace the better article? Or should I just change the title of the thread and eliminate the words 'useless' and 'drinking gets less fun'?
  11. CityTurbo
    Consuming alcohol with less calories... makes perfect sense for those that DO consume on a regular basis!

  12. Birkill
    Swim would love to try this, does anyone know if this is actually available to the general public?
  13. Potter
    Yevgeny Moskalev, a resident of Saint Petersburg, invented a technique that allows turning alcohol into powder. The good news is that the new technique allows doing it to any kind of alcohol, including whisky, cognac, wine and beer.

    Yevgeny Moskalev, professor of Saint Petersburg Technological University, had his own reasons for the invention. In Soviet times, the scientist used to work for the defense industry and during perestroika he had to start freelancing.

    “We made powder glues, worked with resins, and once we were asked to invent a device for capsulation. We assembled the device but the client never paid. We would have given up, but an accident helped us. One company had to capsulate water- and spirit- based extract of an animal medication. Animals do not like the smell of spirit and in a capsule form it could be added to their food. As a result, we developed a technology that allowed us to turn any solution into powder,” the scientist said.

    The technology was tested on 96% spirit, and the know-how was patented. Moskalev learned to “can” ethanol drops into capsules. He does it by adding alcohol into melted wax in the process of mixing. Then the solution is dissipated, drops of wax harden and retain spirit molecules inside. This is how the idea of the experiment with Russian favorite drink was born. The powder version of vodka became popular since it was easier to carry and harder to break. “Dry” vodka can be wrapped in paper and carried around in a pocket or a bag. Vodka in a form of a pill would come handy at partiers when “consumers” would be able to calculate their exact required dosage. Yet, no vodka pills should be expected in near future.

    “Unfortunately, spirit can be only retained in capsules made of stearic acid, so powdered vodka tastes like a candle. Generally, an unpleasant taste could be easily removed with flavoring agents. To be honest, I did not like vodka in pills. It is much better to eat it with a dessert spoon, although you can’t eat more than three or four spoons and the effect is weak. So, vodka is best consumed the old way,” the scientist explained.

    Moskalev himself prefers the classic scheme – a shot glass and a pickle to chase it with. Yet, he understands that powdered alcohol could be interesting for bakers who have to use it for baked goods and ice cream all the time. The method can be also favored by pharmacists because it allows getting the exact dosage.

    By the way

    We already wrote that the British invented “carbonated vodka.” The process took them 18 months. This vodka is sold in Europe, so Russian tourists will be able to toast with sparkling vodka instead of champagne. However, they should be careful as the effect can surpass all expectations.


  14. chibi curmudgeon
    Did you search for those strings of characters, or the Cyrillic translation? And you can be both a resident and a professor, though usually not a full professor...
  15. chillinwill
    Alcohol substitute that avoids drunkenness and hangovers in development

    An alcohol substitute that mimics its pleasant buzz without leading to drunkenness and hangovers is being developed by scientists.

    The new substance could have the added bonus of being "switched off" instantaneously with a pill, to allow drinkers to drive home or return to work.

    The synthetic alcohol, being developed from chemicals related to Valium, works like alcohol on nerves in the brain that provide a feeling of wellbeing and relaxation.

    But unlike alcohol its does not affect other parts of the brain that control mood swings and lead to addiction. It is also much easier to flush out of the body.

    Finally because it is much more focused in its effects, it can also be switched off with an antidote, leaving the drinker immediately sober.

    The new alcohol is being developed by a team at Imperial College London, led by Professor David Nutt, Britain's top drugs expert who was recently sacked as a government adviser for his comments about cannabis and ecstasy.

    He envisions a world in which people could drink without getting drunk, he said.

    No matter how many glasses they had, they would remain in that pleasant state of mild inebriation and at the end of an evening out, revellers could pop a sober-up pill that would let them drive home.

    Prof Nutt and his team are concentrating their efforts on benzodiazepines, of which diazepam, the chief ingredient of Valium is one.

    Thousands of candidate benzos are already known to science. He said it is just a matter of identifying the closest match and then, if necessary, tailoring it to fit society’s needs.

    Ideally, like alcohol, it should be tasteless and colourless, leaving those characteristics to the drink it’s in.

    Eventually it would be used to replace the alcohol content in beer, wine and spirits and the recovered ethanol (the chemical name for alcohol) could be sold as fuel.

    Professor Nutt believes that the new drug, which would need licensing, could have a dramatic effect on society and improve the nation's health.

    The NHS report Statistics on Alcohol: England, 2009 found more than 800,000 alcohol-related admissions to hospitals in 2007-08 – and more than 6,500 deaths – at a cost to the service of £2.7bn a year.

    Some charities estimate that the toll could be up to five times higher. Drink is, for example, a factor in 40 per cent of fatal fires, 15 per cent of drownings, 65 per cent of suicides and 40 per cent of domestic abuse. It also has other costs, including 17 million lost working days a year, worth about £20bn to the economy.

    “I’ve been in experiments where I’ve taken benzos,” said Professor Nutt. “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. 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?”

    Getting the drug approved could be hard for the team as clinical trials are expensive, and it is not clear who would pay for them, according to Professor Nutt.

    He said that the traditional drinks industry has not shown any interest, however some countries might be persuaded to sponsor the team.

    Some countries have more liberal regimes than others, though, and Professor Nutt thinks Greece or Spain, within the EU, could lead the way.

    The latest Home Office performance figures showed that more than one in four people believe that alcohol is blighting their community.

    A survey of every police force area in England and Wales found that 26 per cent of those polled “perceived people being drunk or rowdy in public placed to be a problem in their area” – a slight increase from last year.

    The fears over the affects of alcohol range from urban to rural communities, with the worst hit being Manchester, South Wales, London, Northumbria and Gwent

    By Paul Rodgers and Richard Alleyne
    December 26, 2009
  16. gregzy
    Im sure these campers would be taking other types of pills to make that night ''fun'' :laugh:
  17. Coconut
    This sounds exactly like synthehol, a synthetic alcohol substitute used by members of the Federation Starfleet.

    This is all wrong! It's meant to be warp drive then synthehol. =/
  18. chillinwill
    Ex drugs tsar creates synthetic alcohol that gives you a buzz without the hangover

    An alcohol substitute that gives the drinker the pleasant feelings of tipsiness without an unpleasant hangover, is being developed by researchers.
    The team, led by drugs expert Professor David Nutt, has developed the drink using chemicals related to the sedative Valium.

    It works on the nerves in a similar way to alcohol causing feelings of well-being and relaxation.

    But no matter how many drinks the consumer has, they should remain only mildly drunk.

    The scientists from Imperial College, London, hope the colourless, tasteless synthetic will eventually replace the alcohol content in beer, wine and liquor.

    The substance has been tested on a number of volunteers.

    Professor Nutt claimed the substitute could slash Britain's binge drinking epidemic, which costs the NHS £3billion a year.

    He added that it would also reduce the number of deaths from alcohol poisoning.

    The team is also working on an antidote pill that would mute the effects of the synthetic alcohol on the brain receptors, allowing drinkers to drive soon afterwards.

    Professor Nutt added: 'Law enforcement could even have the antidote to use on revellers who have used the solution.'

    However, the drugs expert said they would need the backing of the Government because at present the substance would be classified as a drug and would fall foul of drug laws.

    This is unlikely considering Professor Nutt was recently sacked as a government adviser for the controversial comments he made about cannabis and Ecstasy.

    He had criticised the decision to reclassify cannabis to Class B from C and said the process had become politicised.

    January 6, 2010
    Daily Mail
  19. Eratosthenese
    Synthetic alcohol? I can't imagine that would catch on. I don't consider myself a snob when it comes to alcohol, but I feel it would be pretty hard to undermine a couple millenniums worth of tradition with some new-fangled synthetic booze. Not to mention it wouldn't be very economical.
  20. Smeg
    What if you don't drive?
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