Do you know any drinking games? I don’t. I may have played Quarters once, but that’s the extent of my drinking game-knowledge. I owe this to the fact that I didn’t spend enough of my college years drinking. (I wasted those years in other ways that pissed my Hardass Asian Parents off, however, mostly by making horribly amateur B&W photographs, lithographs, and student films, and fancying myself an “artist” of the vaguest variety.)
Since college and drinking go together like ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong, it’s only fitting that a group of Rice University students in Houston has found a way to make drinking beer…purposeful. “BiOWLogists” (Rice’s mascot is the fearsome owl) Taylor Stevenson, Peter Nguyen, Thomas Segall-Shapiro, David Ouyang, Selim Sheikh, Arielle Layman, Sarah Duke, Justin Judd, along with their advisers, recently invented “BioBeer,” a beer modified with resveratrol, the chemical found in wine that prevents cancer and heart disease. They’ve entered it into the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition (more fun than Comic-Con!), which takes place next weekend, an event the young scientists failed to place in last year.
“After last year’s contest, we were sitting around talking about what we’d do this year,” said junior Taylor Stevenson. “(Graduate student) Peter Nguyen made a joke about putting resveratrol into beer, but none of us took it seriously.”
While the students are still ironing out the kinks and have yet to brew the beer, once they do, I doubt they’ll have any trouble finding test subjects to see if BioBeer actually works. And that’s when I’ll be making up for lost time.
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