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With the 'Bio' fever raging high, Rice University pupils have come up interestingly with a 'Bio-Beer", that could extend one's life. A group consisting of eight graduate and undergraduate students created BioBeer as part of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. The annual meeting called the iGEM Jamboree, took place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology November on 8th and 9th.
The Bio-Beer has three genes spliced into special brewer's yeast that produce resveratrol.
The chemical 'Resveratrol' in red wine, is believed to keep Diabetes, Cancer, Alzheimer's and other age-related conditions at bay.
The strain of yeast was donated from a 'Rice' alumnus who now runs the St. Arnold Brewing Company in Houston. The researchers are also hoping to modify their yeast enough that they will be granted a patent. They also hope to publish their results sometime next year.
However, to get a patent, the team would need to remove certain genetic markers in the yeast cells. They might also need the approval of the FDA for the classification of yeast as a genetically modified organism.
We started out with a strict policy that we aren't supposed to drink anything in the lab. We do have a strain, and verified that it has the genes, and are in the process of brewing the beer," Discovery News quoted Peter Nguyen, the team's graduate adviser.
The Rice team's faculty adviser Jonathan Silberg said "The levels in the beer might not be high enough to have a beneficial effect,"
While many teams do not work on their product after Jamboree, the Rice team is planning to continue their project and are hoping to publish their results next year, and will continue to test and refine their strain of yeast.
Filtering the beer would not be a good option to eliminate the yeast the medical benefits also could be filtered.
The yeast cells produce Resveratrol inside the cells. The cells have to burst for the human body to access the Resveratrol. Having entered the body, Resveratrol binds to the SIRT1 receptors, which are located inside mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell.
SIRT1 activity has been linked to combating a variety of diseases including diabetes and cancer. It may also play a role in the way calorie restriction diets prolong life in animal models.
So get ready to switch to Bio beer for a healthy relaxation.