In the Trek world, Synthenol was a chemical variant of alcohol, invented by the Ferengi, that had the same taste and smell as ‘real’ alcohol but none of its effects. It would prevent evrything from alcoholism to hangovers.
It was also science-fiction, at least for now. Psychopharmacologist David Nutt of the University of Bristol in the UK is suggesting in next month’s Journal of Psychopharmacology.
From the New Scientist:
The trick pharmacologists need to pull off is to make a mixture of molecules that deliver alcohol’s pleasurable effects, notably relaxation and sociability, without the aggression, nausea, loss of coordination and amnesia that can cause drinkers and those around them so much grief. Long-term problems such as cirrhosis of the liver could also be eliminated, says Nutt…
Althuogh the search for the cure for hangovers has been common ground for con men and idealists, tt’s not as far fetched as one might have believed in the past. Now that science has figured out what causes the effects of alcohol (essentially it’s a bio chemical response within a brain’s GABA A receptor…and this is a vaaaaaaast oversimplification), figuring out how to prevent the less-than-welcome after effects of alcohol may now be only a matter of time.