Friday, December 7, 2012

Today in science, we explore unfeasible beer-related solutions for pneumonia

A Japanese brewery has said that a scientific study yielded some interesting results: namely, that beer can be used to prevent or alleviate illnesses caused by the RS virus, which include pneumonia, bronchitis, and other breathing difficulties.  Sounds great!

Tokyo: Consuming large quantities of a key ingredient in beer can protect against winter sniffles and even some serious illnesses

Super cool, you guys.  It might be tough to consume large quantities of beer while sick, but we can power through.

in small children, a Japanese brewery said citing a scientific study. 

Oh.  It works only on small children.  I think I'd like to hear more about study, specifically: how was this study legal at all?  It sounds like you just got small children drunk when they already had pneumonia, and the officers who spoke to me last time were very clear that I was not allowed to do that.

Don't worry--they're using light beer.

In research with scientists at Sapporo Medical University, the compound -- humulone -- was found to be effective in curbing the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus, said the company, which funded the study.

"The RS virus can cause serious pneumonia and breathing difficulties for infants and toddlers, but no vaccination is available at the moment to contain it," said Jun Fuchimoto, a researcher from the company. 

The virus tends to spread in winter and can also cause cold-like symptoms in adults.

Fuchimoto said such small quantities of humulone were present in beer that someone would have to drink around 30 cans, each of 350 millilitres (12 oz), for it to have any virus-fighting effect.

Did little Billy catch pneumonia again?  Just grab a 30-rack of PBR and get cracking.

Pictured: modern medicine at work.
"We are now studying the feasibility of applying humulone to food or non-alcoholic products," he said. "The challenge really is that the bitter taste is going to be difficult for children."

Just get them some of that Bud Light Lime--tastes like Sprite.  Billy's gonna love it.  Anyway, it's cool that they have ideas about ways to give this to kids in ways that don't involve getting them tanked.  Until they figure that out, though, will doctors face an ethical dilemma with younger pneumonia patients?  "Sir, your son is sick--he can get better today, but he and I are going to have to spend about four hours in my office with a case of Colt .45s and my Lynyrd Skynyrd CDs.  There's no time to waste."

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