The Winery That Fits in a Closet

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

It's the brainchild of biotech scientist Vijay Singh, the inventor of the Wave Bioreactor, which revolutionized the production of biopharmaceuticals. Singh's system replaced the stainless steel tanks used for cell cultivation with disposable, medical-grade plastic bags that required no cleaning or sterilization. His invention is the industry standard. In 2007, Singh sold his company to General Electric and bought property in Somerset, N.J., where he planted a small vineyard. While the vines matured, Singh and his wife, Meera, set about learning the ins and outs of winemaking.


Synthetic wine made without grapes claims to mimic fine vintages

New Scientist

"We can turn water into wine in 15 minutes." So claims the Ava Winery, a San Francisco start-up that is making synthetic wine without grapes – simply by combining flavour compounds and ethanol. Mardonn Chua and Alec Lee came up with the idea while visiting a winery in California's Napa Valley in 2015. There, they were shown the bottle of an iconic wine, Chateau Montelena, which is famous for being the first Californian chardonnay to beat French contenders at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. "I was transfixed by this bottle displayed on the wall," says Chua. "I could never afford a bottle like this, I could never enjoy it.


Scientists discover tiny magnets could be used to remove 'off-tasting' flavors in wines

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A fine wine only ages with time - unless it has substances in it that make the alcoholic beverage taste like vegetables. All wines naturally contain substances that make up their flavors and aromas. However, sometimes they alter the drink too much. Scientists have discovered a way to use tiny magnetic particles to separate and remove the offensive particles without changing the natural flavor of the wine. Alkylmethoxypyrazines, known as MPs, produce vegetable-like aromas in some wines such as cabernet sauvignon.


Nasa finds that space FUNGI pose a threat to missions

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Astronauts on space stations exploring Mars are at risk of asthma, allergies and skin infections from hitchhiking fungi, new research has found. A Nasa study of three student crews housed inside an isolated Mar simulator pod found that the presence of humans changed the pods' fungal community, known as its mycobiome. Colonies of certain fungi - including harmful strains that invade the body and cause allergies, asthma and skin infections - flourished while the crews were living inside. Astronauts on space stations exploring Mars (artist's impression) are at risk of asthma, allergies and skin infections from hitchhiking fungi, new research has found Nasa is now studying fungi to keep long-term space travellers safe on missions to new worlds. We've known since the 1960s some microorganisms can survive the perils of space including microgravity, extreme temperatures and radiation.


Researchers reveal how 'friendly microbes' give fermented kimchi its signature kick (and smell)

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Kimchi, or Korean fermented vegetables, has taken the food world by storm for its presence in popular dishes, digestive benefits and, of course, its deliciously sour taste and funky smell. The dish's unique flavor is owed to the fermentation process, the crux of which involves'friendly microbes' that bring out kimchi's trademark tang. In a new report, the American Chemical Society breaks down the chemical reactions that occur in kimchi to bring about its signature kick. The temperature and length of fermentation can determine what kinds of flavors will develop. Researchers noted that the presence of geranylacetone and beta ionone molecules gives off fruity notes when kimchi is eaten.