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Space technology could take headache from red wine

Published:  23 July, 2008

Technology used by the American NASA space agency to detect life on Mars is being adapted to find chemicals in red wine that give drinkers headaches.

Researchers at the University of California in Berkley have adapted equipment developed to look for chemical signs of life on the so called Red Planet, so that it can detect chemicals called biogenic amines, which are said to cause some red wine drinkers headaches.

A briefcase-sized prototype uses a drop of wine to work out a particular wine's amine levels, and is said to be able to do this in five minutes.

The scientists working on the equipment hope to launch a more compact production version for use in restaurants and bars.