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Molecular communication is a real thing, and scientists demonstrated it with a text message using vodka

Vodka-based drinks are all the rage just now, which saddens me. As a whiskey guy, the furthest I can stretch to is something like a whiskey sour or an old fashioned. Party drinks made to be chugged don’t fly over here buddy. When I see ‘vodka based…’ on the bottle, it makes me think of girls trying to recreate Sex And The City on the cheap and getting hammered before they leave the house. Maybe that’s a cultural thing and Americans aren’t cursed with things like Mad Frog, but I’m sure you have an equivalent.

Maybe I’ll have to stop avoiding anything vodka based if molecular communication takes off and I’m trapped underground during a spelunking adventure holiday. Researchers at Canada’s York University have sent a text message using vodka-based molecular communication. It isn’t a world-first in the animal kingdom, but it is a first for humans. Ok, so they only made the message travel four meters using a desktop fan but it’s still pretty awesome.

The method works similar to a modem in that a signal is sent to a receiver which translates binary into a readable format, except the signal is chemical instead of digital. Alcohol molecules from the vodka were used and the receiver measured concentration to differentiate from ones and zeros. Text messages sent with the help of vodka are usually bad news. This one was a little tamer: “O Canada”.

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