Hospital Opens a Bar for Science, But There's a Catch ...

Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and researcher Dr. Lorenzo Leggio posing at the hospital bar. Photo: Cliff Owen/AP

... and that catch is that it's completely fake. Instead of booze, the liquid inside the bottles is colored water (but to be extra sneaky, the researchers hid real alcohol nearby so the place smells authentic).

The fake hospital bar is located inside the National Institutes of Health's hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. It's part of an experiment to test the safety of a new drug designed to help heavy alcohol drinkers to quit.

"The goal is to create almost a real-world environment, but to control it very strictly," said researcher Dr. Lorenzo Leggio to Lexington Herald-Leader. Leggio's team is testing how the hormone ghrelin, which creates the hungry signal, also affects alcoholics' desire for alcohol and whether blocking it helps drinkers quit.

Not really! Photo: Cliff Owen/AP

But if you're craving for drinks while at the hospital, there's hope: all you have to do is move to France.

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This post needs a joke or two.

Two scientists walk into a bar.

The first one says “I’ll have some H2O.” The second one says, “I’ll have some H2O too.”

The second scientist dies.


Two scientists walk into a bar.

The first scientist says ‘I’ll have a glass of H2O”

The second scientist says ‘I’ll have a glass of water too. Wh… why did you say H2O? Like, I know it’s the chemical formula for water and all, but it’s the end of the day and there’s really no need to intentionally over-complicate things like that in a situation outside of work”

The first scientist stares at his drink, angry that his assassination plan has failed.


Two scientists walk into a bar:

"I’ll have an H2O."

"I’ll have an H2O, too."

The bartender gives them both water because he is able to distinguish the boundary tones that dictate the grammatical function of homonyms in coda position as well as pragmatic context.
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