September 06, 2004


Yellow's not just for Livestrong.

Yellow is the crux of this article, a piece about a company that manufactures synthetic urine.

I was hooked on the first paragraph, asking myself the question, "why would a company do that?" Well...
While the business plan might induce stifled giggles, synthetic urine is a serious matter in the laboratory industry.

Researchers, drug-testing labs and other institutions buy thousands of gallons of the real stuff, mostly to calibrate the equipment used to test regular urine samples for drugs or other substances. Researchers periodically check the accuracy of their equipment by introducing samples that have been intentionally spiked with chemicals.

But human urine has its limitations.

It's unstable, decaying rapidly if not kept refrigerated and must be frozen when shipped. It can smell, it foams and donors must be screened carefully for drug use or disease. Also, different body chemistry guarantees that no two people's urine is exactly alike, an irritation for researchers who rely on consistency.

In the end, a fully synthetic urine has remained a laudable goal in scientific circles.
Urine SPOILS? Does that make it smell better? You can tell I'm not much of a biologist.

The name of the synthetic? Surine.


Posted by hln at September 6, 2004 08:05 PM | General News | TrackBack

Sounds like the makings of Fox special to me:

When urine goes bad.

Posted by: Kevin Murphy at September 7, 2004 08:26 AM