The Fountain of Youth. The Ark of the Covenant. A perpetual motion machine. If you’re waiting for any of them to be discovered, you’ll be SOL.

No-hangover red wine? That’s a different story.

At least that’s the story told by scientists at the University of Illinois, who have developed a way to “jailbreak” yeast to reduce the toxins in wine (and other fermented foods and drinks) that produce the heretofore inevitable result of an evening of over-indulging.

The secret is the recently developed “genome knife,” an enzyme that allows scientists to genetically engineer yeasts, either increasing some components or decreasing others. Until now, yeasts have been particularly difficult to alter since any change made to one gene in the genome will instantly be reversed by the other, unaltered genes. The genome knife, however, cuts across all genes in the genome.

The implications are greater than just reducing the size and volume of the brass band playing on your brainpan after guzzling too much good Cabernet. For examples, scientists could increase the amount of resveratrol in red wine, adding more of the component shown to reduce cholesterol and improve cardiac health.

One caution: the genome knife is a double-edged blade. Altering one gene in the genome to reduce toxins or increase resveratrol and you might also affect the genes that give wine its distinctive flavor and character. After all, it’s no fun drinking bad wine. Even if it doesn’t give you a hangover.