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Figure Out How Much Caffeine Is In Your Drink With the New Caffeine Orange

Like Flash Rosenberg said, we have thumbs so we can make coffee.


While some mornings are made for enjoying a cappuccino or some soy-chai-misto-thing, others are a mad rush to jumpstart your body as quickly as possible. In honor of those mornings, here’s an awesome new device: Caffeine Orange. It tells you how much caffeine is in your drink — so you can figure out how much you need in order to feel human.

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Professors Young-Tae Chang and Yoon-Kyoung Cho led a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore to develop a fluorescent caffeine detector and detection kit. This kit can be used for any beverage, be it coffee, tea, or something mildly repulsive before noon like soda or other energy drinks.

All you do to test a drink is irradiate it (safely, of course — this doesn’t, unfortunately, have superpower-inducing side effects) with a laser pointer, and then watch as the solution changes color: red for high caffeine concentrations, yellow for moderate, green for low. It works using a microfluids technique developed by the research team called lab-on-a-disk which extracts and measures caffeine, then emits a fluorescent enhancement based on caffeine analogs with similar structures.

It might be worth mentioning that the detector was created with the intention of limiting caffeine use to avoid the potential side effects of caffeine overdose, not actually to help you start your morning with the most highly-caffeinated beverage you can find. Just remember: if you actually do try to drink a hundred or so cups of coffee by lunch, you might hallucinate and die. So, try to avoid that.

(Nature via, image via Renato Campana)

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