A group of researchers at the University of St Andrews were developing microfluidic chips for blood testing. (These are like computer chips, only with tiny channels, designed to manipulate micro- or even nano-liters of liquid so that they can be tested. They can be used for all sorts of lab tests with very little sample. Want to know more? Check out Wikipedia’s Lab on a Chip entry.)
Anyway, instead of blood, they tried testing the chip’s function using whiskey instead.
Turns out that you can tell all sorts of things about whiskey if you look at it’s Raman spectra. They say that they can work out the brand, age and even which cask was used to create a single malt, from a sample no bigger than a teardrop.
The research, which has been patented and is being presented to industry, was carried out by physicists Praveen Ashok, Kishan Dholakia and Bavishna Praveen.