A British scientist says he's very close to developing booze without the bad effects.

Professor David Nutt of Imperial College in London says that includes hangovers and alcohol's damaging effects on the liver, heart, and brain.

Nutt says he's identified five compounds that are effective alcohol substitutes which mimic alcohol's more mellow effects on the brain.

He says he had a few drinks of one of those compounds and was relaxed and, as he put it, sleepily inebriated for about an hour. But within minutes of taking an antidote, he was "up giving a lecture with no impairment whatsoever."

Nutt says, in theory, it should be possible to make an alcohol substitute that makes people feel relaxed and sociable, without the anti-social effects of aggressiveness and addiction.