Boris Johnson has poked fun at the Brexit impasse by asking if an atomic microscope could be used to split the deadlock on future cross-border trade.
On a visit to the Naughton Institute in Trinity College Dublin, the British Foreign Secretary met scientists operating a scanning tunneling microscope and said it looked like something from a Jules Verne novel.
"Do you think you could use this technology to have frictionless trade?" he asked.
"That's what we need."
The cutting edge technology was not the only thing the Foreign Secretary had a gut feeling about as he also went on to sample a treatment for horses with stomach ulcers.
During a whistlestop tour of the neighbouring Science Gallery, Mr Johnson dipped his finger in for a taste of the award-winning FenuSave, a natural equine remedy created by two Dublin schoolgirls and sold in 14 countries worldwide.
The Foreign Secretary asked the teenage entrepreneur sisters Annie and Kate Madden: "Do horses like it?
"Is it good for human beings, because lots of human beings also suffer," he said as he dipped in his forefinger.
"Yea, it's hmmm. It has a bit of a kick on it."
Mr Johnson added: "I don't suffer from ulcers you know."
The Madden sisters explained how their product was developed after they were prizewinners in the BT Young Scientist competition in 2015, aged just 12 and 14.
Annie Madden, now a transition year pupil at Loreto College St Stephen's Green, Dublin, said: "Horses have tasted it, and we have.
"We would have tasted it just to see what it was like. It wasn't that bad, but I wouldn't be eating it a lot."
Her elder sister, a Leaving Certificate student at Loreto, added: "It's designed for animals.
"The flavourings, they appeal to horses. They obviously have different tastes from us."
Annie added: "But it's 100% natural, tested to the highest degree. It's manufactured to human health standards."