Skip to comments.Home-Brew: Scientists Tweak Yeast to Grow Morphine
Posted on 05/19/2015 8:16:04 PM PDT by smokingfrog
Researchers have figured out how to get yeast to produce morphine, codeine and other similar drugs and have immediately urged regulators to control these drug-brewing yeasts before people start trying to make them at home.
They genetically engineered simple brewer's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and came up with a strain that can make very complicated plant compounds that include opioid drugs such as morphine, as well as some antibiotics and muscle relaxants.
It's an important technical step, because now these drugs have to be synthesized directly from plantsan inefficient process. The yeast process isn't that efficient yet, either, but once it's perfected and scaled up, it will lead to easy and cheap ways to make the drugs in large quantities.
"Because of the potential for illicit use of these products, including morphine and its derivatives, it is critical that appropriate policies for controlling such strains be established so that we can garner the considerable benefits while minimizing the potential for abuse," John Dueber and colleagues at the University of California Berkeley write in their report, published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.
Specifically, what they did was to synthesize reticuline, one of the compounds found in poppies, using an amino acid found in sugar called tyrosine.
It's caught the attention of experts already.
(Excerpt) Read more at nbcnews.com ...
That means the Feds are about to start selling hardcore drugs over the counter, right? It doesn’t matter if it fries people’s brains and turns them into zombies as long as there’s profit in it, right?
Cats already out of the bag if this is being reported. It will hit the black market fairly soon.
Beer AND Morphine?!? Is there nothing yeast can’t do?
I....think we just defeated the Taliban forever...?
They’re finished, I think, and from no bullet.
“...simple brewer’s yeast...”
I foresee a boom in home brewing.
More like brew your own heroin....
Notice how it is salt, sugar, fast food ,light-bulbs etc. that is killing us and or destroying the world. used to be eggs, fat,ebola, ozone layer, peak oil. what happened to those imaginary hobgoblins of the media. most things seem to be so dangerous and bad the media says. actually the only things that have harmed me are the media and government. those are some of the only bad things the media,government and collectivism all really the same thing collectivism
Damn Libertarian scientists, anyway!
OK. I see what they are thinking. But I question whether there are actually any brain cells operating here. How do you control a yeast strain. Once it's out, it's out. Period. Every junkie will have a pot of his favorite "starter".
I see this killing the micro brew beer craze. the government is going to have regulate home brewing and I see a lot of drug dealers suddenly start taking up the hobby of brewing beer
If somehow a few of those spores get out and distributed on the black market - say goodbye to the #1 cash crop in the middle east. No more $$ for Akbar. That works for me.
Better living through chemistry or would that be horticulture?
Fungi would be horticulture?
From the article:
“biological engineering department at MIT points out that the method isn’t very efficient just yet, and won’t appeal to do-it-yourself drug manufacturers.
“Considering a dose of morphine is 30 mg, this means that 300 liters of yeast would have to be grown for one dose,” he said.
Let me know when it can manufacture a Mariel Hemingway.
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