20 May 2015

How to make morphine at home

Scientists have figured out how to brew morphine using the same kit used to make beer at home. They have genetically modified yeast to perform the complicated chemistry needed to convert sugar to morphine.

The findings, published in Nature Chemical Biology, raise promise for medicine but also concerns about "home-brewed" illegal drugs...

Brewed morphine could, eventually, be easier to produce. It could also allow scientists to tweak each of the steps to develop new types of painkiller...

"In principle, anyone with access to the yeast strain and basic skills in fermentation would be able to grow morphine producing yeast using a a home-brew kit for beer-making," reads a comment piece in Nature journal.

It calls for tight controls on such genetically modified yeasts.
More information at the BBC.


  1. Talk about kicking that poppyseed coffee cake recipe up a notch.

  2. The holy grail of biotechnology is to create or modify a microorganism, to produce complex chemical in an extremely pure and efficient way. A goose that lays golden eggs if you will. Many chemicals and drugs are already produced by fermentation / biosythesis, including stuff like different alcohols, Vanillin and Citric Acid. Here is an overview list from 2003.

  3. By your reaction, pretty soon we won't be able to cook at all. There will always be those who will find a way to fill a need. And, with our economy as it is, there will be a need to "drown sorrows." Remember, even our founding fathers allowed us the "pursuit of happiness."


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...