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Thread: 'Home-brewed morphine' made possible

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    'Home-brewed morphine' made possible

    Great, now they're going to ban sugar and yeast.

    'Home-brewed morphine' made possible - BBC News

    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. Experts have called for tight control of organisms genetically modified to produce narcotics.

    If you brew beer at home, then you are relying on microscopic yeast that turns sugars into alcohol. But by borrowing DNA from plants, scientists have been genetically engineering yeasts that can perform each of the steps needed to convert sugar into morphine. One stage of the process - the production of an intermediary chemical called reticuline - had been a stumbling block. That has been solved by a team at the University of California, Berkeley, and the scientists say it should now be possible to put all the steps together and "brew" morphine. Dr John Dueber, a bioengineer at the university, said: "What you really want to do from a fermentation perspective is to be able to feed the yeast glucose, which is a cheap sugar source, and have the yeast do all the chemical steps required downstream to make your target therapeutic drug. "With our study, all the steps have been described, and it's now a matter of linking them together and scaling up the process. "It's not a trivial challenge, but it's doable."

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    Re: 'Home-brewed morphine' made possible

    Quote Originally Posted by Anomalism View Post
    Great, now they're going to ban sugar and yeast.

    'Home-brewed morphine' made possible - BBC News

    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. Experts have called for tight control of organisms genetically modified to produce narcotics.

    If you brew beer at home, then you are relying on microscopic yeast that turns sugars into alcohol. But by borrowing DNA from plants, scientists have been genetically engineering yeasts that can perform each of the steps needed to convert sugar into morphine. One stage of the process - the production of an intermediary chemical called reticuline - had been a stumbling block. That has been solved by a team at the University of California, Berkeley, and the scientists say it should now be possible to put all the steps together and "brew" morphine. Dr John Dueber, a bioengineer at the university, said: "What you really want to do from a fermentation perspective is to be able to feed the yeast glucose, which is a cheap sugar source, and have the yeast do all the chemical steps required downstream to make your target therapeutic drug. "With our study, all the steps have been described, and it's now a matter of linking them together and scaling up the process. "It's not a trivial challenge, but it's doable."
    I picture millions of people reading this article in frustration and and screaming at their monitor: "Just post the ****ing link to the recipe already!!"

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    Re: 'Home-brewed morphine' made possible

    This is fantastic. I am sure this can help a lot of people in the world who would typically not have access to an important drug like morphine.
    "We ain't a sharp species. We kill each other over arguments about what happens when you die, then fail to see the ******* irony in that." - Justin Halpern

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    Re: 'Home-brewed morphine' made possible

    Is this really cheaper and/or easier than growing the poppies and extracting? Opium poppies are very easy to grow.

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    Re: 'Home-brewed morphine' made possible

    if people want to use opiates, that's on them. at least if they can make it at home, they won't be robbing houses to get it. also, that would take a big chunk of money out of organized crime. the other benefit i see is that the drug warriors won't be able to put every obstacle they can in front of people who are in horrible pain.

    the downside is that opiates are ****ing scary. the only way i would take one is if the pain was really, seriously bad.

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    Re: 'Home-brewed morphine' made possible

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    Is this really cheaper and/or easier than growing the poppies and extracting? Opium poppies are very easy to grow.
    I think your permanent poppy field might attract some attention.

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    Re: 'Home-brewed morphine' made possible

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    if people want to use opiates, that's on them. at least if they can make it at home, they won't be robbing houses to get it. also, that would take a big chunk of money out of organized crime. the other benefit i see is that the drug warriors won't be able to put every obstacle they can in front of people who are in horrible pain.

    the downside is that opiates are ****ing scary. the only way i would take one is if the pain was really, seriously bad.
    And to think our troops were protecting those A-Stan poppy fields for naught.
    Killing one person is murder, killing 100,000 is foreign policy

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    Re: 'Home-brewed morphine' made possible

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    if people want to use opiates, that's on them. at least if they can make it at home, they won't be robbing houses to get it. also, that would take a big chunk of money out of organized crime. the other benefit i see is that the drug warriors won't be able to put every obstacle they can in front of people who are in horrible pain.

    the downside is that opiates are ****ing scary. the only way i would take one is if the pain was really, seriously bad.
    C'mon. People in terrible pain have NO obstacles getting pain meds. The obstacles come when/if they start selling them.

    Yes, doctors are leery of prescribing opiates to patients when there isn't a compelling need, but they have no problem putting those with genuine need on pain management.

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    Re: 'Home-brewed morphine' made possible

    While interesting, I am not sure of the marketability.
    Real morphine is not actually expensive.

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    Re: 'Home-brewed morphine' made possible

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    C'mon. People in terrible pain have NO obstacles getting pain meds. The obstacles come when/if they start selling them.

    Yes, doctors are leery of prescribing opiates to patients when there isn't a compelling need, but they have no problem putting those with genuine need on pain management.
    many have to jump through all kinds of hoops and deal with bull****.

    Pill mill fallout: Legitimate patients have trouble getting pain meds - Naples Daily News

    Walgreens' "secret checklist" reveals controversial new policy - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

    no one who has legitimate chronic pain issues should have to go without meds.

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