Latest research shows that Yeast can also make narcotics too. Yeast is a magical micro-organism, which has the ability to do chemical reaction to make beer and bread. A group of scientist from Stanford University, has experimented the strain of yeast (common brewer) to make the normal sugar to opioid drugs.
Last year, Christina Smolke, bio-engineer announced that they have experimented coaxed yeast into a precursors which produces rhebaine, which is a molecule which can be easily converted into morphine, heroin and oxycodone. Recently, by cracking 23 genes from plants, bacteria into yeast, they have made the yeast to produce thebaine and also in addition to this, it also produces painkiller hydrocodone. Smolke mentioned that it is one of the most complicated chemical reaction that ever experimented in the yeast.
Again Yeast has proved that, it is one of the most valuable assets in the world of biotechnology and the most controversial thing is that, it takes up new genes from others and spit out them in a more useful manner. So far, Yeast turns into a factory of all sorts of valuable products right from bread to antibiotics.
In Science, Stephanie Galanie, author of Complete biosynthesis of opioids in yeast, mentioned as
Here, we engineered yeast to produce the selected opioid compounds thebaine and hydrocodone starting from sugar. All work was conducted in a laboratory that is permitted and secured for work with controlled substances. We combined enzyme discovery, enzyme engineering, and pathway and strain optimization to realize full opiate biosynthesis in yeast.
In the meanwhile, some of the experts feel that yeast, which produces morphine and heroine are crossing their line and still, its unknown about the side-effects that is caused by the morphine which are produced by those Yeasts. Some critics regarding the Yeast is that, in future, we will able to brew heroin or morphine like beer.
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