Home-brewed heroin on the horizon

IS HOME-brewed heroin on the horizon? 

Researchers have managed to engineer yeast into thebaine, the opiate precursor to morphine, and hydrocodone, the semisynthetic opioid used in several common painkillers, in 
a proof-of-principle study.

Using a medley of plant, bacterial and rodent genes combined with the sugar created from baker’s yeast, the team from Stanford University says it may be possible to bypass the traditional raw material, opium poppy seeds.

And, by tweaking the yeast pathways, chemists may be able to produce less-addictive, more-effective painkillers.

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