The process by which a poppy encodes enzymes to make morphine has been discovered.

12 Aug 2015

In a breakthrough, scientists based at University of Calgary worked out how poppies synthesize the pain killing enzymes needed to create morphine. This is through locating the specific gene. This seemingly simple discovery has taken the laboratory of Peter Facchini 23 years of painstaking work.

It is hoped that the gene can one day be genetically engineered into suitable yeasts, so that the microbes can be rendered into morphine producing factories. Other potential drugs to be produced include codeine and oxycodone.

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