Scientists from Germany synthesize a component of Magic Mushrooms
German biotechnologists open doors to the world of bioengineering of a substance previously inaccessible to mass production, reports Discovermagazine.com. Researchers at Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany sequenced the genomes of two psychedelic mushroom species involved in the process of creating psilocybin.
Scientists have known about psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in «magic mushrooms». First, Albert Hofmann isolated it in 1958. It is taken until now, however, for scientists to figure out how it is produced. Mass-producing psilocybin is a pharmacy`s dearest wish. It is considered in the medical field, that in the right dosage of psilocybin as a psychotropic drug can help people suffering from depression, alcoholism and other disorders.
The process is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. German scientists, in outline, identified four key enzymes involved in the process of creating psilocybin. Then the bioengineers discovered the nucleotide sequence of the DNA of two species of fungi – Psilocybe cyanescens and Psilocybe cubensis – and isolated the genes of the enzymes. These particular genes that can synthesize an alkaloid in the right amount.
Bringing the synthesis of psilocybin out of the woods and into the lab is a big step toward potentially putting psychedelics on the market. But before the alkaloid will be put into mass production, the mechanism of its synthesis will be studied in the course of clinical studies.
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