Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Genetically Engineered Yeast to Manufacture Complex Medicine


     Stanford University has introduced a new method of creating drugs based off of yeast. This drug, noscapine, a non narcotic cough suppressant, has been created by bio-engineers who inject extracts from poppy seeds into brewers yeast. Scientists have realized they can produce large amounts of this medicine as needed. They have accomplished this by stitching three separate sections of the noscapine biosynthesis pathway into a single yeast strain.The technology they have initiated can change the way all essential medicine is made in the future according to a professor at Stanford. An exciting fact about this medicine is that preclinical trials have indicated that this drug can potentially be used as a cancer drug. Also, this cancer treatment would be less toxic and harmful then the treatment that there is now. The down side to this medicine is that it is extracted from opium poppies. Our country is struggling with an opioid epidemic and this can create a lot of restrictions to manufacturing this medicine.
      I personally am unsure of how I feel about this medicine. I believe there should be a lot of restrictions on opioids, and scientists should be figuring out ways to avoid them in treatment. If it can cure cancer, then I am an advocate for this medicine. However, they have not yet  specified if it is an addictive drug. I would like to know more about the effects of this new medicine.

The article about this invention is found on:
More about noscapine:

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