Author Topic: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible  (Read 874 times)

Offline BrewingRover

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Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« on: May 19, 2015, 11:46:38 AM »
Pretty interesting article, once you get past all the alarmist talk about controlling distribution of yeast.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-32780624
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2015, 12:05:23 PM »
I can't wait for them to figure out how to make yeast generate hop flavor. Think of all the money we can save on hops!

Offline yso191

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Re: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2015, 05:21:06 PM »
And here I thought you were going to tell us Mark V. was bio-engineering morphine.
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Re: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2015, 01:51:33 AM »
Genetically-modified yeast strains are currently being used to make all kinds of compounds.  An injectable insulin analog called Levemir is made by yeast cells that have been modified using recombinant DNA technology.  Levemir is made the by same company that acquired the old Wallerstein Company (successor to Wallerstein Labs) from Baxter Labs in a litigation battle in the seventies; namely, Novo Nordisk (the business unit of Novo Nordisk that acquired Wallerstein was known as Novo Terapeutisk in the seventies). 

Wallerstein Labs was the premier brewing science organization in the United States at one point in time.  WLN (Wallerstein Labs Nutrient Medium) and WLD (Wallerstein Labs Differential Media) are still the most popular media in use in brewery quality control labs around the world.  Anchor's Steam strain was acquired from Wallerstein in the mid-seventies (i.e., Wyeast 2112 is not an heirloom steam strain).  The New Albion strain is also a Wallerstein strain.


Online erockrph

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Re: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2015, 05:45:07 PM »
Genetically-modified yeast strains are currently being used to make all kinds of compounds.  An injectable insulin analog called Levemir is made by yeast cells that have been modified using recombinant DNA technology.  Levemir is made the by same company that acquired the old Wallerstein Company (successor to Wallerstein Labs) from Baxter Labs in a litigation battle in the seventies; namely, Novo Nordisk (the business unit of Novo Nordisk that acquired Wallerstein was known as Novo Terapeutisk in the seventies). 

Wallerstein Labs was the premier brewing science organization in the United States at one point in time.  WLN (Wallerstein Labs Nutrient Medium) and WLD (Wallerstein Labs Differential Media) are still the most popular media in use in brewery quality control labs around the world.  Anchor's Steam strain was acquired from Wallerstein in the mid-seventies (i.e., Wyeast 2112 is not an heirloom steam strain).  The New Albion strain is also a Wallerstein strain.
Novo Nordisk uses S. cerevesiae to make their whole line of insulin products, not just Levemir. Sacc is also used for many hormones (HGH, glucagon, GM-CSF, etc) as well as some vaccines (Hep B and Gardasil are the ones I'm aware of).

What is most interesting to me is that they are cooking up a cheap, readily available drug. Most recombinant DNA based drugs are typically peptides (long strings of amino acids) that are well-suited to this kind of technology. Other natural products are a lot more challenging, because it's not generally as simple as 1 gene=1 peptide. It will be interesting to see if this kind of bioreactor scales up economically.
Eric B.

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Re: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2015, 07:10:54 PM »
Does the "rph" in erockrph stand for "registered pharmacist?"

Online erockrph

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Re: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2015, 11:56:54 PM »
Does the "rph" in erockrph stand for "registered pharmacist?"
Indeed. I sell drugs for a living and brew beer for a hobby.  :D
Eric B.

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Re: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2015, 12:38:07 AM »
Only a pharmacist or someone who works in drug discovery or clinical trials would know that much information about biologics. 

Online erockrph

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Re: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2015, 06:15:28 PM »
Only a pharmacist or someone who works in drug discovery or clinical trials would know that much information about biologics.
I will say that I also get a lot of info from following Derek Lowe's blog  (the medicinal chemist, not the former MLB pitcher). I started reading it for his awesome "Things I won't work with" posts, but he also gives a great insider view of the industry. A lot of the technical chemistry is over my head, but my hospital has a very active research department so it's nice to see some of the things that are coming down the pipe from both the biochemistry and business viewpoints.
Eric B.

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Offline heavydeadlifts

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Re: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2015, 12:54:34 PM »

Does the "rph" in erockrph stand for "registered pharmacist?"
Indeed. I sell drugs for a living and brew beer for a hobby.  :D

Well I prescribe drugs for a living and brew beer for a hobby that allows me to keep my sanity after dealing with this screwed up world we live in....
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2015, 02:48:14 PM »
I heard this story on the radio yesterday and my first thought "great, here we go".  Hopefully everyone takes it as a WOW look at the cool tech and not as a reason to get scared. 

It's cool to know what you all do in "real life".

And to close the loop, I'm a computer geek for a big bank and I take drugs (mostly ibuprofen and alcohol) to cope with the pain of our internal bureaucracy.   :o

Happy 3 day weekend!!!

Paul
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Bio-engineering morphine from S.cerevisiae possible
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2015, 05:57:17 AM »
Hope they don't restrict your ability to use that particular strain ..... :-X
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