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Why scientists are using yeast to make marijuana compounds


the University of California Berkeley
the University of Sydney
THC
CBD


Jay Keasling
Samuel Banister
Kevin Chen
Hyasynth Bio
Amyris
cheaply?Jason Poulos
Jen Wipf

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Keasling
Montreal
Demetrix
California
Boston
Librede

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The New York Times
SOURCE: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/1/18246306/marijuana-cannabinoids-yeast-synthetic-biology-science-environment-nature-study
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Summary

“The simplest way to explain it is that we took the genes out of cannabis that are responsible for making cannabinoids [the active compounds in cannabis], and then we put them into yeast,” explains Jay Keasling, a chemist at the University of California Berkeley and co-author of the study.Typically, giving sugar to yeast makes it produce ethanol, which is why it’s a key ingredient in beer and wine-making. (Keasling’s team was able to make about 8 milligrams of THC per liter of the yeast solution, and a little less for CBD.) But though these two compounds get all the attention, cannabis actually contains over 100 cannabinoids and Keasling’s team was also able to produce some of the rarer ones, and even some that don’t occur naturally, opening up the possibility of new medicines.Scientifically speaking, these innovative methods of creating cannabinoids are important if we want to do comprehensive research on their effects, says Samuel Banister, a chemist at the University of Sydney who was not involved with the study.

As said here by Angela Chen