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Homemade Morphine Could Be Reality Within A Few Years

Opium Poppy Field

Researchers and policymakers have warned of homemade narcotics in light of the possibility morphine-producing yeast will make it easy for people to manufacture highly addictive opiates and according to the LA Times, such homemade narcotics could be here in just a few years.

Earlier this month, scientists discovered a long-sought gene contained within poppies which the plants need to produce morphine and the discovery could help scientists finish creating morphine-producing yeast.

Identifying the key gene poppies use to produce morphine could lead to improved methods of producing the drug, potentially without the need to cultivate fields of poppies, Reuters indicated in a report which quoted University of York Professor Ian Graham as having said that poppies are “not going to be displaced overnight” as a result of the discovery.

Graham, who helped isolate the gene, told Reuters that the gene “allows us to develop molecular breeding approaches to creating bespoke poppy varieties that make different compounds,” and this could lead to agricultural production of drugs as well as higher morphine yields from improved strains of the plant.

Having our hands on this gene allows us to develop molecular breeding approaches to creating bespoke poppy varieties that make different compounds

In other news, U.S. drug overdoses resulting in death are on the rise, according to a new study conducted by the non-profit Trust for America’s Health which found that nearly 52 percent of the deaths to be prescription drug related.

In light of rising overdose deaths, does the prospect of homemade morphine concern you?

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