In recent years researchers have been suggesting that so called ‘magic mushrooms’ may be an effective treatment for psychiatric conditions such as PTSD and major depressive disorder. While the novel idea has shown promise in clinical trials the limitation of mass production of the mushrooms has been a concern.
A team of researchers from Miami University have turned to bacteria to help solve the problem. The desirable chemical in the mushrooms is psilocybin. The team were able to insert mushroom DNA that encodes for psilocybin production into E. coli, so their cells produce the chemical in large quantities. The researchers created numerous strains of psilocybin producing E. coli and selected the most efficient strain pPsilo16.
The team believes that should psilocybin become a component of psychiatric medications in the future that pPsilo16 will be able to produce the chemical at the industrial scale that would be required.
Source: Live Science
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