Yeast. They already participate in producing some of the most popular pain-killing substances around: beer and wine.
Now, scientists have engineered yeast that can also make one of the most powerful analgesics: morphine.
Their work is in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.
Opiates like morphine and codeine are essential for treating severe pain.
But making these meds isn't easy.
All are derived from opium poppies, and tens to hundreds of thousands of tons are needed to meet global needs.
The crops can also be affected by climate, disease and even political turmoil in the countries where the plants are grown, which further limits commercial production.
To get around these potential challenges, researchers have turned to yeast, an organism that can be grown easily on industrial scales.
The scientists inserted into yeast cells a handful of genes isolated from the opium poppy.
These genes encode the enzymes the plants use to produce opiates.
After tweaking the system to adjust the relative amounts of the enzymes, the researchers could feed their yeast a precursor chemical called thebaine, and get pure morphine in return.
The yeast can't yet make opiates from scratch.
But with a bit more effort and a few more enzymes, yeast may produce painkillers that are prescription strength.
1.participate in 参加；分享
Did you love and participate in his family?
Those numbers tell you something about aggregate activities, but why doindividuals participate in this in the first place?
2.derive from 源出，来自
These relationships derive from the business model and the selection treeenforces them.
The stereotype of German humourlessness is believed to derive from theirreputation for efficiency, punctuality and rationality, presumed to be at theexpense of humour.
3.opium poppies 罂粟
Along the way I made out a patch of opium poppies waiting to be harvested.
Fedotov said Afghanistan continued to be the world's leading grower of opiumpoppies accounting for 74 percent of global production in 2010, a 14 percent drop from the year before.
4.global needs 全球需求
It is often assumed in the private sector that philanthropy is the only way ofaddressing global needs.
Second, it must foster the satisfaction of future global needs for food and forest products without compromising the sustainability of the earth's fragile naturalresources or its climate.