A2: Microbes in the news — Yeast produce low-cost, high-quality cannabinoids
Synthetic biologists at UC Berkeley have engineered brewer’s yeast to produce some of the main components in marijuana including THC and CBD among others.
The developing field of synthetic biology is based on taking the tools that we are using in class, such as whole-genome sequencing, and our knowledge of how microbiology works to modify and create solutions to modern problems.
Synthetic biology is an amazing and quickly developing field with the potential to take a future we have only seen in science fiction and turn it into reality. This is an incredible technical achievement showcasing our developing mastery over the fundamental building blocks of life. I knew something like this was coming, I can see the economic incentives for this, I am sure the people behind this will end up fabulously wealthy, but I still can not stop myself from facepalming. Of all the amazing and wondrous potential synthetic biology holds… this had to be the top of my news feed today.
I cannot begin to imagine the legal ramifications, how the hell do you regulate something like this?