Forget going through the trouble of growing mushrooms. Researchers at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio have figured out a way to mass produce psilocybin using bacteria. And they say they’re yielding quantities of the therapeutic compound that would otherwise require some serious square footage, not to mention many months, to yield from mushrooms. But this isn’t a synthetic or artificial process. Instead, the team of researchers—undergraduates led by assistant professor Andrew Jones—turned to a common laboratory method: splicing DNA.
After isolating the DNA sequence behind the production of psilocybin in mushrooms, the team did a simple copy/paste, splicing the mushroom DNA into the genome of E. coli. Then, they sat back and watched the E. coli work its mushroom magic, following the DNA’s instructions to produce psilocybin.
Scientists Are Working Technology to Mass Produce Psilocybin
“Once we transferred the DNA, we saw a tiny peak emerge in our data,” said Alexandra Adams, a junior chemical engineering major and lead author of the study presenting the groundbreaking work. “We knew we had done something huge.”
And something out of a sci-fi novel, too. By imbuing the humble E. coli bacterium with the psilocybin-producing power of a fungus, the researchers made the