Scientists in Germany have isolated the enzymes necessary to produce psilocybin, the key hallucinogen in magic mushrooms. This knowledge lays the groundwork for scientists who envision mass production of the compound to treat a variety of mental health conditions.

Scientists map psilocybin

The study discovered the correct sequence for psilocybin beginning with a 4-hydroy-L-tryptophon molecule, then used a series of enzymes to strip off carbon dioxide molecules, and finally adding phosphorus and methyl groups. Typically, replicating fungi requires four steps—each requiring a different enzyme—but the study streamlined the process to require only three.

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