Mice may make morphine
Mammals could have opiate factories.
Mice can synthesize morphine from various intermediate chemicals.N. Grobe & N. Weir
Mammals may possess the biochemical machinery to produce morphine — a painkiller found in the opium poppy, according to a new study.
What is morphine?
Morphine is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers.
Meinhart Zenk of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St Louis, Missouri, and colleagues detected traces of morphine in the urine of mice after injecting chemical precursors of the drug. They report their findings today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .
Morphine is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It works by dulling the pain perception center in the brain. Short-acting formulations are taken as needed for pain. Extended-release formulations are used when around-the-clock pain relief is needed.
Morphine is not for treating pain just after surgery unless you were already taking it before the surgery. Janelle Weaver Nature news – Published online 26 April 2010 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2010.202
This article is about: