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Stanford scientists raise hope, concern with synthetic narcotics
San Francisco Chronicle

Stanford researchers working in the new field called synthetic biology have engineered the genes of yeast and a mix of plant and animal genes to create powerful narcotic drugs that until now could be derived only from opium poppies.

The groundbreaking achievement has attracted the attention of law enforcement agencies and recalls the widespread controversies of 40 years ago when people feared that new test tube experiments in genetic engineering might create “Andromeda strains” of deadly new microbes.