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Churning Out Some LSD

Jake Wintermute at Harvard University is on his way to using synthetic biology to make lysergic acid, a precursor to LSD, reports Ian Sample at the Guardian. Lysergic acid is also used to make certain medications. Wintermute gave an update on his work at the Synthetic Biology 5 meeting at Stanford University, and said that though he is not yet making lysergic acid, he has inserted two of the six needed biochemical pathways into yeast. "This could be the first step towards a new living factory for making LSD, and thanks to previous experience with microbes, scaling up this kind of technology should not be too arduous for the pharmaceutical industry," Sample adds.

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.