Scientists finally discover how to synthesize magic mushrooms' active ingredient, psilocybin


Originally published at:


Scientists finally discover how to synthesize magic mushrooms’ active ingredient, psilocybin

I’m in, anyone else?


Next step:

After bar soap is determined to be a precursor chemical, we’ll all need to show our driver license to buy a bar of Dial™


That explains the soapy taste before I framjoozled the mahopolimaboing.


"Moooooo! Scientists are stealing our jerbs!"



Eager to read more about these enzymatic pathways, but that link’s no link!
Maybe this is where you mean to send people?


Scientists finally discover how to synthesize magic mushrooms’ active ingredient, psilocybin

It might be more accurate to say they figured out how to synthesize it cheaply and efficiently.

I was told once of an organic chemistry class in which students were taught a “total synthesis” for cocaine – except to actually practice that synthetic method in a lab (with all the associated purifications at every step) would be inordinately expensive.


Reminds me of my organic chemistry class, where half of the final exam was just the synthesis for LSD. Gave us the original reagent structures, a couple hints, and the final structure and left the rest to us. Not entirely sure how sanctioned it was by my Uni


You gotta give the students a reason to WANT to pass the test.


No, sadly, I was born without mushroom enzymes. The pain of being human.


“Total synthesis” is an entire field where the goal is to make a biologically-derived compound through abiotic means. I’m told the general result is that someone spends they’re whole PhD making one compound, and ends up with a few mg, just enough to say “yep, that’s it.” It’s not meant to be practical. The difference hear is that they identified and are using the mushroom’s enzymes the same way the mushroom does. I can’t see whether they did it by isolated the enzymes from a mushroom, or maybe putting the mushroom enzyme genes in yeast or bacteria to get the enzymes?

@R.Birks In high school a kid in my AP Bio class decorated the cover he put on his textbook with the LSD synthetic process. It’s not a secret, and shouldn’t really need university sanction. That’s just not the thing that limits access to LSD. Of course, sometimes administrators make foolish choices in regards to censorship, anyway.


That kid probably would’ve killed it on my final, then


We can pack it in folks, the internet’s been won for the day.


link doesn’t work…



And Shulgin described the synthesis of psilocybin in TIHKAL.


Seriously fake news.


@frauenfelder This is extremely disappointing post. I expect poor science reporting on many websites but I expect better from boingboing.

Psilocybin is an extremely simple and easy to synthesize molecule. A quick google search shows at the very least Albert Hofmann synthesized psilocybin 1958, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was synthesized before then as well.

It’s biosynthetic pathway has also been well characterized prior to this paper. The advancement this publication discloses is the biosynthesis of psilocybin in vitro using the enzymes present in Psilocybe mushrooms.


Yeah, technically inclined heads have been synthesizing psilocybin for quite a while now, man. You need more weird friends.


Yo! Markus, ole buddy, old sod.

My first thought was that Hofmann did it first in the late '50s via the reductive phosphorylation of a DMT analog.

Please, pleez, puh-LEE-uz! use words like biogenesis here instead of synthesis. We c’n handle it. Honest.

Your abiding fan,
Dan, da man.