[Canada] Sounds fishy, but it’s not. A professor at the University of Québec at Trois-Rivières has been recognized for her part in helping to identify a natural, viable and cost-effective way that could reduce the price level of cannabinoids by growing THC and CBD inside microscopic algae.
For that, Isabel Desgagné-Penix has received the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership – Professor. Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that encourages innovation in Canada by applying academic research to the business challenges facing the country and the world.
Working with biosynthetic company Algae-C, Desgagné-Penix was able to alter microalgae genes to enable the algae to produce the components found in cannabis, reported TVA Nouvelles. “We have demonstrated that we can isolate and produce cannabinoids in the algae in the laboratory, which requires less light, less nutrients and less space than traditional cannabis cultivation,” she said.
“Not only is the process natural and viable, it is also cost-effective and should ultimately reduce the price level of cannabinoids, which are currently generating a lot of interest in their pharmaceutical benefits,” she added.
Algae-C is planning to apply large-scale testing to Desgagné-Penix’s research next year.
The amount of time and energy required to grow acres of cannabis and then extract its valuable CBD and THC, has researchers scrambling to find better methods of production. A group of Ryerson students is currently modifying the genes of yeast to make it possible to produce the drug.
Their research, like Desgagné-Penix’s, could open the door to the easy creation and extraction of not only THC and CBD, but other cannabinoids that are mostly unknown. “Currently, because it’s only economically sensible to harvest THC and CBD, hundreds of potentially therapeutic cannabinoids are being overlooked,” said Louis Lo, co-founder and chief scientific officer of the students’ start-up, Biofect Innovations.
“We have no idea what the benefits of the other cannabinoids are, so this could open the door to new research. The idea is that, hopefully, some of these compounds will lead to new and better medicines.”
Photo: Working with biosynthetic company Algae-C, Desgagné-Penix was able to alter microalgae genes to enable the algae to produce the components found in cannabis Videologia / iStock / Getty Images Plus
View original article at: Canadian professor gets noticed for growing cannabis inside microalgae
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