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The Science File | IN BRIEF

Nonnarcotic Poppy Could Aid Medicine

November 20, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Australian researchers have genetically engineered the common poppy so that it no longer produces morphine or codeine.

As a result, the team reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the plants accumulate significant quantities of the nonnarcotic alkaloid reticuline. Reticuline, a precursor of antimalarial and anticancer drugs, could be a valuable product.

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