TagLSD

Scientists Want to Make a Lysergic Acid Factory from Microbes

Lysergic acid

The headline for The Guardian article about this says the scientists want to make LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), but the article itself says they want to make lysergic acid (with no diethylamide), a precursor to LSD with other uses.

They said developing biofuels was a terrible business strategy, because fuel was so cheap. Why not make expensive compounds, like pharmaceuticals, instead?

The advice got Wintermute thinking. What was the most valuable compound they could make with the toolkit of synthetic biology? Some research came up with a few candidates including a few very sophisticated cancer drugs. But another compound was up there in monetary terms: LSD. The value by weight was astronomical.

Wintermute and his colleagues had a good laugh about that. But the more they looked into it, the more interesting – and viable – the drug looked. Around 20 tonnes of lysergic acid, a precursor of LSD, are made each year and turned into real medicines, such as nicergoline, a treatment for dementia. The drug is purified from big vats of fungus (which make the compound naturally) using technology developed decades ago.

The Guardian: Harvard scientists to make LSD factory from microbes

(via DrBenway23)

RIP Owsley “Bear” Stanley, Original Sound Engineer for the Grateful Dead and Big Time LSD Manufacturer

The Bear

Owsley “Bear” Stanley, the original sound engineer for the Greatful Dead who was also credited with kickstarting the 60s by manufacturing massive amounts of LSD, died in a car accident in Australia last weekend.

National Post’s Obituary of Stanley

The Dead get a bad rap these days. Many have forgotten the band’s contributions outside of hippie music. Jerry Garcia, a lifelong science fiction fan, was actually a technology advocate with an interest fringe science ideas like cryogenics. Lyricist John Perry Barlow went on to co-found the EFF. The Dead forum was a core part of the important BBS The WELL, an early force bringing together counter-culture and high technology. In the history of cyberculture, the Dead is up there with Stewart Brand and Timothy Leary in terms of importance.

A couple years ago Uriah Zebadiah hipped me to the Dead’s contributions to audio technology via Stanley. In addition to being an LSD manufacturer, Stanley wanted to experiment with audio technology – and the Grateful Dead were his lab. He funded the band just so he could experiment with their equipment.

From San Francisco Chronicle’s profile of Stanley from 2007 (via Boing Boing):

Less well known are Bear’s contributions to rock concert sound. As the original sound mixer for the Grateful Dead, he was responsible for fundamental advances in audio technology, things as basic now as monitor speakers that allow vocalists to hear themselves onstage. […]

“We’d never thought about high-quality PAs,” says the Dead’s Weir. “There was no such thing until Bear started making one.”

The Chronicle profile includes a rare interview with Stanley about his all-meat diet and his belief in a coming Ice Age.

For more history of LSD, check out the Skilluminati article Ronald Hadley Stark: The Man Behind the LSD Curtain.

Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World

Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World Nicholas Schou

In the 1960s, a group of psychedelic-loving misfits from Orange County called the Brotherhood of Eternal Love figured it could turn the entire world on to the mystical power of LSD.

It seemed like a reasonable idea at the time — the brotherhood had been founded on a shared belief in LSD’s transformative effects. But somewhere along the line, the spiritual message was squashed by thousands of kilos of smuggled marijuana and hashish.
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By decade’s end, the psychedelic messengers had sidetracked into a smuggling operation that made the group one of the largest drug cartels in America.

Instead of enlightenment, the members of the brotherhood wound up making their mark as narcotics trailblazers: They distributed Orange Sunshine, arguably the most popular “brand” of LSD in history; created the strain of pot known as Maui Wowie; and were the first to bring Afghan hash to the U.S.

For a while, they were America’s foremost counterculture outlaws, dubbed the “hippie mafia” by Rolling Stone. But the organization ultimately fell prey to greed, back-stabbing and legal heat. And when it was gone, it barely registered an acid flashback, even after biographers, documentarians and Madison Avenue began to strip mine the hippie era for material.

Yet in “Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World,” Nicholas Schou manages — amazingly — to penetrate four decades of silence.

LA Times: Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World

Buy Orange Sunshine on Amazon

(via Bruce Sterling)

Obama LSD blotter art

lsd blotter obama

(via Erowid)

See also: Alex Grey Obama Portrait

Also: Barack Obama ecstasy tablets

obama ecstasy pills

Do blind people hallucinate on LSD?

I’ve just found a remarkable 1963 study [pdf] from the Archives of Opthalmology in which 24 blind participants took LSD to see if they could experience visual hallucinations.

It turns out, they can, although this seems largely to be the case in blind people who had several years of sight to begin with, but who later lost their vision.

Those blind from a very early age (younger than two years-old) did not report visual hallucinations, probably because they never had enough visual experience to shape a fully-functioning visual system when their brain was still developing.

Mind Hacks: Do blind people hallucinate on LSD?

(via Paul Bingman)

LSD research resurgence

Nearly 40 years after widespread fear over recreational abuse of LSD and other hallucinogens forced dozens of scientists to abandon their work, researchers at a handful of major institutions – including UCSF and Harvard University – are reigniting studies. Scientists started looking at less controversial drugs, like ecstasy and magic mushrooms, in the late 1990s, but LSD studies only began about a year ago and are still rare.

The study at UCSF, which is being run by a UC Berkeley graduate student, is looking into the mechanisms of LSD and how it works in the brain. The hope is that such research might support further studies into medical applications of LSD – for chronic headaches, for example – or psychiatric uses. […]

In 1966, the federal government made LSD illegal, and by the early 1970s, research into all psychedelic drugs in humans had come to a halt, although some scientists continued to study the drugs in animals.

SF Gate: LSD’s long, strange trip back into the lab

(What a Wonderful Place to Be)

Alex Grey paints Dr. Albert Hofmann

albert hoffman portrait by alex grey

Snagged from LVX23.

For more on Alex Grey check out our dossier on him

Scientific and technological breakthroughs attributed to LSD

In his presentation, artist Alex Grey noted that Nobel-prize-winner Francis Crick, discoverer of the double helical structure of DNA, also told friends he received inspiration for his ideas from LSD, according to news reports.

The gathering included a discussion of how early computer pioneers used LSD for inspiration. Douglas Englebart, the inventor of the mouse, Myron Stolaroff, a former Ampex engineer and LSD researcher who was attending the symposium, and Apple-cofounder Steve Jobs were among them. In the 2005 book What the Dormouse Said, New York Times reporter John Markoff quotes Jobs describing his LSD experience as “one of the two or three most important things he has done in his life.”

Wired: LSD: The Geek’s Wonder Drug?/a>

1947: the Year the Future Broke

Vortex Egg rounds up some 1947 synchronicities

The Roswell, New Mexico crash occurred on July 2, 1947.

Aleister Crowley died on December 1, 1947

Sandoz Laboratories, the sole producer of LSD began marketing that drug in its country of origin, Swizterland, under the trade name ?Delysid? in 1947 (it was introduced to the United States the following year).

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered

The sound barrier was broken by Gen. Chuck Yeager (USAF) on October 14, 1947.

The transistor was invented on December 16th, 1947.

Link.

Wikipedia entry for 1947.

LSD cures allergies???

I found this story on Plastic: Andrew Weil (a leader in alternative medicine) is advocating LSD as an allergy treatment. “I took LSD. I was in a wonderful outdoor setting. I felt terrific and, in the midst of this, a cat came up to me and crawled into my lap. I did not have an allergic reaction to it and I never did since.”

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