Genetically Engineered Weed: There's an App for That

A small Amsterdam startup called Medicinal Genomics, has analyzed the marijuana plant down to its strands of DNA, and the company's CEO says some analysis of the data will be available as an iPad app next fall.

For now, they've released the estimated 400 million base pairs that make up the Cannabis sativa genome on Amazon's EC2 public cloud.

The company hopes to grow marijuana plants tailored to have specific medicinal properties.

Kevin McKernan, Medicinal Genomics' CEO has been in biotech since 2000 when he cofounded Agencourt Bioscience. Cannabis caught his fancy after reading a 2003 study that outlined anticancer properties in cannabinoids. He told UPI that the medical marijuana market is growing by 50 percent every year, and having a detailed genome sequence will help with regulation.

"It's going to have to be a fairly regulated market," he said, "and regulation is going to come through genetics and fingerprinting of which strains are approved."

[Nature News via Geekosystem, Image: Shutterstock]


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