A company based at the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University discovers a protein to detoxify cannabis pesticides
Actually this protein is used to detoxify the pesticides that are usually used in marijuana, wine and tea. With the legalization of cannabis, large cannabis farms have been emerging in which chemical pesticides are used because they are cheaper than organic ones.
According to the World Health Organization, smoking a joint or drinking a glass of wine may involve ingesting some of the most harmful pesticides for health. For this reason, this company based in the Tandon School of Engineering at the University of New York is marketing a protein whose function is to detoxify these dangerous pesticides.
This protein breaks down pesticides known as organophosphates, or OP. The research on this project has been partially funded for two years and $ 250,000 by the National Science Foundation. The project has been developed by Brooklyn Bioscience, which is now discovering the most efficient process for each respective industry (cannabis, wine and tea). According to Andrew Olsen, a graduate student of Tandon and co-founder of Brooklyn Bioscience, they are currently studying the best way to implement this discovery.
Brooklyn Bioscience’s work uses water, along with protein, to break down this harmful pesticide into cannabis, tea and wine. The final product is low cost, very effective and environmentally friendly to decompose hazardous OP.
Protein is more effective in the cannabis industry than in any other. The decomposition of the pesticide can be a luxury for wine, but a necessity for cannabis and tea. If this project is so important for the cannabis industry, it is because POs are more harmful when inhaled than when taken orally.
Not all data on the effects of organophosphorus on cannabis have been collected yet, but it is known that the pesticide should not be ingested and is known to be very harmful. Therefore, it is very important to do a cannabis detoxification process to avoid health problems. Inhalation of the pesticide can cause flu-like illnesses and respiratory problems.
POs currently represent approximately more than a third of the chemical pesticides used worldwide, and although they are a means of efficient crop production, they also pose serious risks to public health and the environment. Due to their hydrophobic nature, OPs cannot be easily eliminated by other conventional methods. The World Health Organization has named the POs, which are classified as neurotoxins, as one of the most dangerous chemical classes used in the agricultural sector, and the social and environmental impacts of OP pollution have been estimated in 12 billion dollars annually.
12 states have legalized marijuana and others will legalize it in the future. For this reason, Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, believes that the issue of eliminating cannabis pesticides that citizens are going to inhale is vitally important. Although the state of New York has not yet legalized marijuana for adults, Cuomo says that studying this protein was one of the most important tasks. While the university’s group of scientists is confident in its scientific research conducted in university laboratories, it is working on developing and marketing its work to make it attractive and easy to use for customers.
Jin Kim Montclare is a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, which is the faculty behind Brooklyn Bioscience. Montclare’s work focused on this field since he began working at the NYU in July 2005. But in April 2017, Brooklyn Bioscience was formed, and the impact this could have on the cannabis industry was too obvious to not delve deeper into it.
Brooklyn Bioscience and its spectacular pesticide disposal system is the result of the effort to teach students to be successful professionals. Brooklyn Bioscience is one of the many New York University companies that talk about trying to imbue students with an entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to help create a better world.
Using protein engineering methods, Montclare and his team have altered the phosphotriesterase enzyme (PTE), incorporating unnatural fluorinated amino acids to increase their stability and to develop a more stable and functional version with a longer half-life. Its designed PTE provides an economical, efficient and environmentally friendly solution to decompose hazardous OP into relatively benign products that can be more easily removed with water.