Tuesday, December 3, 2013

22nd Century Acquires European Patent for Nicotine Biosynthesis Genes

Here is some of the latest news from a THR company that I have been following for awhile now:
ARENCE, N.Y.--()--22nd Century Group, Inc. (OTCBB: XXII) today announced that the European Patent Office issued a Notice of Grant to the company for the NBB and A622 genes. Both genes are responsible for nicotine production in the tobacco plant.
The NBB gene encodes a protein involved in the final step of nicotine biosynthesis, “nicotine synthase,” which has eluded scientists for decades. This protein can either be down-regulated or up-regulated to produce tobacco varieties with a wide range of nicotine levels
The company’s vice president of research and development, Dr. Michael Moynihan stated, “The NBB gene technology is one of the keystones of 22nd Century’s intellectual property and represents our second-generation gene technology that has significant advantages over our earlier technology.” Specifically, the sole function of NBB is to produce nicotine and other nicotinic alkaloids. 
This is certainly interesting, for not only do they have the ability to regulate the levels of nicotine in tobacco products, a revolutionary discovery in itself, but also within this technology lies the ability to regulate the levels of other nicotinic alkaloids (ie., nornicotine, anabatine, and anabasine). What's really interesting about the ability to regulate these other alkaloids is that at least one of them (apart from the evil alkaloids NNK and NNN) has been shown to to affect monoamine oxidaase (MAO) activity whilst simultaneously exhibiting an anti-inflammatory effect.

What does this all mean for a tobacco user like myself? I would imagine that it means a lot of different things. Most notably, I would think that this technology further opens the doors to all kinds of (possibilities for) advancements in the world of tobacco, freedom, and health.

For example: In addition to the modification of the traditional cigarette, a few possibilities come to mind:

What if this technology was to be used in conjunction with a new and novel smokeless tobacco intended for vaping tobacco? What if the good alkaloids could be raised for an anti-oxidant effect? What if those looking for an alternative to traditional cigarettes (apart from snus or e-cigarettes) could choose their tobacco according to their preference for nicotine much in the same way that e-cigarette users have been doing over the course of the last few years, all while not losing the taste of tobacco and its associated properties? I wonder if it would be possible to combine this technology with that of the Gothiatek standard? I would imagine that it's also now possible to extract some of the good tobacco alkaloids for use in an e-cigarette, thus contributing to a more realistic experience for that e-juice vaper who still feels like something is missing. There are all sorts of possibilities...

Of course, I am not so naive as to think that the politics and relativism of the day won't get in the way of this progress....or a least slow it down to what will most likely become a painstakingly slow, brutal, and unfair process. I am convinced, however, that as soon as the powers that be figure out a way to make money off of harm reduction, a swift sea change will take place.

European Patent Allowed for 22nd Century’s Nicotine Biosynthesis Genes | Business Wire

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