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Dirk Hoffmeister: Biochemistry of Psilocybin Production, Psychedelic Tryptamines & Magic Mushrooms

Updated: Sep 14

About the Guest: Dirk Hoffmeister, PhD is a pharmaceutical microbiologist at the Hans Knoll Institute, in Germany. Professor Hoffmeister has a background in botany and mycology, the study of fungi. His lab studies various aspects of fungal biochemistry & molecular biology, including the biochemistry and molecular genetics of psilocybin production in magic mushrooms.


Episode Summary: Nick talks to Dr. Dirk Hoffmeister about various topics in mycology, mostly related to Psilocybe mushrooms. This included how psilocybin is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan; ecological reasons for why some mushrooms produce psilocybin; why magic mushrooms turn a vibrant blue color when they are physically damaged; production of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) by certain species of mushrooms; ecology of Psilocybe mushrooms; other areas of mycology that his lab studies.


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