Growing new breed of vaccine-producing plants to fight human diseases worldwide
At his presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) here July 24, 2004, Arizona State University Professor Charles J. Arntzen explained the newest advances in his research on plant-producing vaccines.
The development and introduction of new vaccines to improve global public health faces many challenges, Arntzen noted. The vaccines must address the need for lower costs, oral-administration (needle-free), heat stability, and they must include combination vaccines including those that protect against diseases that occur predominantly in developing countries, he added.
Over the last decade, the team working with Arntzen has shown that a set of genes from human pathogens can be introduced into plant cells, and intact plants regenerated which "bio-manufacture" subunit vaccines consisting of the pathogen gene products. Simple feeding of the plant tissues to animals or humans results in an immune response to the subunit vaccines," Arntzen commented.
Arntzens research focuses now on producing vaccines in tomatoes to fight human afflictions such as cholera, Norwalk Virus and hepatitis B. Norwalk Virus is a major cause of gastrointestinal infection and diarrhea. Diarrheal diseases kill at least two million people in the world each year, most of them children, Arntzen noted.
Ongoing research is focused on development of minimal processing technology, adopted from the food industry, to yield uniform doses of heat-stable vaccine for oral delivery, Arntzen said. He provided a summary on the strategies used to ensure that plants used in vaccine manufacture will not be mixed with those used in the food chain, and on the rationale for adoption of plant-derived vaccine technology in developing countries.
Arntzen was appointed the Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Endowed Chair at Arizona State University in Tempe in 2000. He served as the Founding Director of the Arizona Biodesign Institute until May 2003. He currently serves as the Co-Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology of that Institute, with Professor Roy Curtiss. Arntzen was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1983 and to the National Academy of Sciences in India the following year. He has served since 2001 on the Presidents Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) of President George W. Bush.
Immediately before his talk 6:30 p.m. today, Arntzen received the American Society of Plant Biologists 2004 Leadership in Science Public Service Award. The award is presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to science and society.
Past years recipients of the ASPB Leadership in Science Public Service Award are Alexander von Humboldt Award for Agriculture winner Dr. Dennis Gonsalves, Nobel Laureate for Peace Dr. Norman Borlaug, Dr. Ingo Potrykus, whose discoveries produced Golden Rice to combat human blindness and other afflictions, Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Gordon Conway, and U.S. Senator Christopher Bond (R-MO).
Brian Hyps | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.
A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...