Scientists from Novosibirsk are currently creating a pleasant and harmless vaccine – an edible one. So far, they managed to incorporate the protein gene – HIV antigen in tomatoes. The research is supported by International Science and Technology Center (ISTC).
All patients would be overjoyed to get edible vaccines, contained in vegetables and fruit. Imagine, a patient eats a vaccine and this way gets protected from a dangerous infection. However, this is not a fantasy, the fact being confirmed by the research carried out by scientists all over the world. They are working hard to create an edible vaccine against HIV - a lethal virus. Russian researchers from ‘Vector’ State Scientific Center for Virology and Biotechnology jointly with the specialists from the Institute for Biological Chemistry and Fundamental Medicine in Novosibirsk, Siberian Institute for Plants Physiology and Biochemistry, Irkutsk, and the scientists from the Department for Agricultural Research, Maryland, USA are also working at this challenge. They are not at the stage of creating the vaccine yet, but the biologists have managed to incorporate the right gene into tomato plants and have proved that the protein required for the vaccine is not only contained in tomato leaves, but in tomato fruit. And this is a considerable achievement.
By the way, tomatoes have not been chosen by chance. The matter is that transgenic plants, which contain protein- HIV antigen, have already been cultivated, but these plants are either not edible, like tobacco, or must be thermally processed, like potatoes, and this way they practically lose their healing powers. To this end tomato serves ideally. The good thing is that this vegetable grows pretty well in Russia, compared to bananas, already used by Western scientists to produce vaccines.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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