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posted by requerdanos on Tuesday August 24 2021, @08:14AM   Printer-friendly
from the eat-your-medicine dept.

Molecular Farming Means the Next Vaccine Could Be Edible and Grown in a Plant:

It’s the dog days of summer. You bite down on a plump, chilled orange. Citrus juice explodes in your mouth in a refreshing, tingling burst. Ahh.

And congratulations—you’ve just been vaccinated for the latest virus.

That’s one of the goals of molecular farming, a vision to have plants synthesize medications and vaccines. Using genetic engineering and synthetic biology, scientists can introduce brand new biochemical pathways into plant cells—or even whole plants—essentially turning them into single-use bioreactors.

The whole idea has a retro-futuristic science fiction vibe. First conceived of in 1986, molecular farming got its boost three decades later, when the FDA approved the first—and only—plant-derived therapeutic protein for humans to treat Gaucher disease, a genetic disorder that prevents people from breaking down fats.

But to Drs. Hugues Fausther-Bovendo and Gary Kobinger at Université Laval, Quebec and Galveston National Laboratory, Texas, respectively, we’re just getting started. In a new perspective article published last week in Science, the duo argues that plants have long been an overlooked resource for biomanufacturing.

[...] “Molecular farming could have a considerable impact on both human and animal health,” the authors said.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @09:04AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @09:04AM (#1170224)

    Is the orange filled with vodka or gin? Asking for a friend.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @09:28AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @09:28AM (#1170229)

    Reminds me of tomacco.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @09:40AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @09:40AM (#1170233)

      At least Bart is eating his vegetables, Marge.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday August 24 2021, @11:57AM (1 child)

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday August 24 2021, @11:57AM (#1170277) Homepage
      I was wondering whether Dilbert's "tomeato" predated that, but no, The Simpsons did it first.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by HiThere on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:26PM

        by HiThere (866) on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:26PM (#1170308) Journal

        The "Beefsteak tomato" did it before either of them.

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