Rather than eggs, which can sometimes be in short supply, researchers have found that tobacco plants can be used to incubate diseases before they are killed and turned into vaccines.
Rather than eggs, which can sometimes be in short supply, researchers have found that tobacco plants can be used to incubate diseases before they are killed and turned into vaccines. "Production of flu vaccine is rooted in old technology. You need fertile chicken eggs, millions of them, for growing the flu virus before you kill it and turn it into vaccine. That's one of the reasons it took so long to prepare a vaccine for the new variant of H1N1 flu that caused a pandemic this year and why health officials have to decide many months in advance what strains of flu virus will be the source of the next season's flu shot. To speed up the process, various companies and research groups have developed/are developing new virus-growing systems that use mammal cells or insect cells. So, hey, why not tobacco plants? A consortium of scientists at Texas A&M and elsewhere launched Project GreenVax to try it -- they say it could create vaccine far more quickly and efficiently than the eggs. A nice article in the Wall Street Journal explains a bit of the technology and also mentions other efforts to manufacture vaccines of various stripes in plants. (The image at the left was taken at the facility of a California company that was using tobacco plants to try to manufacture a cancer vaccine.) According to the Wall Street Journal article, the procedure goes like this: First you insert a flu-virus gene into a bacterium -- the gene in question directs formation of a protein that our immune systems recognize and launch a response to when we get infected by flu."
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.
- A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
- Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
- The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Even when they suffer costs in doing so.
- It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
- In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
- The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.
- Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
- He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
- Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.