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Kamis, 09 April 2009

New Use for Tobacco

We all know how harmful tobacco products can be, so it seems a little strange to think that tobacco could possibly have medicinal benefits. Researchers are creating genetically modified tobacco plants that are able to produce anti-inflammatory proteins. These proteins could then be used to treat several diseases including diabetes.


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Lead scientist Mario Pezzotti states, "Transgenic plants are attractive systems for the production of therapeutic proteins because they offer the possibility of large scale production at low cost, and they have low maintenance requirements. The fact that they can be eaten, which delivers the drug where it is needed, thus avoiding lengthy purification procedures, is another plus compared with traditional drug synthesis." The next step in the study is to see how effective the plants are by feeding them to mice with auto-immune diseases.

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