Diabetes-free potatoes

Published: Monday 30 November 1998

Researchers may soon develop pota- toes that could prevent diabetes. Transgenic potatoes produce large amounts of substances that in turn produce a foreign protein. Such potatoes have been suggested as potential vaccines for suppressing diabetes. The vaccines would work by downregulating immune cells in a diabetic's body that attack spe- cialised insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The challenge is get- ting enough protein-producing sub- stances into the body to saturate the immune system (Nature Biotech- nology, Vo116, No 9).

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