Promising potatoes

 
Published: Wednesday 15 January 1997

Soon it may be possible to get resistance against a disease by simply eating a potato. A team headed by Charles Arntzen at the Boyce Thompson Institute of Plant Research in New York, US, has undertaken advanced research on a vaccine for diarrhoea, using raw potatoes. A gene introduced in potatoes stimulates production of antibodies against Escherichia coli , the organism responsible for causing the disease. Meanwhile, Hilary Koprowski's group at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, US, is also trying to produce edible vaccines against rabies and AIDS ( Nature Biotechnology , Vol 14, No 11).

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