Tobacco to Stop Flu in Vaccine?
Pentagon Grant to Use Tobacco Plants to Combat Infections
For months e-cigarette users have been wondering whether their propylene glycol filled electronic cigarettes could prevent flu.
Now, it seems, the weed which it is replacing may be doing just that.
The Pentagon has awarded a 40 million US dollar grant to Texas A&M University and pharmaceutical manufacturer G-Con.
They are hoping the grant, which will be channelled into a project called GreenVax, will speed up research into growing vaccines in tobacco plants.
Here's how's it supposed to work:
1. Scientists engineer bacteria to carry the flu virus.
2. The scientists the spray the bacteria over Nicotiana benthamiana tobacco plants.
3. The plants absorb the DNA from the plants.
4. The plants start to churn out the flu vaccine.
5. Scientists extract the vaccine from the leaves of the plant.
6. The vaccine is injected into personel.
The process should be both three times faster and four times cheaper than the current method of producing flu vaccine: growing it in chicken's eggs.
On a side note, propylene glycol has also been shown to prevent flu and other infections.
In a three year trial, it successfully reduced infections in children's wards when used to sterilise the air.