Bioscience

Teasing Vaccines From Tobacco

February 25, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[SOurce: The Wall Street Journal] – The U.S. Department of Defense, caught off guard by the swift spread of the H1N1 flu virus last year and delays in producing a vaccine, is backing an unusual plan to use tobacco plants to make the vaccine.

Flu vaccines are typically grown in chicken eggs. Although the technique is slow and expensive, vaccine makers have done little to improve on this reliable method for more than 60 years. The urgent need for a better way became apparent last year.

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