By Alex Glenn • 22 September 2021 • 11:29
Scientists are working to develop plants that can deliver mRNA vaccine technology Credit: Pixabay
Scientists are working to develop plants that can deliver mRNA vaccine technology. It is even hoped that eventually they could be grown in your own home.
For the most part when a person thinks about getting vaccinated they imagine a syringe to the arm carried out by trained medic, and maybe a day or two of feeling ill. Scientists hope that in the future they will be able to change this and deliver vaccines by edible plants.
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) are working towards putting messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines into plants that can then be eaten.
If successful they hope that this new technology would allow them to grow vegetables capable of delivering coronavirus vaccines using the same technology used by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19.
The possibility of using plants to deliver vaccines would help low income nations as the transport and storage of the plants would be far easier than what is required for the current coronavirus vaccines.
It is also hoped that this technology could be applied to the yearly flu shot and other vaccines too.
The new research has been led by Juan Pablo Giraldo, and he believes that edible vaccine plants could ‘have a huge impact on people’s lives’.
Giraldo is the lead researcher and he is also an associate professor in UCR’s Department of Botany and Plant Sciences. He explained that: ‘We are testing this approach with spinach and lettuce and have long-term goals of people growing it in their own gardens.
‘Farmers could also eventually grow entire fields of it.’
Giraldo added: ‘I’m very excited about all of this research,’
‘I think it could have a huge impact on peoples’ lives.’
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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