Tobacco-Anthrax Vaccine

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A professor from University of Central Florida says he's using genetically engineered tobacco plants to develop an anthrax vaccine.

Henry Daniell says an acre of the plants could provide enough medicine for the entire country.

His research is featured in this month's edition of the Infection and Immunity Journal. It shows that mice injected with the vaccine and subjected to high levels of anthrax toxin by researchers were able to withstand infection.

Daniell says he picked tobacco because it's a perennial crop, and can be harvested several times a year.

According to Daniell, an acre of tobacco could produce 360 million anthrax vaccine doses a year.

Before hitting the market, the vaccine needs to pass clinical trials where humans are injected with it.

12/26/05