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Humans, hogs may eat their way to flu resistance
05-12-2009, 05:45 AM,
#1
Humans, hogs may eat their way to flu resistance
Humans, hogs may eat their way to flu resistance

(MEATPOULTRY.com, May 05, 2009)
by Bryan Salvage

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AMES, IOWA — Iowa State University researchers are putting flu vaccines into the genetic makeup of corn, which may someday allow pigs and humans to get a flu vaccination simply by eating corn or corn products.

"We're trying to figure out which genes from the swine influenza virus to incorporate into corn so those genes, when expressed, would produce protein," said Hank Harris, professor in animal science and one of the researchers on the project. "When the pig consumes that corn, it would serve as a vaccine."

This collaborative effort project involves Mr. Harris and Brad Bosworth, an affiliate associate professor of animal science working with pigs, and Kan Wang, a professor in agronomy, who is developing the vaccine traits in the corn.

According to the researchers, the corn vaccine would also work in humans when they eat corn or even corn flakes, corn chips, tortillas or anything that contains corn, Mr. Harris said. The research is funded by a grant from Iowa State University's Plant Sciences Institute, and is their Biopharmaceuticals and Bioindustrials Research Initiative.

If the research goes well, the corn vaccine may be possible in five to seven years. In the meantime, the team is trying to expedite the process. "While we're waiting for Wang to produce the corn, we are starting initial experiments in mice to show that the vaccine might induce an immune response," Mr. Bosworth said.

Mr. Harris said the team still needs more answers. "The big question is whether or not these genes will work when given orally through corn," he added. "That is the thing we've still got to determine."

Stability and safety are several advantages to the corn vaccine. Once the corn with the vaccine is grown, it can be stored for long-term without losing its potency, researchers claim. If a swine flu virus breaks out, the corn could be shipped to the location to try to vaccinate animals and humans in the area quickly. Because corn grain is used as food and feed, there is no need for extensive vaccine purification, which can be an expensive process.
http://www.meatpoultry.com/news/headline_s...rticleID=102157


Vaccine: Coming to a farm stand near you

Vaccine: Coming to a farm stand near you
Can diseases be warded off by eating GMO corn? Scientists are working to find out.
Thu, May 07 2009 at 10:44 AM EST

How about a little vaccine with your corn on the cob? I’m wondering if there is going to be any room left for actual corn in corn once scientists get done adding pesticides, fertilizers and now possibly vaccines to the genetic makeup of corn.

Meat & Poultry (you need to sign in to see article but registration is free) reports that researchers at Iowa State University are putting vaccine into corn. The goal is to put the vaccine into the corn that the pigs will eat to help stop diseases like swine flu from happening.
“We're trying to figure out which genes from the swine influenza virus to incorporate into corn so those genes, when expressed, would produce protein," said Hank Harris, professor in animal science and one of the researchers on the project. "When the pig consumes that corn, it would serve as a vaccine."

The goal, if things go well, is to have this vaccinated corn available in 5-7 years. Tests need to be done to make sure that the vaccines will work when given to the pigs orally through the corn.

Pigs aren’t the only ones who could “benefit” from this genetically altered corn.

According to the researchers, the corn vaccine would also work in humans when they eat corn or even corn flakes, corn chips, tortillas or anything that contains corn, Harris said.

I’m not to comfortable with this. Will consumers need to fight for “vaccinated corn-free” labels to be put on products that aren’t made from this type of corn, the way they have for the “rBST-free” label on dairy products? Or, if it comes to fruition, will products be unlabled and consumers unaware?
http://www.mnn.com/food/farms-gardens/blog...-stand-near-you

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