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Old 20-09-2003, 02:32 PM
David Kendra
 
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Default CANCER-FIGHTING POTATO UNDER DEVELOPMENT

CANCER-FIGHTING POTATO UNDER DEVELOPMENT
September 18, 2003
Expatica
http://213.159.10.102/germany.asp?pa...&item_id=34330
GATERSLEBEN, Germany -- German scientists said Thursday they have
genetically engineered potatoes to make a cancer-fighting vaccine.
The researchers at the Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Research in
Gatersleben, Germany said the potatoes contain proteins that are similar to
the outer layer of human papilloma virus (HPV).
Eating the potatoes leads the body to produce antibodies against the
protein, and creates an immunity against HPV 16, which causes about half of
all cases of cervical cancer. Every year, an estimated 500,000 women round
the world develop the deadly cancer.
Sophia Biemelt, head of the molecular physiology group at the institute,
confirmed the development, first reported earlier Thursday by the German
newspapers Magdeburger Volksstimme and Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.
She said antibodies had developed in the blood of laboratory mice injected
with the "vaccine" at the German cancer research institute in Heidelberg.
Biemelt cautioned that the research had yet to show if the method could
actually reduce the incidence of cervical cancer.
Eating a vaccine is not very effective because much of the protein is broken
up during digestion. The researchers are now trying the same procedure on
other plants such as tomatoes.
"You can eat a lot of them raw, whereas potatoes have to be cooked and that
destroys proteins," she explained. DPA



 
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