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Experiments of scientists from the Irkutsk institute of plant biochemistry in Novosibirsk
Experiments of scientists from the Irkutsk institute of plant biochemistry and the Novosibirsk Vektor institute of chemical biology and the scientific center of virology and biotechnology (GNTs VB) on production of edible transgenic vaccine plants gave positive results, RIA Novosti was told in the GNTs VB press service on Monday. According to the head of the genome molecular biology department, Sergei Shchelkunov, after two-year joint research work of Siberian scientists, first edible vaccines against hepatitis and AIDS on the basis of tomatoes underwent tests the day before on animals. "The experiment showed that when mice were three times fed with transgenic tomatoes, an efficient immune response against hepatitis B and a bit less efficient [response] against the human immunodeficiency virus were observed," said Sergei Shchelkunov. "Though the whole world has been working on production of edible vaccines for over 10 years, no one has reached such results so far." It is planned to incorporate the vaccines against hepatitis A and tick-borne encephalitis into carrot and salad, said Mr. Shchelkunov. Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Siberian department chemical biology and fundamental medicine institute Valentin Vlasov believes the Siberian scientists' development to be promising. "The first thing is that such vaccines are very economical in production - there is nothing cheaper than producing biologically active substances in plants. The second thing is that this is a safe and harmless product," said Mr. Vlasov. In scientists' words, for further work on vaccine vegetables and development of their industrial introduction, it will take several more years of clinical tests.
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