DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Plant vaccine for AIDS. Researcher pipettes a viral solution to infect the leaf of a cowpea plant Vigna unguiculata. This work to pro- duce a plant vaccine for AIDS is being conducted at the John Innes Institute in Norwich, England. The cowpea plant, grown for black-eye beans, is prone to severe infection by the cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV). This virus is harmless to humans and ideal for genetic engineering. A gene from the HIV virus (the virus causing AIDS) can be inserted into the CPMV virus. By then infecting cowpea leaves with this altered CPMV virus, an AIDS vaccine of virus particles can be produced by the plant. This AIDS vaccine is successful on mice.
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