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AIDS plant vaccine: pulping infected cowpea leaves

AIDS plant vaccine: pulping infected cowpea leaves

G280/0239

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Credit

DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Plant vaccine for AIDS. Mortar and pestle used to pulp virus-infected leaves of a cowpea plant Vigna unguiculata. By grinding the leaves, viruses are extracted to produce a plant vaccine for AIDS. This research is conducted at the John Innes Institute in Norwich, England. The cowpea plant, grown for black-eye beans, is prone to infection by cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV). This virus is harm- less 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 and extracted from the plant.

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