DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Plant vaccine for AIDS. Researcher in a greenhouse examines the infected leaves of a cowpea plant Vigna unguiculata. The mottled leaves have been infected with a virus to produce a plant vaccine for AIDS. This research is being 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 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.
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