Genetically Modified Products
Cheap and convinent way to deliver life saving vaccine
- I want to research the role of DNA when it comes to genetically modifying animals. The key words that I first searched was genetically modified animals.
- The first link that I found was an article from the FDA. Within this article it described what genetically modified means, the FDA's involvement. It also includes links that go further into depth about the guidelines and process. http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/developmentapprovalprocess/geneticengineering/geneticallyengineeredanimals/default.htm
- This however focused more on the guidelines and rules rather than a certain genetically modified animal.
- I then tried types of genetically modified animals into Google.
- I found this link. It offered many different animals and plants that have been modified for human use. They alter theses prodects so that they are able to be resistant to disease and pests, enhance taste and quality and to improve nutrients. It also helps to reduce the amount of natural resources used. http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/10-genetically-modified-food-productiveness
- I went back to my google search from before and brought up a new page.
- This page had 12 different examples where products have been altered for human uses. Some of the example included glow-in-the-dark cats, venomous cabbage, goats who produce spider web proteins in its milk, and slow ripening tomatoes. However out out of the examples listed at this site the one that that stands out to me is the use of bananas to administer vaccines. http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/photos/12-bizarre-examples-of-genetic-engineering/mad-science
- After looking at the last link I desired that I wanted to look further into plants that help administer vaccines.
- I have learned that bananas are not the only type of plants that are used for this purpose. Potatoes, lettuce, carrots, and tobacco have also been modified to produce vaccines, however bananas have been proven to be the best production and delivery tool. They believe this because they are abundance, can be eaten raw, and are infant -friendly, however they offer very little protein which means a small amount of virus protein will be produced. They are able to do this by injecting the non infectious part of the virus protein into a banana tree sapling. This will cause the tree to permanently produce the virus protein. So when a person eats a GM banana they receive dose of the virus protein which will help build up their immune system. http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/photos/12-bizarre-examples-of-genetic-engineering/banana-vaccines
- I went back to find more information on the uses of bananas.
- At this site it talks about how bananas are used as a vaccine for Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is affects and attacks the liver. It is preventable, but is not curable. This is a precursor of Liver cancer, and is one of the biggest causes of death among them. This option is also is being used for many other problems like, jaundice, cholera, polio, and measles. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2000/sep/08/gm.infectiousdiseases http://www.bio-pro.de/magazin/thema/04390/index.html?lang=en&artikelid=/artikel/03416/index.html
- I then searched for how do they make banana vaccines.
Pros vs Cons
- This is a much cheaper and convenient way to administer vaccines compared to traditional methods.
- They are theorized to be more effective due to they create long and short germ benefits. They trigger both the immune and mucosal responses within our body.
- The banana is a perfect vehicle to administer the vaccine because they can be eaten raw, and most children enjoy bananas.
- Avoids the use of syringes which help preventing transmitted diseases.
- It is difficult to determine and then prescribe a correct dosage because of differing factors like, age, weight, and ripeness.
- It requires a lot of land and care, This is all ran by the government. They are also in charge of the sale to the consumer market.
- It would be very expensive to train all medical practitioners on the storage, dosage, and safety of the bananas.
When will vaccines by bananas be available?
Currently at Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University they have been working on genetically modifying banana plants so that they are able to produce vaccines.
Their research and testing is still in it's early stages. There have been many studies with in the last 10 years on animals and few people that have shown results that make this idea possible. From this research they have also found that these vaccines may help with autoimmunity and could be used to help prevent and ease the symptoms of the diseases affected by autoimmunity.
The reason why this method is not being used is because that scientists still have not received the necessary approval from the FDA, the main reasons are because they do not have the licencing capabilities for plant vaccines and they do not have the necessary research to prove the safety and effectiveness.