GM Tobacco Plant to Fight Malaria

by Sheela Philomena on  February 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM Research News
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Israeli scientists have developed a genetically modified tobacco plant that can fight drug-resistant malaria.

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found that tobacco plant can be altered to produce "artemisin", an active component in malaria treatment.
 GM Tobacco Plant to Fight Malaria
GM Tobacco Plant to Fight Malaria

Artemisin, a natural compound that comes from the sweet wormwood plant, can fight drug-resistant malaria, but due to its small quantities and high price, millions of people cannot get access to this remedy, the researchers said.

However, Alexander Vainstein and his colleagues developed a tobacco plant that carry artemisin's genetical code, Xinhua reported quoting Israel's 21C news website Sunday.

About half a billion people suffer from malaria each year in Africa and East Asia, with a child dying every 30 seconds of this disease. Most of them have no means to purchase medicines to treat the illness.

Source: IANS

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