Scientists at UC Riverside are working to produce edible plant-based mRNA vaccines.
The mRNA vaccines are some of the first COVID-19 vaccines that are in use. It is produced in the lab using genetically engineered mRNA to create an immune response in the human body. But the vaccines need cold storage to ensure they remain stable. To overcome this challenge, scientists led by Juan Pablo Giraldo at the University of California, Riverside, work towards plant-based mRNA vaccines that could be eaten and easily maintained at room temperatures.
The scientists want to produce the same mRNA levels in a single plant that could be grown by anyone and eaten as a salad. They are working to deliver DNA containing the mRNA vaccines into plant cells, mainly the chloroplast, where it can replicate. However, it is a long drawn process, but the first steps have been taken.
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