|all articles latest | past | articles by topics | search wildnews|
wild news on wildsingapore
27 Jan 05
From plant virus to remedy for the tummy
The creation of vaccines using plant viruses has become a possibility.
Scientists at the Genome Institute of Singapore have discovered that human faeces contain high concentrations of the pepper mild mottle virus, a common virus which causes disease in plants.
"The fact that plant viruses can survive the harsh gastrointestinal environment means that there is potential of using plant viruses to develop oral vaccines to prevent diseases such as diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal disorders," said Dr Ruan Yijun, who led the team behind the study.
The scientists' conclusion is based on the virus testing positive in two-thirds of the 18 samples of faeces collected from individuals in Singapore and the United States. Positive results from tests on several pepper-based foods also suggested the virus stems from dietary origins.
Aside from medical applications, the findings throw up questions about how plant viruses may have evolved from animal to plant strains. Dr Ruan and his team will be expanding their research to understand the potential impact of plant viruses on human health.
Established in 2001 under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, the Genome Institute integrates technology, genetics and biology with the aim to create individualised medicine.
Related articles on Singapore's biodiversity
|News articles are reproduced for non-profit educational purposes.|
website©ria tan 2003 www.wildsingapore.com