15 June 1998
Scientists prepare first anti-diarrhoea potato

AXIS Genetics, of Cambridge, is teaming up with the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University, New York, in a $6 million (£3.68m) deal to develop edible vaccines.

The team plans to create the potato that offers the worlds first vaccine against diarrhoea. It is also hoped the technology can be developed to tackle hepatitis B.

Plants such as potatoes, tobacco or bananas are genetically modified to develop the vaccines.

The controversial work has already created some disquiet. A leading opponent of genetic engineering, Dr Mae Wan Ho, of the Open University, has warned that plants with altered DNA, to provide vaccines, may mutate and cause widespread infection of the disease they were being grown to combat.

  • The Scotsman 15/06/98 page 22