Turning Tobacco into Therapies
By Jeffrey M. Perkel

The Delaware Technology Park in Newark just may be the site of the next revolution. There, in a two-story building aptly named "9 Innovation Way," the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (CMB) is putting a sort of molecular spin on the age-old ideal of turning swords into plowshares.

In a development that could fundamentally redefine the technology of vaccine production, Fraunhofer's scientists are turning tobacco plants from weapons of mass addiction into medical tools. The center has devised a way to use the plants as chlorophyll-fueled factories dedicated to the manufacture of vaccine antigens, therapeutic proteins, and the like.

CMB calls its core technology "molecular farming" - genetic manipulation of plants with viral RNAs...

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