Volume 94 Issue 42 | p. 10 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 24, 2016

Engineered plants produce malaria drug efficiently

Doubly transgenic tobacco plants that produce artemisinin in high yield could make drug more accessible
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE, Organic SCENE
Keywords: synthetic biology, tobacco, artemisinin, malaria, genetic engineering

Artemisinin, the primary component of standard combination therapies for malaria, is still relatively expensive and in short supply in some developing countries where the disease is endemic. Researchers are now trying to make the drug more accessible by engineering tobacco plants in two different ways to produce it with better efficiency. Extracting and purifying artemisinin from its natural plant source is expensive, and the plant, sweet wormwood, does not grow well in climates where malaria . . .

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