May 082010
 

Plant-Based Vaccine Factory

H1N1, SARS and other pandemics, along with increasing antibiotic resistance to infectious diseases and even threats of biological warfare have reinforced the need for safe, effective and inexpensive mass vaccination programs. The answer may lie in nature, with plant-based vaccines. While traditional methods of vaccine production typically take months, the Fraunhofer Centers in the U.S., Boston University and iBio have developed a fully automated, scalable plant “factory” that can produce large quantities of vaccines within weeks.

The factory can grow tens of thousands of plants in one batch, tended by robotic machines that transport multi-plant trays between processing stations, performing functions such as planting seeds, watering and harvesting.

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