Genetically modified rice grows human blood component

Nov 8, 2011
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Genetically modified rice grows human blood component

This is gross and cool all at the same time. Apparently, scientists have been able to genetically modify rice that can be grown in fields that is able to produce a specific human blood protein called Human Serum Albumin. This is the most important protein on human blood and is often given to people that have suffered massive amounts of blood loss.

The scientists say the protein could be harvested for the rice to help people suffering from blood loss without needing a human donor and without having to screen the blood protein from diseases. According to scientists involved in the program, there is a need for 500 tons of Human Serum Albumin yearly. The protein can be mass produced for use in hospitals with no need to purity it from whole blood donations.

The scientist on the program were able to improve the rice over different generations of their genetically modified creation to increase the amount of human Serum Albumin in the rice. After the successive generations, the desired protein was a full 10% of the soluble protein in the rice seed used. The team is now working on modifying rice to make other proteins found in blood.

[via Telegraph]


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