How GMO and CRISPR gene-edited plants are playing key roles in developing coronavirus vaccines and treatments

| May 18, 2020
tobacco
Tobacco plants being grown by Guelph, Ontario-based Plantform for production of an Ebola vaccine. Credit: Plantform
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Questions about the origin of the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) were raised, and some even speculated that the virus is a product of genetic engineering. In a Nature Medicine article, scientists from the US, UK, and Australia reported that the genome sequence of the COVID-19 virus evolved naturally erasing the popular myth.

Similar to other viruses, the COVID-19 virus spreads through droplets of saliva or nasal discharge. Infected individuals experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and can recover without medications. However, older patients with underlying medical concerns such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and chronic respiratory disease are more likely to develop serious illness.

Thus, scientists from various fields all over the world are working hard to come up with effective treatments to curb the pandemic.

Related article:  Expensive is healthier? How premium organic food prices mislead shoppers

Diagnostics: Test Kits Using CRISPR and Algae

COVID-19 testing is conducted through various means in different countries.

Western University and Suncor are developing serological test kits for COVID-19 using algae as a production factory for making the vital proteins for antibody identification.

Vaccines: Using Plants as Biofactories

Vaccines are known to be the most cost-effective and efficacious method to lessen the disease burden of infectious diseases. Thus, experts are striving towards developing an effective vaccine to combat the spread of COVID-19. This includes plant-derived vaccines, which can be produced with less cost in high amounts, carrier plants are readily accepted by patients and antigens derived from them are stable and can be stored for a long time.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
types of oak trees

Infographic: Power of evolution? How oak trees came to dominate North American forests

Over the course of some 56 million years, oaks, which all belong to the genus Quercus, evolved from a single undifferentiated ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend