Scientists grow insulin in tobacco plants

Jul 30, 2007

U.S. researchers have discovered insulin grown in plants can resolve diabetes in mice -- a finding holding promise for humans afflicted with the disease.

University of Central Florida biomedical scientists led by Professor Henry Daniell found insulin might someday be grown in genetically modified plants and then be used to prevent diabetes before symptoms appear or to treat the disease in its later stages

Daniell's research team genetically engineered tobacco plants with the insulin gene and then administered freeze-dried plant cells to five-week-old diabetic mice as a powder for eight weeks. By the end of the study, the scientists found the diabetic mice had normal blood and urine sugar levels, and their cells were producing normal levels of insulin.

Daniell has since proposed using lettuce instead of tobacco since lettuce can be produced cheaply and avoids the stigma associated with tobacco.

The National Institutes of Health provided $2 million to fund the UCF study, which is reported in the July issue of the Plant Biotechnology Journal.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Citizen scientists match research tool when counting sharks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Biomolecules for the production line

Oct 01, 2013

To produce proteins on an industrial scale without using living cells is the ambitious goal of cell-free bioproduction. This method could help us to produce biological ingredients more quickly and with fewer ...

Medicines from plants

May 26, 2011

Some people think of herbal teas, others of tobacco when they hear the buzzword "medicines from plants". One research team succeeded in producing biopharmaceuticals -- such as an antibody against HIV, for ...

Trafficking in Proteins

Apr 30, 2007

Proteins work hard: they are the main elements of bones, muscles, hair, skin and blood vessels. They fight off disease, regulate tumor growth and produce all the energy in the human body. But before they can do this amazing ...

Recommended for you

Genome yields insights into golden eagle vision, smell

10 hours ago

Purdue and West Virginia University researchers are the first to sequence the genome of the golden eagle, providing a bird's-eye view of eagle features that could lead to more effective conservation strategies.

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

11 hours ago

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity

11 hours ago

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live i ...

Engineered E. coli produces high levels of D-ribose

12 hours ago

D-ribose is a commercially important sugar used as a sweetener, a nutritional supplement, and as a starting compound for synthesizing riboflavin and several antiviral drugs. Genetic engineering of Escherichia co ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live i ...

Cell resiliency surprises scientists

New research shows that cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought. Even when missing critical components, cells can adapt and make copies of their DNA in an alternative ...