from the tasty-and-lifesaving dept.
eldavojohn writes "Wuhan University researchers working with the National Research Council of Canada and the Center for Functional Genomics at the University at Albany announced that they have genetically modified rice to produce a medically useful protein chemically identical to human serum albumin. This protein is used to treat burns, traumatic shock and liver disease at a global demand rate of 500 tons each year. Normally, this would be extracted from blood donations, but now you can just grow rice and extract it at a rate of 2.75 grams of protein per kilogram of rice. After testing on rats with liver cirrhosis, the same response was shown as the protein from blood. This is important for China after a spike in demand and lack of supply lead to fake albumin medicine flowing through Chinese hospitals. Worried about these GMO crops cross-pollinating regular crops? The researchers referred to a study indicating 'a very low frequency (0.04-0.80%) of pollen-mediated gene flow between genetically modified (GM) rice and adjacent non-GM plants.' Nature has a slightly more detailed article with a reference to the peer review publication."
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