Vaccine may offer protection from black plague

An experimental vaccine created from genetically engineered plant cells appears to be effective against the Black Plague, which has bedeviled the world for centuries and is listed as a top bioterror threat. And because they've developed an oral version of the vaccine, researchers at the University of Central Florida say they can produce mass quantities at a low cost.

The scientists both injected rats and gave them an oral dose of the vaccine, and both proved effective. All of the rats infected with black plague died within three days while all the treated rats survived.

"It worked beautifully," says UCF Professor Henry Daniell about the oral version of the vaccine. "It's expensive to create an injectable vaccine. But with oral vaccines, it is quite cheap. You grow your plants and then you convert them into capsules."

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