Synthetic vaccine could prevent future outbreaks of foot-and-mouth ...

Welcome to the future, boys and girls. An entirely synthetic vaccine has been created by synthesizing the empty shell of a virus, see computer simulation below.

Bryan Charleston, head of the Livestock Viral Diseases Programme at the Pirbright Institute in Woking, UK, and his colleagues used computer simulations to create a model of the protein shell of the virus that causes the disease, then reconstructed it from synthetic protein components. The synthetic shell contains no genetic material, and so it cannot infect the animals. But it will spur the immune system to produce antibodies that would protect them from the real virus.

The vaccine could prevent future outbreaks of the disease, and potentially lead to new treatments for polio and other human diseases.

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Good information Ruth!


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