We all know that food is supposed to be the best medicine. Researchers in New York have taken this to heart and, after 10 years, have developed a potato that is a vaccine.
This superspud carries the hepatitis B antigen and is supposed to be a cheaper alternative to the standard hepatitis vaccine.
The potato should be available for mass use in about three years, although the researchers are already admitting to a problem. "Raw potato is not very palatable and, if we boil it, most of the immunogenicity is lost," says research leader Hugh Mason.
Work is already underway on the tomato (Nat Biotech, 2000; 18: 1167-71).