David Kirkpatrick

July 23, 2008

Maybe tobacco isn’t all that evil after all …

Filed under: Science — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:03 pm

… since there seems to be a therapeutic use in treating certain types of cancer. I’m all for tobacco use in moderation, particularly in the form of long-cut filler cigar or high end pipe tobacco. I’ve even blogged on the joys of pipe smoking here, here, here and here.

From KurzweilAI.net:

Tobacco ‘could help treat cancer’
BBC News, July 21, 2008Stanford University researchers are using tobacco plants to grow key components of a cancer vaccine, turning the plants into factories for an antibody chemical specific to the cancerous cells that cause follicular B-cell lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Once a patient’s cancer cells are isolated in the laboratory, the gene responsible for producing the antibody is extracted and added to a tobacco virus. When the virus infects the tobacco, the gene is added to the plants’ cells, which start producing large quantities of the antibody. These antibodies are put back into a patient to “prime” the body’s immune system to attack any cell carrying them.

 
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