Blood Protein from Rice

Wikimedia Commons, Henningklevjer
Taken from The Scientist online:

“The highly sought-after plasma protein, human serum albumin (HSA), can now be produced at high yield and purity in rice, according to a report published today (October 31) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using the rice-derived protein in place of its blood-derived counterpart will not only ease demand but also eliminate the risk of spreading diseases.

HSA is used for a variety of clinical applications such as the treatment of blood loss, serious burns, and abdominal fluid retention caused by cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver. In addition, HSA has served as a vehicle for vaccine and drug delivery, and as a cell culture supplement in the production of vaccines and pharmaceuticals.”

“There is a high demand for plasma HSA, but it is in really short supply,” explained lead researcher Daichang Yang of Wuhan University, China. Currently, the only supply of HSA is that extracted from human blood. Besides the limited availability of blood donors, “using plasma HSA also has a high risk for spreading diseases, such as AIDS and hepatitis,” Yang said. “We considered using a plant-based production to satisfy the market demand and reduce the risk.”

Read more about this intriguing research online at The Scientist here:

http://the-scientist.com/2011/10/31/blood-protein-from-rice/

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About UWF Center on Aging

The Center on Aging at the University of West Florida was established in the Fall of 2010 when the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences faculty along with assistance from Sponsored Research submitted a grant to the State University System Board of Governors in support of aging initiatives for Northwest Florida. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of aging adults through the application of science to address challenges associated with aging and to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on prevention. This will be accomplished through inter-disciplinary and inter-professional efforts of basic and applied research, consultation, and partnerships with community agencies. Education and training, direct services to the aging population, and public awareness and understanding of the contributions and needs of elders will be primary objectives.
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