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: