Millions of people who have refused to get an experimental mRNA vaccine may soon be forced to consume the gene therapy in their food.
Researchers at the University of California were awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation developing technology that infuses experimental mRNA Covid-19 vaccines into spinach, lettuce and other edible plants.
The team of nanobiotechnology experts is currently working on successfully delivering DNA containing mRNA BioNTech technology into chloroplasts, the part of the plants that instruct its cells’ DNA to replicate the vaccine material.
The researchers are tasked with demonstrating the genetically modified plants can produce enough mRNA to replace Covid jabs and infuse the plants with the right dosage required to eat to replace vaccines.
Experimental mRNA vaccines will be edible, Juan Pablo Giraldo, an associate professor in UCR’s Department of Botany and Plant Sciences who is leading the research explained in a press release published by the university on Sept. 16.
“Ideally, a single plant would produce enough mRNA to vaccinate a single person,” Giraldo said. “We are testing this approach with spinach and lettuce and have long-term goals of people growing it in their own gardens,”
“Farmers could also eventually grow entire fields of it,” he added.