Medicine: Made-to-Order Vaccines

Preventing herpes and other ills by scrambling DNA

The immediate targets are herpes, hepatitis and influenza, but the potential is much greater. Last week a group of scientists with the New York State department of health announced an exciting and imaginative application of the genetic-engineering techniques that are transforming modern medicine. Using the sophisticated new cut-and-paste methods of manipulating genes, the researchers were able to transform ordinary smallpox vaccine into vaccines that may be able to prevent the other three diseases. So far the results have been tested in animals only, but Virologist...

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