Science: Genetic Coup

E. coli makes interferon

Almost from the time of its accidental discovery by scientists in England in 1957, interferon has been the stuff of researchers' dreams. A complex bodily protein, it possesses both antiviral and antitumor properties, which means it could become an important new weapon against a wide range of diseases, from the common cold to certain cancers. But it takes 65,000 pints of blood to get just 100 mg (.0035 oz.) of the protein, so testing of the possible miracle drug has been severely limited. Now, as a result of another application of gene-splicing, or recombinant DNA, techniques, all that...

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