Tag Archives: Flavivirus

Tobacco Leaves Could Provide Cheap, Scalable Way to Make Zika Vaccine

Tobacco leaves drying. Photo by MRaccine.

Tobacco might have finally found the image upgrade it’s been looking for, as scientists hope to use the plant to produce a safe and cheap Zika vaccine.

If successful in humans, the plant-based approach could provide an effective solution for countries affected by the disease.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Scientists Use Tobacco Plant As Cheap, Scalable Zika Vaccine Factory

Education Film 38b: Zika Virus and You

The Zika-spreading mosquito Aedes aegypti takes a bloodmeal.
The Zika-spreading mosquito Aedes aegypti takes a bloodmeal. Photo courtesy CDC.

Zika virus is spreading through a hemisphere with plenty of mosquito habitat and no immunity to the disease, and summer is on its way. But what really chills the blood and drives our dread of what was once considered “dengue’s wimpy cousin” is the virus’s horrifying, yet unproven, link to infant microcephaly.

And so, even as epidemiologists struggle to contain and understand the problem, the news swarms with disturbing images and calls for wiping out the offending mosquito vectors. Clearly, if we’re going to get through this, we need to do our homework. Why not start with my article, in which I cut through the buzz to explore …

How Zika Virus Works