Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Viruses - genetical alterations in the news!

Viruses can produce diseases; but some harmless variety of them (Bacteriophages) has been genetically altered to give electric current at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)! This virus - using batteries behave just like other rechargeable batteries used for charging cell phones or personal music gadgets. Moreover these virus batteries are non-toxic, lightweight and dry like any other Lithium – ion batteries. More such bio-batteries may evolve soon and reduce chemical pollution also - to save us!
In another news, it is reported that a genetically altered plant kills one disease-producing virus ! Yes, it is about the Tobacco plant (Nicotiana benthamiana) that produces a protein that has anti-HIV properties. This protein in the form of a gel prevents the spread of HIV through sexual intercourse! For altering the plant to produce this protein, a virus called the Tobacco Mosaic Virus is used! A virus to kill another harmful virus, the HIV!

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