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Rice Blood Protein

November 28, 2011

Scientists in China and North America have produced human blood protein from genetically modified rice seeds.



Getting blood from rice…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Rice is used to make breakfast cereal, bread, wine, and even ethanol.  Now, the list includes a key blood protein, called Human Serum Albumin, or H.S.A.  Researchers at Wuhan University in China genetically modified rice plants to produce the blood protein.  Qishan Lin, director of the University at Albany’s Proteomics facility, analyzed the product.  His lab determined that the H.S.A. from rice was identical to H.S.A. from human blood.

QISHAN LIN (University at Albany):

Based on the protein sequence, the molecular weight, and all the modifications. 

The technique could provide an economical and safe source of HSA, which is used to treat burn victims, patients with severe blood loss, and liver disease.  In fact, the rice-derived HSA proved to be just as effective as HSA from blood in treating rats with cirrhosis of the liver. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.