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Experimental Ebola Serum Grown in Tobacco Leaves

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posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 06:22 PM
So tobacco is that secret ingredient

Aug. 4, 2014 -- ZMapp, the experimental treatment rushed to two Americans infected with Ebola in Africa, is grown in specially modified leaves of tobacco -- a plant better known for harming health than healing.

......Making the serum is slow, in part, because the plants must be grown for several weeks before they are “infected” with a type of protein. “Basically the plants act like a photocopier of the proteins,” Howard says.

Once they’re infected, Howard says it takes a week for the plants to make enough of the protein to harvest and distill into a useable drug.


Btw , it's a GMO tobacco plant

posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 06:24 PM
a reply to: violet

Making the serum is slow? Sounds to me like they could have a vast amount in several weeks.

Set up a lab in the Carolinas or Kentucky. Big tobacco and big pharma finally, Tomacco here we come.
edit on 4-8-2014 by GogoVicMorrow because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 06:28 PM
a reply to: violet
I'm sure I read somewhere its only a danger to those that dont get treatment? If so why is this gmo product needed?

edit on 4-8-2014 by VoidHawk because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 06:31 PM
a reply to: VoidHawk
Well I suppose this might have been the "treatment"

posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 06:37 PM
Do you know how easy it is to remember the number of known cures for viral infections?

Because the number is exactly Zero.

All this serum talk is being played out to stop people from panicking.

posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 07:00 PM
Yep, sounds like GMO. But instead of smoking the tobacco, they are using the plants to mass produce the antibody proteins in the leaves. Then then can use conventional processes to break down the leaves and harvest the vascular fluid.

Leaves are the production powerhouse of the plant; they collect the sunlight and process it with the water, sugars and proteins in the vascular system. Leaves are full of vascular fluid.

It sounds pretty slick; animals in general are not allergic to plant internals so much as they are to external proteins, and if this is an antibody protein it is pretty specialized. My only guess for using a tobacco plant over something else is that the primary through tertiary protein folds collapse well enough to function as an antibody. Pretty slick stuff. If this works as well as advertised for the first human as it does for everyone else then we may be on the verge of a revolution in medicine where horticulture meets next generation vaccine therapy.

Just think, people in Africa could grow their own ebola vaccine in tobacco, process the leaves old-school, filter it using a vacuum pump on a bicycle, then inject it into a patient. Potentially. Or so theorizes my husband.

He is a little confused as to why they are calling this a "serum" however. Technically, that comes from your blood after you take out the cells. He wonders if they're just using it as a term of convenience since this came from the vascular system of a living thing. He did say its plant origin could explain why it needs to be kept so cold.

posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 07:02 PM
a reply to: Snarl

Yeah, they've known it can help since 1995 lol. They used to use the (similar low tech) method before vaccines.

posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 07:09 PM
It might have nothing to do with the added antibodies. Maybe they only do that so they can make it expensive and they can patent it. Maybe the tobacco alone will kill it. It wouldn't be the first time they did something like this to make money.

posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 07:42 PM
I knew I smoked American spirits for a reason!!!!

posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 11:59 PM

originally posted by: rickymouse
It might have nothing to do with the added antibodies. Maybe they only do that so they can make it expensive and they can patent it. Maybe the tobacco alone will kill it. It wouldn't be the first time they did something like this to make money.

Those are my thoughts. I mean how do they determine to use tobacco unless they found out by accident? Could be tobacco chewers weren't as sick as non- chewers ? Just guessing, thry did I erred it accidentally.

posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 12:06 AM
a reply to: ketsuko

This serum, mentioned blood they put in animals. Might be another article I read about this tobacco. I think that's where we got the first story, of one getting blood from a patient who recovered. It was an animal , not a human . They mixed several things. CNN mentioned mice were used tonight, but did not mention tobacco. I thought I had read it was primates.

Sounds like the delays were from needing to patent it first. Two companies will share the profit.

edit on 5-8-2014 by violet because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 12:16 AM
The people behind it

New York: A tiny San Diego-based company provided an experimental Ebola treatment for two Americans infected with the deadly virus in Liberia. The biotechnology drug, produced with tobacco plants, appears to be working. In an unusual twist of expedited drug access, Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc, which has nine employees, released its experimental ZMapp drug, until now only tested on infected animals, for the two health workers. Kentucky BioProcessing LLC, a subsidiary of tobacco giant Reynolds American Inc, manufactures the treatment for Mapp from tobacco plants. Read more at:

The two scientists behind Mapp, president Larry Zeitlin and chief executive officer Kevin Whaley, are both brilliant, said Charles Arntzen, a plant biotechnology expert at Arizona State University who collaborated with the two researchers years ago. They are very, very bright guys and free spirits. The antibody work came out of research projects funded more than a decade ago by the US Army to develop treatments and vaccines against potential bio-warfare agents, such as the Ebola virus, Arntzen said in a telephone interview.

Read more at:

How the tobacco is used

The tobacco plant production system was developed because it was a method that could produce antibodies rapidly in the event of an emergency, he said. To produce therapeutic proteins inside a tobacco plant, genes for the desired antibodies are fused to genes for a natural tobacco virus, said Arntzen. The tobacco plants are then infected with this new artificial virus, he said. The infection results in the production of antibodies inside the plant, Arntzen said. The plant is eventually ground up and the antibody is extracted, he said. The whole process takes a matter of weeks. Read more at:

Antibody cocktail

Mapp’s drug is being developed with Toronto-based Defyrus Inc., which has six employees, according to Defyrus CEO Jeff Turner. ZMapp is a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies that help the immune system attack the virus. Monoclonal antibodies designed to fight and block specific proteins can stop the virus from latching onto and entering cells, said Heinz Feldmann, chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Laboratory of Virology in Hamilton, Montana. The key is to find antibodies that can prevent viral infection, and to attack several points on the virus so that mutants won’t escape treatment, he said. What you want is a cocktail of antibodies that target different domains on the virus so escape is less likely in treatment, he said in a telephone interview. Feldmann said he hasn’t been involved in developing treatments. ZMapp’s predecessor, MB-003, protected three of seven rhesus macaques in a study run in 2013 by Mapp and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Read more at:

edit on 5-8-2014 by violet because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 11:11 AM

edit on 5-8-2014 by JG1993 because: (no reason given)

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