Breeding, Health/Nutrition/Food Safety, New Zealand, Australia, Research, Studies/Reports

Australian researchers study whether ‘plant medicines’ could help treat cancer, obesity

Imagine if you could eat potato chips to help you lose weight or drink a medicine-infused tea to treat cancer or ease chronic pain. Imagine if you could consume cheaper, environmentally friendly medicine through edible plants that have been genetically engineered as “natural drugs” grown in your own back yard, writes Lexy Hamilton-Smith in this article for ABC News.

As farfetched as this sounds, “plant cures” are the key to world-first research by a team of scientists at the University of Queensland (UQ), led by Professor David Craik. “We’re engineering plants into super-efficient producers of next-generation medicines,” Professor Craik said.

When it comes to battling obesity, Professor Craik said he had proved his team could make molecules that act on a receptor in the brain that affects appetite, controls the desire for food, and therefore can cause weight loss.

“So we want to put that molecule into, say, potatoes, so that effectively you can have your french fries and not worry about the consequences.” Professor Craik said you would feel “full” after a few chips because your brain would tell you you were no longer hungry.

Source: ABC News. Read the full story here

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