Henry I. Miller

Common commodity crop plants such as corn and tobacco can now be programmed with gene-splicing techniques to produce high-value-added pharmaceuticals, a process dubbed “biopharming.” The plants are harvested, and the drug is then extracted and purified.

The concept is not new: For example, morphine and cocaine are derived from the opium poppy, and taxol and tetrahydrocannabinol come from the yew tree and marijuana plant, respectively. But biopharming’s great promise lies in the ability of gene-sp…

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