New Study by Professor Weathers Garners Extensive Media Coverage

Pamela Weathers, professor of biology and biotechnology, examines roots from genetically modified tobacco plants growing in a novel nutrient mist bioreactor in WPI's Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center.

A new study by Pamela Weathers, professor of biology and biotechnology, and colleagues at the Arkansas Bioscience Institute has been covered by a wide array of science and biotechnology websites. The study, published online by the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering, reports the results of research that found that hairy roots from genetically modified tobacco plants grown in a contained novel mist bioreactor system yield significant quantities of murine interleukin-12, a naturally occurring protein essential for the proper functioning of the human immune system.

Interleukin-12 may play a role in the development of many diseases, including some cancers and auto-immune disorders like Crohn’s, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. In turn, modulating interleukin-12 levels could yield new therapies for those conditions.

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