Ketchup could soon fight AIDS thanks to tomatoes engineered by Russian scientists to produce a vaccine against the disease.
To create their tomatoes, the Russian researchers used a vector to introduce genes encoding HIV virus proteins. They injected the vector into germinating tomato plants and grew the plants in a hothouse until they produced fruit.
The researchers then tested the plants and found that the HIV antigen was present in both the leaves and the fruit itself.
They also tested to see if the genetic modification was passed to subsequent generations and found that seeds from the original plants also produced transgenic plants, which means that they could be widely dispersed to let people grow their own vaccines.