Human Collagen Grown from Tobacco

Saturday 12th June 2010

Scientists in Israel claim to have grown ‘human’ collagen cells using genetically modified tobacco plants in a medical first that could change anti-ageing cosmetic surgery. The popular dermal filler is usually sourced from animals including pigs and cattle. However, researchers claim that tobacco plants can be used to grow replica human collagen cells that could be used in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.

The protein is commonly used as an ingredient in age-reducing lotions and potions or is injected into the lips to give a fuller pout. However the elastic protein used in cosmetic procedures is often derived from animals or from cadavers and experts have expressed concern that collagen sourced this way can be contaminated with disease causing pathogens.

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