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Fake Virus Could Make Safe New Vaccines

Posted Jun 29 2008 3:05pm

A “wimpy” artificial virus protected mice against polio, and the approach might be used to make a range of safer new vaccines against viruses, U.S. researchers reported on Friday.

The team at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, had created the first artificial virus, a synthetic version of polio, in 2002.

Reporting in the journal Science, they said they used it to vaccinate mice, and then infected the mice with what should have been a deadly dose of polio. The mice survived.

“Ultimately we created a wimpy poliovirus that can be customized and does not cause disease unless given at high doses,” Bruce Futcher, a professor of molecular genetics and microbiology who worked on the study.

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