https://iigb.ucr.edu/news/2021/09/21/researchers-using-nsf-grant-study-plants-edible-vaccines "Plants as mRNA Factories for Edible Vaccines" September 17, 2021 Published in Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News Juan Pablo Giraldo University of California-Riverside (UCR) researchers say they are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories. One of the challenges with this new technology is that it must be kept cold to maintain stability during transport and storage. If this new project is successful, plant-based mRNA vaccines, which can be eaten, could overcome this challenge with the ability to be stored at room temperature. The project’s goals, made possible by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, are threefold: showing that DNA containing the mRNA vaccines can be successfully delivered into the part of plant cells where it will replicate, demonstrating the plants can produce enough mRNA to rival a traditional shot, and finally, determining the right dosage. “Ideally, a single plant would produce enough mRNA to vaccinate a single person,” said Juan Pablo Giraldo, PhD, an associate professor in UCR’s department of botany and plant sciences. He is leading the research, done in collaboration with scientists from UC San Diego and Carnegie Mellon University."