A team of researchers from Iowa State University is putting flu vaccines into the genetic makeup of corn, which may someday allow animals and humans to get a flu vaccination simply by eating corn or corn products.
For example, “We’re trying to figure out which genes from the swine influenza virus to incorporate into corn so those genes, when expressed, would produce protein. When the pig consumes that corn, it would serve as a vaccine,” says Hank Harris, professor in animal science and one of the project researchers.
The corn vaccine would also work in humans when they eat corn or even corn flakes, corn chips, tortillas or anything that contains corn. The corn vaccine may be possible in five to seven years if all goes well.