Today is Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Today’s Coronavirus updates from Worldometers:
Coronavirus Cases: 2,044,221
Active Cases: 1,407,599
For as long as I can remember people of the United States have been accustomed to being among the world’s leaders for setting the gold standards of community, relations with others, having desirable social structures and cultural values, and being a catalyst for change when change is recognized as needed. We have won World Wars yet always have sought peace first and global equality for all peoples. Today, however, we find ourselves in the dreadfully unenviable position of ranking in the world’s highest numbers when it comes to the spread of the Coronavirus:
Coronavirus Cases: 622,380
It was five years ago when I first posted (May 6, 2015) about my 11th great-grandparents, John Rolfe and Princess Pocahontas. John Rolfe’s entrepreneurship with tobacco plants in America’s first settlement in the 1600’s in Jamestown, Virginia, saved this colony and its starving settlers. The following is an excerpt from that post:
400 Years Later, Tobacco Plants Used In Emerging Medical Treatments
It is interesting that 400 years later the nicotine tobacco plant leaf is being used to develop new drugs for cancer treatments and for the ZMAPP new drug that has successfully treated some doctors and nurses from USA and the UK who caught the deadly EBOLA virus in 2014 from the patients they were treating in West Africa.
Starting in August 2014, the ZMAPP drug was used to treat nine patients, first with American medical missionary doctor Kent Brantly, who recovered. Unbeknownst to Brantly, who contracted the virus doing medical work in Liberia, with infectious disease researcher Gary Kobinger, of the Public Health Agency of Canada, had produced an Ebola drug called ZMAPP. But, Kobinger had only tested it successfully on monkeys. Brantly received the drug and “after two or three hours, I was actually able to get up and walk to the bathroom,” he said.
Tobacco Plants and Molecular Farming
Today, scientists consider tobacco plant based drugs potentially safer than other approaches to treatments and cures for diseases. Molecular farming is basically the production of plant made pharmaceuticals and technical proteins. The use of plants as a source of raw materials and medicines. From the earliest stages of civilization, plant extracts have been used to obtain technical materials and drugs to ease suffering and cure diseases. Mankind has been using plants for thousands of years. Molecular
farming has the potential to provide virtually unlimited quantities of recombinant antibodies, vaccines, blood substitutes, growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, and enzymes for use as diagnostic and therapeutic tools in health care, the life sciences and in chemical industries. Scientists tell us that tobacco plants can’t host pathogens (viruses, bacterium, or other microorganisms), and plant molecular farming and biomanufacturing processes are faster and cheaper than the typical processes of growing viruses in eggs, or the use of animal cells or microbial cultures.
We can link back companies like America’s Reynolds Tobacco in North Carolina and British American Tobacco (“BAT,”) in London, England 400 years. These companies and others are infecting fast-growing tobacco plants with a genetically modified coronavirus to see if antibodies can be produced as possible vaccines. Results could be ready as early as June 2020.
However, the cigarette giant British American Tobacco (BAT) said this month (April 2020), that such plant-based vaccine products have extra regulatory hurdles to clear, including complying with rules for genetically modified organisms — which could make it very hard to fast-track the process.
- Frontiers in Plant Science, Editorial Article: Front. Plant Sci., 03 August 2016.
- Molecular Farming by: Amita Sarkar, 2009.
- Nature Research Journal; “If a coronavirus vaccine arrives, can the world make enough?” April 9, 2020.
- Politico News, February 15, 2020.
As we continue in these social and economic lockdowns as the only known sources for limiting the spread of this novel Coronavirus, we can only hope and pray that the answers and remedies come sooner rather than later, regardless of the source for them.