Can The Killer Weed Produce A Cancer Cure?

IN THE WAR AGAINST CANCER, University of Florida scientists have bucked stereotypes and cast tobacco as a hero. By tinkering with the tobacco genome, professor Robert J. Ferl and research associate Paul C. Sehnke at UF's Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences forced the plant to produce ricin, a deadly toxin that is found in castor beans. More poisonous than cyanide or rattlesnake venom, the substance can kill cancer cells. The problem is safeguarding cells that remain healthy.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.