September 9, 2001
Scientists have created the ultimate GM crop: contraceptive corn. Waiving fields of maize may one day prevent you from having as many kids as you would like, or any at all! The pregnancy prevention plants are the handiwork of the San Diego biotechnology company Epicyte, where researchers have discovered a rare class of human antibodies that attack sperm.
By isolating the genes that regulate the manufacture of these antibodies, and by putting them in corn plants, the company has created tiny horticultural factories that make contraceptives.
We have a hothouse filled with corn plants that make anti-sperm antibodies,’ said Epicyte president Mitch Hein.
We have also created corn plants that make antibodies against the herpes virus, so we should be able to make a plant-based jelly that not only prevents pregnancy but also blocks the spread of sexual disease.
Contraceptive corn is based on research on the rare condition, immune infertility, in which a woman makes antibodies that attack sperm.
Essentially, the antibodies are attracted to surface receptors on the sperm, said Hein. They latch on and make each sperm so heavy it cannot move forward. It just sits there and shakes about.
Normally, biologists use bacteria to grow human proteins. However, Epicyte decided to use corn because plants have cellular structures that are much more like those of humans, making them easier to manipulate.
The company, which says it will not grow the maize near other crops, says it plans to launch clinical trials of the corn in a few months.
( Note from Joe Cummins on this article: Starlink like spread of such genes would probably go beyond saving the world from over population to saving the world from human population. Such researchers are toying with folly and being blindly supported by incompetent regulators.
In Ontario in my county plants were grown in the field containing human interleukine genes. Such genes recombine to create super viruses with astonishing virulence. The local field tests ignored spread of the product and genes in surface and groundwater by wounded and decaying plant material. The antibody killing sperm above is bound to pollute surface and groundwater and the groundwater pollutant is safe from microbial destruction and ready for the farm well.)