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Science File | IN BRIEF

Ricin Vaccine Works in Test With Mice

August 07, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

U.S. military researchers said Wednesday that they had produced a vaccine that protected mice from the deadly effects of inhaled ricin -- one of the most toxic substances known. They now plan to test the vaccine in other animals before proceeding to humans.

Ricin is made from the castor bean and is deadly when made into a fine aerosol. The Army researchers modified a segment of the ricin molecule and used it to induce immunity.

Ten mice given the vaccine survived when exposed to airborne ricin, while 10 not given the vaccine died.

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