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A new vaccine for nicotine addiction is a liver-stressing long shot

And in other vaccine news…

Researchers say they’ve developed a nicotine addiction vaccine.

But this one isn’t like other nicotine vaccines. (Yes. This is not the first.) Those others just inject nicotine antibodies into the blood stream. After a while they’re gone. Then you need another expensive shot.

That won’t do. So researchers came up with a brilliant plan.

They genetically engineered nicotine antibodies. They attached them to a virus, which is engineered to be not harmful. The virus is programmed to travel to the liver. In the liver, the antibody’s genetic code inserts itself into specific types of liver cells. Then those cells begin a lifelong production of the antibody.

Gee… What could POSSIBLY go wrong with that plan?

So far, the vaccine works in mice. In the next study, they’ll use rats. Then primates. Then humans.

And then — yep — kids!

If all that goes well, researchers hope that one day doctors might routinely give the vaccine to children. But don’t worry about safety. In a press release, one of the researchers notes that “years of studies” to establish safety will be needed.

This researcher must have never dealt with the FDA. Years of safety research? Ha! Good one!

“New Vaccine for Nicotine Addiction” Press release, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, 6/25/12,

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