Tobacco is good for you

For sure there’s the 4,000+toxins and buckets full of carcinogens but everything has a good side. Well, apart from wasps and chicory.

Take, for example, the West Nile virus…and at this point West Nile virus needs to be added onto the list after chicory. Spread by mosquitos (damn, yet another addition to the list) the disease can develop polio-like symptoms and, finally, acute flaccid paralysis.

Hang on two ticks; I just need to check on my daughter as all summer holiday she has been limp and barely moving so I’m concerned that she has contracted WNV. Crisis over, it appears she has only contracted teenager syndrome.

It’s been found that monoclonal antibodies developed from tobacco and lettuce attacks and neutralises the West Nile virus. In order to prove it works mice were injected with a lethal dose of WNV before being served up a portion of monoclonal antibodies with 90% surviving. Brilliant news if you are a sub-Saharan mouse.

It doesn’t stop there either.

Rabies may have fallen out of the Top 10 Fashionable Diseases but it’s still no laughing matter as, for humans, it’s invariably fatal. It is being reported that genetically altered tobacco plants have delivered monoclonal antibodies that prevent the virus from attaching around nerve endings of the bite wound.

Given, what the researchers don’t say is that you need to carry it around with you and inject yourself shortly before being bitten so you’ll need to plan those rabid dog attacks into your holiday diary. Given the noxious gases emanating from my elder Springer over the last two days I’m pretty close to thinking that contracting rabies from him might be a preferable alternative.

But wait, right at the top of the current news pops is Ebola; a disease so nasty people are worrying they might be able to contract it from public toilets and speaking on the phone to call centres. Mapp Biopharmaceutical Incorporated have been working hard on press releases on behalf of Big T “we’ve got a monoclonal antibody to treat anything†Reynolds American Inc. Mapp claim that these monoclonal antibodies will attach themselves to the Ebola virus an immobilise it.

Oh, now I’m worried my daughter might be an Ebola virus being attacked by monoclonal antibodies.

But here’s the kicker, the final claim being put forward by the champions of tobacco recently is that it will use these monoclonal antibodies to cure cancer by stimulating the body’s immune system to destroy cancerous cells.

All of this science may well be true and not just a tobacco company on a huge publicity drive. If it is, brilliant, it’s great to have the positive spin put on something lambasted for so long. Just as long as no one tries this positive spin out for traffic wardens, Justin Bieber or people who eat with their mouth open.