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Coronavirus

Japanese scientists turn to silkworms for COVID-19 vaccine

Oral form using ground-up pupae may prove effective against deadly disease

Kyushu University professor Takahiro Kusakabe and his team are working to develop a unique vaccine using silkworms. (Photo by Akihiko Nishiyama)

TOKYO -- As scientists the world over scramble to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, Kyushu University professor Takahiro Kusakabe and his team are working to develop a unique vaccine using silkworms.

In his project, each of the worms is a factory that manufactures a type of protein to serve as the key material for vaccine production. Kusakabe said it is possible to create an oral vaccine and aims to start clinical tests on humans in 2021.

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