Can plant mutations be transmitted to people?

16 May 2010

Question

If I eat a malformed apple, what are the chances that whatever caused the malformation might adapt to affect me in some adverse way? Could there ever be a cross over from plant to human of diseases, etc?

Answer

We put this question to Dr Jim Haseloff, from Cambridge University:

Jim - I think it's safe to say no. The process of transfer - horizontal transfer from plants to humans requires some kind of vector, some kind of way of transferring it and I'm certainly not aware of any way of doing it,

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