Jakarta (ANTARA News) - It is not always true that most people assumed that tobacco may cause cancer, because it appeared that tobacco can produce a certain protein useful in the treatment of cancer patients.
This was proven by a Biotechnological Research Center researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) DR Arief Budi Witarto MEng, through molecular farming.
It was his research work on this matter which had earned the Ph.D in biotechnology of the Technical Faculty of the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan an appreciation from the Germany Research Institute DAAD Fraunhofer, in Jakarta on Wednesday.
In his research work, Arief tried to produce an important protein as growth colony stimulating factor (GCSF) by using the most suitable local tobacco plants "genjah kenongo" among the 18 local varieties in his research.
The tobacco is used as a reactor producing GCSF protein, which is a kind of hormone which stimulates blood formation.
"The protein is produced by the DNA in our body, and is injected in the tobacco by way of bacteria," he said.
Besides used as anti-cancer protein, GSCF, he said it is also used to stimulate stemcell multiplication, which can be developed for the restoration of damaged body tissue.
Arief has also earned similar appreciations, including the Paramadina Award 2005 for Science and Technology, and PII (engineers association) Engineering Award 2005 for the Best Creation in Engineering from the Indonesian Engineers Association itself.
The others include the Science and Technology Award 2003 from Indonesian Toray Science Foundation (ITSF) and Indonesia`s Best Young Researcher 2002 for technical science and engineering from LIPI.
He was once also chosen to represent Indonesia along with four compatriots to attend a meeting of Nobel Prize Laureates in Lindau, Germany.