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Man’s oldest fibre holds bandage breakthrough
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Traditional bandages for protecting and healing wounds may soon be a thing of the past thanks to
a team of scientists in Wroclaw University, Poland. They claim they have genetically modified a ‘flax’ to produce linen bandages that dramatically improve healing.

The team says it has boosted antioxidant compounds in the plants to improve regrowth of skin cells, which can proliferate in the cavity of a wound. Doctors tested the system on 60 patients: 80% of them saw some sort of improvement, while 20% of those healed completely.

“Flax has great possibilities. But traditional flax doesn’t have that effect. It has to be innovative, created by biotechnological methods, with a specific aim, modified to result in a proper product,” said Genetic Biochemist Dr. Jan Szopa-Skorski.

For the moment, this treatment has only been approved in Poland for use on the skin, but researchers at the biochemistry laboratory at Wroclaw University have started to investigate whether it has other uses.

“It’s an innovative product on a world scale, although it’s not the only one. At the moment we have begun research on several products based on this plant: an anti-infection oil that could be used in arteriosclerosis treatment and a product for cancer treatment,” said Szopa-Skorski.

Furthermore scientists are confident that GM flax could create a whole new industrial sector producing profits for farmers and manufacturers.

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