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The Tick Solution (The Researchers - series 1)

Dr Peter Willadsen and his team in Brisbane have been picking ticks off cattle, 20,000 at a time, in the search for a substance to solve a problem costing Australia $150 million a year. Years of hard work has paid off in the form of `BM86', a protein component of the ticks' gut, which is the lethal component in their new tick vaccine.

While it spells doom for ticks, who drop mortally affected from vaccinated cattle, it means hope for the Australian beef and dairy industry, which, up till now, has relied on chemical dipping and spraying. Chemical control costs are high and there is concern about possible residues in the meat. Furthermore, ticks rapidly develop resistance to the chemicals used to control them.

Genetic engineering is the key to mass production of the vaccine, and CSIRO has joined with Biotechnology Australia to develop a commercial product.

Produced in 1989.

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