Business Unusual

The future for mRNA vaccines

Let me tell you about the long and incredible series of developments that allowed a vaccine to be made available so quickly to deal with Covid-19. DNA is a library of everything your body might need to reproduce, build and look after you. It is a recipe book of sorts. RNA is a copy of a piece of it, a single recipe to make very important substances - proteins. For dealing with diabetes we need to add the protein insulin to allow us to function. If we could give you RNA we could create it for a short while, if we can fix the part of the DNA that no longer has the recipe we can fix the problem.  Fixing DNA is gene therapy. Lots of diseases relate to issues with DNA. It is a very promising field but only a small group of approved therapies have been devised.  For other uses, RNA can be used to produce antigens, proteins used by viruses that trigger the immune system. Once you know what the antigen protein is, you can look for the RNA code that creates it. Audio credit: TEDxBeaconStreet 

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