The mRNA technology behind covid-19 vaccines can transform medicine

Covid-19 RNA vaccine, illustration. The vaccine consists of strands of mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) encased in a lipid nanoparticle sphere. The mRNA codes for a mutated version of the viral spike protein found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes Covid-19. When injected into the body the mRNA is taken up by the body's cells, which manufacture copies of the protein. The proteins stimulate an immune response, causing the body to produce antibodies against the spike protein. This means that the body is primed to attack the virus should it be encountered after vaccination, preventing disease. The first RNA vaccine approved for human use, developed against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus by Pfizer/BioNTech, was approved in the UK on 2nd December 2020. 2DYDTXH Covid-19 RNA vaccine, illustration.

Science Photograph Library/Alamy

AMID the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, there has at the very least been one piece of undeniably excellent news: the success of mRNA vaccines.

The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been developed in file time they usually have proved extraordinarily efficient. They’re saving many lives, however that is simply the beginning of one thing enormous.

Utilizing the identical method might assist us develop higher vaccines for a lot of ailments, together with circumstances for which we’ve got no inoculation at current. And when the following pandemic comes, we should always be capable to get extra of the world’s inhabitants vaccinated sooner than we’re managing this …

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