Listen to this Article Now
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Prof Katalin Kariko and Prof Drew Weissman for their work on the mRNA Covid vaccines.
The technology, which was experimental before the pandemic, has now been given to millions of people worldwide and is being researched for other diseases, including cancer. The Nobel Prize Committee praised the laureates for their contributions to vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times. Vaccines train the immune system to recognize and fight threats such as viruses or bacteria.
Unlike traditional vaccine technology, mRNA vaccines use a different approach. During the Covid pandemic, Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines were both based on mRNA technology. RNA technology works like a translator in the human body, converting DNA language into proteins that build and run our bodies. The idea behind mRNA vaccines is to sneak into the process of producing parts of a virus or infection, allowing the immune system to learn how to fight them. By refining the technology, researchers were able to produce large amounts of the intended protein without causing dangerous inflammation, paving the way for developing vaccine technology in humans.
SOURCE: BBC( James Gallagher)