We fear the Corona pandemic and we put a lot of hope for a normal life in the mRNA vaccine. In the April nanoTalks you learn the science behind this kind of vaccine and what the future might hold for us in terms of pandemics.
Talk 1: Synthetic-mRNA vaccines
Presented by: Dr. Steve Pascolo, Principal Investigator, University Hospital of Zurich, Dermatology
2020 the synthetic form of Messenger RNA (mRNA) was approved as the first anti-COVID19 vaccine. mRNA is a transient (quickly degraded) copy of a gene and in its natural form it is the active ingredient in old vaccines such as anti-Yellow fever, -Mumps, -Measles or Rubella vaccines.
Production of synthetic mRNA in vitro (ivt mRNA)is fast and robust. Vaccines based on ivt mRNAprovide over 95 % protection against COVID-19 and 94% protection against infection with SARS-CoV-2. The mRNA vaccines are key to overcoming the COVID19 pandemics. Moreover, synthetic-mRNA has a very large scope of clinical utilisationsand is the active ingredient in several drugs undergoing pre-clinical and clinical development. Thus, it can be expected that beyond vaccines, many new drugs based on this molecule will be approved in the future.
In this talk I will explain the biochemical basis of the mRNA vaccine and it’s possible use in the future.
Talk 2: Viruses: What will the next pandemic be?
Presented by Dr. Etori Aguiar Moreira, Postdoc at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Switzerland
Emerging viral infections continue to pose a major threat to global public health, as it is the case for the biggest pandemic of the millennium so far, the COVID-19 caused by SARS CoV-2. This virus has already killed almost 3 million people worldwide as of April 2021.
Most of the pandemic diseases that affect humans originate from animals and are therefore zoonotic diseases. Human impact on climate change, urbanization, overpopulation, global travel and destruction of the wildlife natural habitat have helped circulate animal-borne diseases. We have set up an ideal scenario for more pandemics to come and the top viruses are in the list of the next possible pandemics.
During this talk, I will explain why we have to keep an eye on these viruses and discuss how we can be more prepared to be a step ahead of the next pandemic.