What is mRNA? The messenger molecule that's been in every living cell for billions of years is the key ingredient in some COVID-19 vaccines

Recently in the spotlight for its role in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, mRNA is not a new invention. It's a crucial messenger molecule at work every day in every cell in your body.

Penny Riggs, Associate Professor of Functional Genomics and Associate Vice President for Research, Texas A&M University • conversation
April 9, 2021 ~7 min

How do mRNA vaccines work – and why do you need a second dose? 5 essential reads

So far, most vaccines in the US are mRNA vaccines. These represent a new technology and are likely to take over the vaccine world. But how do they work? What are their weaknesses? Five experts explain.

Daniel Merino, Assistant Editor: Science, Health, Environment; Co-Host: The Conversation Weekly Podcast • conversation
March 16, 2021 ~6 min

3 medical innovations fueled by COVID-19 that will outlast the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has driven a lot of scientific progress in the past year. But just as some of the social changes are likely here to stay, so are some medical innovations.

Nevan Krogan, Professor and Director of Quantitative Biosciences Institute & Senior Investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, University of California, San Francisco • conversation
March 9, 2021 ~12 min

6 important truths about COVID-19 vaccines

With the vaccines now being administered at sites around the US, it is important to address misinformation surrounding the effort.

Kanneboyina Nagaraju, Professor of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Binghamton University, State University of New York • conversation
Feb. 18, 2021 ~10 min

Why it takes 2 shots to make mRNA vaccines do their antibody-creating best – and what the data shows on delaying the booster dose

With slow vaccine distribution and manufacturing, some people won't get the second dose on time. But does it matter?

William Petri, Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia • conversation
Jan. 28, 2021 ~6 min

The body's fight against COVID-19 explained using 3D-printed models

A biologist explains what proteins do in viruses, how they interact with human cells, how the vaccine delivers mRNA into the cell and how antibodies protect us.

Nathan Ahlgren, Assistant Professor of Biology, Clark University • conversation
Jan. 26, 2021 ~8 min

Your corner pharmacy – joining the front lines of the COVID-19 fight

Two pharmacists involved in COVID-19 vaccine preparation explain the role pharmacists are poised to play in expanding vaccine access.

Danielle Mayer, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Jefferson College of Pharmacy, Thomas Jefferson University • conversation
Jan. 25, 2021 ~7 min

COVID-19 vaccines were developed in record time – but are these game-changers safe?

Because Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been developed in record time, many wonder whether companies cut corners or compromised safety.

William Petri, Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia • conversation
Nov. 20, 2020 ~6 min

How mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna work, why they're a breakthrough and why they need to be kept so cold

There are two new COVID-19 vaccines that appear to be more than 90% effective. But what are these vaccines, and how are they different from those used previously?

Sanjay Mishra, Project Coordinator & Staff Scientist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt University • conversation
Nov. 18, 2020 ~8 min

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