MRNA technology has been brought into the spotlight recently as the new vaccines for. MRNA technology has recently been highlighted, as new vaccines against COVID-19 use this science. With their high efficacy, their capacity for rapid development and their potential for low production costs, mRNA vaccines offer an alternative to the traditional vaccine approach. MRNA, or messenger ribonucleic acid, is a single-stranded RNA molecule that carries genetic information that is derived from DNA.
MRNA vaccines work by providing a genetic code to cells that allows them to produce viral proteins. Once proteins are created, the body can produce an immune response. The success of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 has given a major boost to efforts to develop other mRNA vaccines for all types of applications, from cancer to Zika virus. The potential of mRNA is believed to extend beyond vaccines.
MRNA can encode practically any protein, so the same basic technology could also allow us to develop all kinds of treatments by causing the body to produce a response similar to that of drugs. Many protein-based drugs, such as antibodies produced outside the body, have proven to be extremely effective, but also extremely expensive. Therefore, by using mRNA technology, development times and costs could be reduced if, instead, the human body were allowed to work on the manufacture of proteins. AAMC member institutions strive to prepare a diverse medical research workforce and advocate for an environment in which medical discoveries can thrive.