Monday, October 2, 2023  
Crops |  Farm Life |  Livestock |  Headline News |  Futures Markets |  Portfolio |  DTN Renewable Fuels |  Charts |  Options 
 Cash Bids
 John's comments
 Raelynn's comments
 Livestock Price Insurance
 Katy's Comments
 Brittany's Comments
 Crop Insurance
 Greiner Ag Marketing, LLC
 Option Prices
 Short Dated/Serial Options
 NOAA/Drought Monitor
 USDA Report Links
 Acreage Maps
 Fall Storage vs Futures/Options
 Discount Schedules
 About Us
 Contact Us
Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
Medicine Nobel Goes to MRNA Creators   10/02 06:13


   STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Two scientists won the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday 
for discoveries that enabled the development of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 
and could be used in the future to create other shots.

   Katalin Karik, a professor at Sagan's University in Hungary and an adjunct 
professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Drew Weissman, of the 
University of Pennsylvania, were awarded the prize for "their groundbreaking 
findings, which have fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA 
interacts with our immune system," the panel that awarded the prize said.

   "The laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development 
during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times," the panel 

   Karik said her husband was the first to pick up the early morning call, 
then handed it to her to hear the news. "I couldn't believe it," she said. "I 
was very much surprised. But I am very happy."

   Before COVID-19, mRNA vaccines were already being tested for other diseases 
like Zika, influenza and rabies -- but the pandemic brought more attention to 
this approach, Karik said.

   "There was already clinical trials before COVID, but people were not aware," 
she said.

   Thomas Perlmann, the secretary of the Nobel Assembly who announced the 
prize, said both scientists were "overwhelmed" by news.

   Traditionally, making vaccines required growing viruses or pieces of viruses 
-- often in giant vats of cells or, like most flu shots, in chicken eggs -- and 
then purifying them before next steps in brewing shots.

   The the messenger RNA approach is radically different. It starts with a 
snippet of genetic code that carries instructions for making proteins. Pick the 
right virus protein to target, and the body turns into a mini vaccine factory.

   Dr. Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at Britain's University of East 
Anglia, described the mRNA vaccines as a "game changer" in helping to shut down 
the coronavirus pandemic, crediting the shots with saving millions of lives.

   "If it hadn't been for the mRNA technology, COVID would have been much 
worse," he said. "Vaccines generally were the turning point in slowing down 
COVID and the mRNA vaccines were just so much better than all the others," he 
said, noting that the main vaccine used in the U.K., made by AstraZeneca, is 
barely in use anymore.

   "We would likely only now be coming out of the depths of COVID without the 
mRNA vaccines," Hunter said.

   Karik was a senior vice president at BioNTech, which partnered with Pfizer 
to make one of the COVID-19 vaccines. The BioNtech website says that since 2022 
she has been an external consultant. She is the 13th woman to win the Nobel 
Prize in medicine. Weissman is a professor and director of the Penn Institute 
for RNA Innovations at the University of Pennsylvania.

   Dr. Bharat Pankhania, an infectious diseases expert at Exeter University, 
said that a major advantage of mRNA technology was that vaccines could be made 
in extremely large quantities since their main components are made in 

   Pankhania predicted that the technology used in the vaccines could be used 
to refine vaccines for other diseases like Ebola, malaria and dengue, and might 
also be used to create shots that immunize people against certain types of 
cancer or auto-immune diseases like lupus.

   "It's possible that we could vaccinate people against abnormal cancer 
proteins and have the immune system attack it after being given a targeted mRNA 
shot," he explained. "It's a much more targeted technology than has been 
previously available and could revolutionize how we handle not only outbreaks, 
but non-communicable diseases."

   The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was won last year by Swedish 
scientist Svante Paabo for discoveries in human evolution that unlocked secrets 
of Neanderthal DNA which provided key insights into our immune system, 
including our vulnerability to severe COVID-19.

   Nobel announcements continue with the physics prize on Tuesday, chemistry on 
Wednesday and literature on Thursday. The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced 
Friday and the economics award on Oct. 9.

   The prizes carry a cash award of 11 million Swedish kronor ($1 million). The 
money comes from a bequest left by the prize's creator, Swedish inventor Alfred 
Nobel, who died in 1896.

   The laureates are invited to receive their awards at ceremonies on Dec. 10, 
the anniversary of Nobel's death. The prestigious peace prize is handed out in 
Oslo, according to his wishes, while the other award ceremony is held in 

Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN