Why in news?
Co-founders of BioNTech, the German firm that partnered with Pfizer to manufacture a revolutionary mRNA Covid vaccine, said they had made breakthroughs that fuelled their optimism for cancer vaccines in the coming years.
- The mRNA technology at the heart of BioNTech’s Covid vaccine could be repurposed so that it primed the immune system to attack cancer cells instead of invading coronaviruses.
- An mRNA Covid vaccine works by ferrying the genetic instructions for harmless spike proteins on the Covid virus into the body. The instructions are taken up by cells which churn out the spike protein.
- These proteins, or antigens, are then used as “wanted posters” telling the immune system’s antibodies and other defences to search for and attack. The same approach can be taken to prime the immune system to seek out and destroy cancer cells,
What are m- rna Vaccine ?
- It is a type of RNA that is necessary for protein production. In cells, mRNA uses the information in genes to create a blueprint for making proteins. Once cells finish making a protein, they quickly break down the mRNA. mRNA from vaccines does not enter the nucleus and does not alter DNA.
How M-rna works ?
- mRNA vaccines work by introducing a piece of mRNA that corresponds to a viral protein, usually a small piece of a protein found on the virus’s outer membrane.
- Individuals who get an mRNA vaccine are not exposed to the virus, nor can they become infected by the vaccine.
- Using this mRNA blueprint, cells produce the viral protein. As part of a normal immune response, the immune system recognizes that the protein is foreign and produces specialized proteins called antibodies.
- Antibodies help protect the body against infection by recognizing individual viruses or other pathogens, attaching to them, and marking the pathogens for destruction.