Shares of Moderna Inc. gained 5.9% in trading on Tuesday after research correspondence published in The New England Journal of Medicine indicates that the company's COVID-19 vaccine generated antibodies that extend at least six months after the second dose among a small group of study participants. This is based on tracking COVID-19 antibodies in 33 participants in the Phase 1 clinical trial, which is still ongoing. This is a similar finding to data recently released about immune response to BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc.'s mRNA vaccine. "Our data show antibody persistence," the researchers wrote in the letter, which published Tuesday. At this time it is unknown how long the vaccines protect people who have been immunized. Shares of Moderna have gained 17.5% since the start of the year, while the broader S&P 500 is up 8.6%.
Some vaccinated moms are even sharing their milk with other families, according to The New York Times
- The Conversation
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
MRNA is an important messenger, carrying the instructions for life from DNA to the rest of the cell. ktsimage/iStock via Getty Images PlusOne surprising star of the coronavirus pandemic response has been the molecule called mRNA. It’s the key ingredient in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. But mRNA itself is not a new invention from the lab. It evolved billions of years ago and is naturally found in every cell in your body. Scientists think RNA originated in the earliest life forms, even before DNA existed. Here’s a crash course in just what mRNA is and the important job it does. Meet the genetic middleman You probably know about DNA. It’s the molecule that contains all of your genes spelled out in a four-letter code – A, C, G and T. Messenger RNA carries genetic information from DNA in the highly protected nucleus out to the rest of the cell, where structures called ribosomes can build proteins according to the DNA blueprint. ttsz/iStock via Getty Images Plus DNA is found inside the cells of every living thing. It’s protected in a part of the cell called the nucleus. The genes are the details in the DNA blueprint for all the physical characteristics that make you uniquely you. But the information from your genes has to get from the DNA in the nucleus out to the main part of the cell – the cytoplasm – where proteins are assembled. Cells rely on proteins to carry out the many processes necessary for the body to function. That’s where messenger RNA, or mRNA for short, comes in. Sections of the DNA code are transcribed into shortened messages that are instructions for making proteins. These messages – the mRNA – are transported out to the main part of the cell. Once the mRNA arrives, the cell can produce particular proteins from these instructions. The double-stranded DNA sequence is transcribed into an mRNA code so the instructions can be translated into proteins. Alkov/iStock via Getty Images Plus The structure of RNA is similar to DNA but has some important differences. RNA is a single strand of code letters (nucleotides), while DNA is double-stranded. The RNA code contains a U instead of a T – uracil instead of thymine. Both RNA and DNA structures have a backbone made of sugar and phosphate molecules, but RNA’s sugar is ribose and DNA’s is deoxyribose. DNA’s sugar contains one less oxygen atom and this difference is reflected in their names: DNA is the nickname for deoxyribonucleic acid, RNA is ribonucleic acid. Identical copies of DNA reside in every single cell of an organism, from a lung cell to a muscle cell to a neuron. RNA is produced as needed in response to the dynamic cellular environment and the immediate needs of the body. It’s mRNA’s job to help fire up the cellular machinery to build the proteins, as encoded by the DNA, that are appropriate for that time and place. The process that converts DNA to mRNA to protein is the foundation for how the cell functions. [Research into coronavirus and other news from science Subscribe to The Conversation’s science newsletter.] Programmed to self-destruct As the intermediary messenger, mRNA is an important safety mechanism in the cell. It prevents invaders from hijacking the cellular machinery to produce foreign proteins because any RNA outside of the cell is instantaneously targeted for destruction by enzymes called RNases. When these enzymes recognize the structure and the U in the RNA code, they erase the message, protecting the cell from false instructions. The mRNA also gives the cell a way to control the rate of protein production – turning the blueprints “on” or “off” as needed. No cell wants to produce every protein described in your whole genome all at once. Messenger RNA instructions are timed to self-destruct, like a disappearing text or snapchat message. Structural features of the mRNA – the U in the code, its single-stranded shape, ribose sugar and its specific sequence – ensure that the mRNA has a short half-life. These features combine to enable the message to be “read,” translated into proteins, and then quickly destroyed – within minutes for certain proteins that need to be tightly controlled, or up to a few hours for others. Once the instructions vanish, protein production stops until the protein factories receive a new message. Harnessing mRNA for vaccination All of mRNA’s characteristics made it of great interest to vaccine developers. The goal of a vaccine is to get your immune system to react to a harmless version or part of a germ so when you encounter the real thing you’re ready to fight it off. Researchers found a way to introduce and protect an mRNA message with the code for a portion of the spike protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s surface. Messenger RNA vaccines get the recipient’s body to produce a viral protein that then stimulates the desired immune response. Trinset/iStock via Getty Images Plus The vaccine provides just enough mRNA to make just enough of the spike protein for a person’s immune system to generate antibodies that protect them if they are later exposed to the virus. The mRNA in the vaccine is soon destroyed by the cell – just as any other mRNA would be. The mRNA cannot get into the cell nucleus and it cannot affect a person’s DNA. Although these are new vaccines, the underlying technology was initially developed many years ago and improved incrementally over time. As a result, the vaccines have been well tested for safety. The success of these mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, in terms of safety and efficacy, predicts a bright future for new vaccine therapies that can be quickly tailored to new, emerging threats. Early-stage clinical trials using mRNA vaccines have already been conducted for influenza, Zika, rabies, and cytomegalovirus. Certainly, creative scientists are already considering and developing therapies for other diseases or disorders that might benefit from an approach similar to that used for the vaccines against COVID-19.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Penny Riggs, Texas A&M University. Read more:Coronavirus: A new type of vaccine using RNA could help defeat COVID-19COVID-19 vaccines were developed in record time – but are these game-changers safe? Penny Riggs has received funding from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture and the National Science Foundation.
- Associated Press
Russia asked Slovakia on Thursday to return its Sputnik V vaccines it has received “due to multiple contract violations.” The official Twitter account of the Sputnik V vaccine said Slovakia’s drug regulator “in violation of existing contract and in an act of sabotage” tested Sputnik V “in a laboratory which is not part of the EU’s Official Medicines Control Laboratory network.” It tweeted Slovakia’s State Institute for Drug Control “has launched a disinformation campaign against Sputnik V and plans additional provocations.”
- Associated Press
A Florida judge sentenced a 21-year-old man to 24 years in prison for killing an Ohio mother and her young daughter in a 2018 traffic crash. Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher Nash heard hours of testimony on Thursday before announcing his decision to send Cameron Herrin to prison. Herrin's family members began to weep as sheriff's deputies placed him in handcuffs after the hearing, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
- Miami Herald
There’s no greater need for the Dolphins on defense in this draft than finding another edge rusher, a position where Miami is lacking after the offseason jettisoning of Kyle Van Noy (released) and Shaq Lawson (traded to Houston for linebacker Benardrick McKinney).
A forensic pathologist testifies that Mr Floyd's heart and lungs stopped because of a lack of oxygen.
- Architectural Digest
Supremely versatile, loveseats work as standalone pieces in studio apartments and as part of a seating arrangement in sprawling living rooms Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- USA TODAY
Boeing said it recommends 16 airlines temporarily remove certain Max planes due to a potential electrical issue.
- Associated Press
Justin Schultz had a goal and two assists, and the Washington Capitals reclaimed a share of the East Division lead by beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on Friday night. Washington star Alex Ovechkin scored his 21st goal of the season and No. 727 for his career, moving within four of Marcel Dionne for fifth on the NHL list. Brenden Dillon and Jakub Vrana also scored in a game the Capitals never trailed.
As the White House announces new measures, Biden calls gun violence an "international embarrassment".
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday accused Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of humiliating European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this week and said it is important to be frank with "dictators", drawing condemnation from Ankara. Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel met Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday.
- Associated Press
Devin Shore broke a tie with 7:02 left, Mike Smith made 39 saves and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 on Thursday night to sweep the nine-game season series. Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi, into an empty net, also scored for Edmonton. “Everyone’s got a role,” Shore said.
- Kansas City Star
A Missouri lawmaker has proposed freezing property assessments after big, unexpected property value increases in Jackson County two years ago.
- Business Insider
Video shows Virginia cops holding a Black Army officer in uniform at gunpoint and pepper-spraying him during a traffic stop
Caron Nazario, a Black Army lieutenant in the Medical Corp, is suing Virginia police officers for assaulting him in December.
- USA TODAY
Officials said that Alexander Lofgren, 32, was dead and Emily Henkel, 27, was hospitalized after they were found in Death Valley National Park.
- Business Insider
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he hired private investigators to find out why Fox News isn't letting him speak on air
Mike Lindell said Friday he "spent a lot of money" investigating Fox News for its failure to invite him on air to peddle false election claims.
'Justice League' writer Joss Whedon is facing a slew of allegations from A-list actors. Here's a timeline of the controversy.
The creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and director of "The Avengers" has been accused by actors of inappropriate behavior on set.
- Business Insider
Johnson & Johnson had a very bad week - but fears of negative reactions and blood clots are likely overblown
Three vaccination sites reported clusters of minor adverse reactions among people who got the Johnson & Johnson shot.
- Business Insider
Former Rep. Katie Hill says it's 'gross' to think that Matt Gaetz defended her to possibly cover up for 'his own indiscretions'
"Clearly I have a history of trusting men that I shouldn't," Hill, who is a victim of revenge porn, said during an interview with CNN.
- The Telegraph
It was the mystery that captured the imagination of the world, as a Russian Imperial dynasty was ruthlessly executed before details of their disappearance obfuscated for decades. In 2018, the true story of how the Duke of Edinburgh helped piece together the murders of Tsar Nicholas II and his family was told by the Science Museum in an exhibition detailing how his DNA provided the key. The Duke, who offered a blood sample to experts attempting to identify bodies found in unmarked graves in 1993, provided a match with the Tsarina and her daughters, related through the maternal line, proving once and for all their fate. The research by that team, known in detail only to scientists until recently, was put on display for the first time, with graphs of the Tsar’s own DNA exhibited alongside details of the Duke’s contribution of five cubic centimetres of blood. The Duke is the grand-nephew of the Tsarina, with her older sister Victoria Mountbatten his maternal grandmother. He was invited to assist the investigation into her murder by Dr Peter Gill and his team at the Forensic Science Service, who used mitochondrial DNA analysis to determine they have proved "virtually beyond doubt" that bones found in a grave in Yekaterinburg in July 1991 were those of the Romanovs. The Duke was keenly aware of his family history, reported to have once answered a question about whether he would like to travel to Russia with the words: "I would like to go to Russia very much, although the ba----ds murdered half my family." The Science Museum exhibition, The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution, was designed to explore the decades of scientific development that have helped experts piece together what happened to the Romanov family, opened in the centenary of their executions.