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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Implication of the RNA Vaccine breakthrough

    There was a segment last night on local news about the methodology used in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, where they are actually implanting RNA (?) in white cells that gives them the knowledge to fight against Covid-19.

    I probably butchered the above explanation. But they then explained how this new technique could now be used in potentially vaccinating against tumors, cancer, diabetes?! They were saying that the RNA vaccines are basically a paradigm change in medial science on the scale of the Penniciline.

    Is that hot air? Could we really vaccinate people in the future and have our immune system fight off tumors on its own? Can we potentially start to edit the RNA of cells to give them new purposes?

    Like, what does this development put in our grasp for the next 10, 20, 50 years of medical advancement?

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Implication of the RNA Vaccine breakthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr2 View Post
    where they are actually implanting RNA (?) in white cells that gives them the knowledge to fight against Covid-19.
    More accurately, mRNA - messenger RNA. Those are what cells use to communicate to intracellular 'manufacturing plants' to create proteins.

    That's why this application works so well in vaccines. You're not permanently changing any structures in a cell. You're just convincing the cell to make the spike proteins your body uses to identify, and destroy, the virus.

    Like, what does this development put in our grasp for the next 10, 20, 50 years of medical advancement?
    Basically, what they're saying is that the Moderna process would let them, depending upon the situation, create the mRNA to provide a solution by creating the necessary protein signatures.

    Protein signals to improve blood vessel growth? Initial stuff looks promising. Since it's common in all people, it's a research once-produce many situation.

    Tailored vaccines to make the body attack tumors? Research needed. Those would be necessarily tailored to the person, though, and have a development time.

    It all depends on the nature of the issue and if we can 'hack' the body in such a way.

    Do keep in mind that mRNA only lasts a short time before going bye bye. So if it's a chronic condition, they'll need regular injections. This isn't gene therapy.
    Last edited by sihnfahl; 2021-02-12 at 03:47 PM.
    May you get EXACTLY what you wish for.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Implication of the RNA Vaccine breakthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by sihnfahl View Post
    More accurately, mRNA - messenger RNA. Those are what cells use to communicate to intracellular 'manufacturing plants' to create proteins.

    That's why this application works so well in vaccines. You're not permanently changing any structures in a cell. You're just convincing the cell to make the spike proteins your body uses to identify, and destroy, the virus.


    Basically, what they're saying is that the Moderna process would let them, depending upon the situation, create the mRNA to provide a solution by creating the necessary protein signatures.

    Protein signals to improve blood vessel growth? Initial stuff looks promising. Since it's common in all people, it's a research once-produce many situation.

    Tailored vaccines to make the body attack tumors? Research needed. Those would be necessarily tailored to the person, though, and have a development time.

    It all depends on the nature of the issue and if we can 'hack' the body in such a way.

    Do keep in mind that mRNA only lasts a short time before going bye bye. So if it's a chronic condition, they'll need regular injections. This isn't gene therapy.
    Say you do a regular harvest of rna from everyone when they are as young as possible and you learn how to copy and reproduce it to reinject clean RNA in people? Would that be gene therapy?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Implication of the RNA Vaccine breakthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr2 View Post
    Say you do a regular harvest of rna from everyone when they are as young as possible and you learn how to copy and reproduce it to reinject clean RNA in people? Would that be gene therapy?
    Injecting 'young' RNA would probably do nothing or would mess you up a bit. For a computer analogy, DNA is the archive of a program on your drive and RNA is the contents of registers and the bit of memory that's actually being executed at any given time. So injecting randomly sampled RNA from a past moment of your life would be like suddenly running a random function from some software you happen to have used in the past while you're doing something else now.

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    DeTess's Avatar

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    Default Re: Implication of the RNA Vaccine breakthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr2 View Post
    Say you do a regular harvest of rna from everyone when they are as young as possible and you learn how to copy and reproduce it to reinject clean RNA in people? Would that be gene therapy?
    I'm hardly an expert, but the way I understand it, mRNA is something that tells a cell to do a certain thing, but in no way it changes the actual DNA of the cell. So a dose of mRNA might improve some kind of boddilly function, but not in any permanent way, as the injected mRNA doesn't persist in the body.

    To perform gene-therapy, you'd generally need to actually edit the gene's in the body, which would require an entirely different method.
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Implication of the RNA Vaccine breakthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr2 View Post
    Say you do a regular harvest of rna from everyone when they are as young as possible and you learn how to copy and reproduce it to reinject clean RNA in people? Would that be gene therapy?
    No, actual gene therapy tries to repair a DNA issue. So it's not providing a correct blueprint (mRNA) - it's actually fixing the smudge on the original blueprint so it can make good copies.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    I'm hardly an expert, but the way I understand it, mRNA is something that tells a cell to do a certain thing, but in no way it changes the actual DNA of the cell. So a dose of mRNA might improve some kind of boddilly function, but not in any permanent way, as the injected mRNA doesn't persist in the body.
    Right, it breaks down, which makes it perfect for short-term or adjustable therapies. In gene therapy, once the DNA is altered, that's permanent. Ish. Well, until it's damaged by time or mutagenesis.

    And not all conditions can be fixed by gene therapy, due to their multi-gene issues. But the big ones folks are looking at are Type I diabetes, cystic fibrosis, HIV...
    May you get EXACTLY what you wish for.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Implication of the RNA Vaccine breakthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by sihnfahl View Post
    No, actual gene therapy tries to repair a DNA issue. So it's not providing a correct blueprint (mRNA) - it's actually fixing the smudge on the original blueprint so it can make good copies.


    Right, it breaks down, which makes it perfect for short-term or adjustable therapies. In gene therapy, once the DNA is altered, that's permanent. Ish. Well, until it's damaged by time or mutagenesis.

    And not all conditions can be fixed by gene therapy, due to their multi-gene issues. But the big ones folks are looking at are Type I diabetes, cystic fibrosis, HIV...
    Huh, hadn't thought about that. I guess it makes it a great way to 'try out' gene therapies before committing to them. Say doctors believe that a particular gene is faulty and causing a problem. mRNA can be used to temporarily 'sub out' at least some of that code. If it helps, that suggests you have it right. If it doesn't, you avoid a permanent gene modification that might not work. Cool!

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Implication of the RNA Vaccine breakthrough

    one thing it could, in theory, be very good for is spurring the body to build proteins on command. No we do this with drugs quite often but those can be quite generalist. mRNA therepy could well be a first option to whenever we want a short term protein response from the body and easy to design for rather than the current drug research system of semipattern shotgun

    so if we know that we want the body to have a high level of a protein that is useful in countering secondary damage from burns or promoting healing (perhaps even mixed with stem cell or tricking adult cells to act like stem cells) then a mRNA therapy round would a highly useful thing. Similarly we may find tricking the body into making insulin (or similar monoprotein deficiency) (by artifically creating the command mRNA) may well be more useful than injecting the insulin (or whatever the needed protein is).

    Now it would certainly not be a panacea but it could well become a highly useful tool.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Implication of the RNA Vaccine breakthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Rooster View Post
    If it doesn't, you avoid a permanent gene modification that might not work. Cool!
    Or until you're absolutely sure you've dialed in the excision sequence for the DNA strand. You want to be as specific as possible in an excision-repair process, so if there's a stopgap measure via mRNA until that particular gene therapy's kinks are worked out, you're buying time.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    countering secondary damage from burns or promoting healing (perhaps even mixed with stem cell or tricking adult cells to act like stem cells)
    Research has already started on that.

    Like improving capillary repair in wounds. Improving blood flow. Things especially critical in diabetics, who have reduced wound repair function.
    May you get EXACTLY what you wish for.

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