The stuff of life: how a vaccine building block could revolutionise medicine

mRNA, or messenger RNA, is not only at the centre of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines: it can also be harnessed to treat diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s

Daniel Murray

Political Correspondent @danieltmurray
13th December, 2020
The stuff of life: how a vaccine building block could revolutionise medicine
A healthcare worker in PPE carefully holds a tray of Covid-19 vaccine vials. Synthetic mRNA technology has produced the first two such vaccines, one from Pfizer and BioNTech, while the other from Moderna

Last Tuesday, Irishwoman Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to receive a Covid-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial. "I feel so privileged," Keenan beamed through her mask at her local hospital in Coventry, clearly bewildered by the sudden media spotlight she found herself under.

And yet despite all the attention, it is likely Keenan did not grasp just how significant a moment it was. Not only was she the first member...

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