Messenger RNA: How a long shot idea led to COVID-19 vaccines

 

 

WASHINGTON – Hungarian-born scientist Katalin Kariko’s obsession with researching a substance called mRNA to fight disease once cost her a faculty position at a prestigious US university, which dismissed the idea as a dead end.

Now, her pioneering work — which paved the way for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines — could be what saves the world from a 100-year pandemic.

“This is just kind of unbelievable,” she told AFP in a video call from her home in Philadelphia, adding she was unused to the attention after toiling for years in obscurity.

It shows why “it’s important science should be supported on many levels.”

Kariko, 65, spent much of the 19…

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