- The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their discoveries related to nucleoside base modification, enabling the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.
- Katalin Karikó is the 13th woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
What are mRNA vaccines:
- mRNA vaccines are a type of vaccine that use messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules to trigger an immune response in the body.
- mRNA carries genetic instructions from DNA to the cell’s machinery for protein production.
- The immune system recognizes this foreign protein as a threat and mounts an immune response against it.
- This immune response includes the production of antibodies and the activation of immune cells, preparing the body to fight the virus if it encounters it in the future.
- mRNA vaccines do not contain live or weakened viruses, making them safer in terms of not causing the disease they protect against.
- The mRNA used in these vaccines is synthetic and does not integrate into the recipient’s DNA.
- mRNA vaccines have been particularly effective in rapidly developing COVID-19 vaccines, showcasing their potential in pandemic response.