- How do you imagine vaccines playing a role in global health efforts and disease prevention?
- Have you heard of the ‘Nobel Prize’? Can you envision how the Nobel Prize influences advancements and recognition in science, literature, peace efforts, and other fields?
- crucial /KROO-shuhl/
- committee /kuh-MIT-ee/
- overlooked /oh-ver-LOOKT/
- vital /VAHYT-l /
- element /EL-uh-muhnt/
[adjective] – extremely important or necessary
It is crucial to double-check the safety measures before starting any experiment in the laboratory.
[noun] – a small group of people chosen to represent a larger organization and either make decisions or collect information for it
The committee members were tasked with reviewing the applications for the scholarship program.
[adjective] – something was not given the attention, consideration, or recognition it deserved
The overlooked details in the report ended up causing significant problems.
[adjective] – necessary for the success or continued existence of something; extremely important
Proper training is vital for employees to perform their tasks effectively.
[noun] – a fundamental or basic part or component of something larger or more complex
In literature, suspense is an important element for keeping readers engaged in the story.
In 2005, Karikó and Weissman’s paper, initially overlooked, became vital during the global Covid-19 pandemic. Their research at the University of Pennsylvania paved the way for Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna to create mRNA-based vaccines. This approach not only changed vaccine production but also shows promise against diseases like malaria, RSV, and HIV. It offers a potential solution for fighting infectious diseases, including cancer, with personalized vaccines. Messenger RNA (mRNA) acts as a genetic guide for cells to make proteins, much like a recipe. With mRNA vaccines, this guide helps cells create a virus-like part, triggering the body to make crucial immune elements. What makes this technology special is that it doesn’t involve live or weakened viruses—only genetic instructions. The adaptability and quick development of mRNA technology hold great promise in fighting infectious diseases and even treating cancer, as noted by the Nobel Committee. J. Larry Jameson, a respected figure from UPenn’s School of Medicine, praised Karikó and Weissman’s work for its transformative impact in saving lives during the pandemic.
- Who were awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2023?
- What was the basis of Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman’s Nobel Prize-winning work?
- How did their research contribute to the fight against Covid-19?
- What did their research pave the way for in terms of vaccine development?
- What distinguishes mRNA vaccines from traditional vaccines that use live or weakened viruses?
- Did you know about Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman before reading this article? If yes, what did you know about their work? If not, what do you think about their contributions to medicine now that you’ve learned about them?
- Have you or someone you know been directly affected by Covid-19? If yes, how did this experience change how you think about vaccine development and medical research? If not, how do you think learning about this might change your understanding of the pandemic?
- Do you think that the Nobel Prize recognition for Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman’s work will lead to more progress in medical research?
- What do you think governments, pharmaceutical companies, and international organizations should do to make sure that mRNA-based vaccines and treatments are accessible to everyone?
- In your opinion, what other important scientific discoveries or new technologies have made a big impact on public health in recent times?