Biotechnology, Vaccines

Nobel prize in medicine awarded to mRNA pioneers – here’s how their discovery was integral to COVID vaccine development

Dr Katalin Karikó and Dr Drew Weissmanhave been awarded the Nobel Prize for their discoveries into mRNA biology. The pair were the first to discover a way of modifying mRNA that allowed it to successfully be delivered to cells and replicated by them. Their discovery was not only integral to COVID-19 vaccine development, but may also lead to the development of many other therapies – such as vaccines for cancer.

Schematic of DNA double helix
Biotechnology, Genetics

When it comes to the rarest of diseases, the diagnosis isn’t the answer – it’s just the starting point

Major advances in the precision and speed of gene sequencing technology followed by dramatic reductions in the costs of testing – have radically changed how medical genetics clinics function. But while sequencing can provide confirmation of a suspected, well-understood condition, it frequently results in a situation like that faced by the Smiths, where the testing result shows an incredibly rare disorder with little known about it.