10 a.m. Monday, February 1: Learn how the Coronavirus vaccine was developed in such a short time by using a completely new technique, called "mRNA synthesis". Our cells carry our genetic heritage in DNA molecules, which contain information that cells use to build proteins, the building blocks of our bodies. When a virus (like the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19 symptoms) infects a person, the viral particles enter our cells and substitute their own DNA for our own. That allows them to hijack our cells' "protein factories" and convert them into factories making more viruses (instead of the original product, our own proteins).
The new "mRNA synthesis" technique enabled scientists to create a vaccine that uses those same "protein factories" to send an "early warning" to a body's immune system about what the virus looks like. That allows a person’s immune system to have a supply of antibody "bullets" available and ready to target and destroy the virus before it can enter the cell and begin its process of replication.
Speaker: Ted Blank is a former biology educator at UC Berkeley.
DATE: Monday, Feb 1
ZOOM Check In: 9:45 a.m.
LECTURE Time: 10:00 a.m.
COST: No charge
MAXIMUM: 100 - there will be a waitlist
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