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Scientists develop a new Covid-19 vaccine

  • IASbaba
  • April 22, 2021
  • 0
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Scientists develop a new Covid-19 vaccine

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Sci & tech 

In news

  • Using a new platform, scientists have developed a Covid-19 vaccine that could offer protection against existing and future strains of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and also other coronaviruses.

Key takeaways 

  • The new vaccine-production platform was invented by Dr Steven L Zeichner of the University of Virginia Health System (UVA). 
  • It involves synthesising DNA that directs the production of a piece of the virus. 
  • This can instruct the immune system how to mount an immune response against the virus.
  • The vaccine targets a part of the virus’s spike protein called the fusion peptide. 
  • This compound is essentially universal among coronaviruses, and has not been observed to differ at all in the many genetic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 obtained from around the world.
  • Most vaccines in development target either the entire spike protein, or just the receptor binding domain (RBD). 
  • While antibodies against the RBD can provide good neutralising activity, there can be mutations in the RBD that decrease the effectiveness of the antibodies.

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