Around the Web: Genomic Vaccines

Each year, the World Economic Forum publishes a diverse range of breakthrough technologies, chosen for their potential to improve lives, transform industries and safeguard the planet. These technologies were also chosen for their level of maturity that would enable widespread take-up in the coming 3-5 years. The technologies were selected by the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network and Global Future Councils in collaboration with Scientific American and its Board of Advisors (from World Economic Forum, weforum.org, June 26, 2017).

In a Scientific American article published June 26th, 2017, author Geoffrey Ling discusses genomic vaccines – vaccines composed of DNA or RNA, rather than killed or weakened pathogens, or the proteins from those pathogens. Genomic vaccines offer a number of advantages, including simpler and less expensive manufacture, the ability to readily change the vaccine if a pathogen mutates, and the delivery of antibodies – using the body’s own defense mechanism against a target pathogen.

Many companies, academic labs, and the U.S. government are pursuing genomics for clinical trials of vaccines against avian flu, Zika, Ebola, HIV and various cancers.

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