“The MIT scientists behind the Moderna vaccine” (Technology Review) appeared in my mailbox:
In the 1970s, at MIT’s Center for Cancer Research, Phil Sharp discovered RNA splicing and revealed the potential of mRNA. … In the 1980s, Moderna cofounder Bob Langer, PhD ’74, was pioneering new ways to deliver medicines, including RNA—work that ultimately contributed to the development of the new vaccine. .. Noubar Afeyan, PhD ’87, another cofounder of Moderna and its chairman, got into biotech after earning his doctorate in biochemical engineering.
One thing that is awesome about the Moderna vaccine, at least for computer nerds, is that it comes from the building formerly known as “545 Technology Square,” the home of the MIT Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science labs. Awesome thing #2 is that production happens with the help of Ginkgo Bioworks, founded by Tom Knight, a titan of AI/CS research at MIT (also helped by a $1.1 billion loan to Ginkgo from the Trump administration).
As with previous issues of MIT’s alumni news (see COVID-19 and the MIT community), the March/April 2021 edition suggests that American elites aren’t been substantially harmed by either COVID-19 or coronapanic. There are many reports of deaths among the roughly 140,000 living MIT alumni, for example, but none mention COVID-19. MIT alumni die “peacefully at home” or succumb to cancer. Nobody seems to have lost a job or money as a result of coronapanic shutdowns.
Faculty at the 1998 graduation…
See also this New York Times story on how the elites managed to stay home, have everything delivered, keep their jobs, etc. Excerpt: