MIT takes credit for the mRNA vaccines

“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:

5 thoughts on “MIT takes credit for the mRNA vaccines

  1. Bottom 25% income earners employment drop can be at least partially explained by large extended unemployment payments from Trump administration that probably also let people more time allocated to rioting and Trump-bashing on social media and in public square. Local supermarkets could not fill vacancies and those who remained working there worked regular overtime; local “industrial” parks’ entrances were covered with help wanted adds (usually for packagers and other logistic workers). I passing them on my commute sometimes and mid-coronavirus was first time when I notices any help – wanted advertisement and their entrances ever.

  2. Interesting, none of 3 scientists mentioned in the letter completed their undergraduate studies at MIT, ie likely there were not accepted to MIT – all nerds want to get accepted to MIT. Since Moderna has never been able to complete long term animal trials for their products and their coronavirus treatment was approved as a pandemic exception and its long term effects are yet to be seen maybe MIT admissions were cautious ion the side of safety back than. Faculty in the picture looks tough and skeptical.

  3. Will they take credit for all the long-term fallout for massive human experimentation on uninformed (and thus unable to consent) people?

  4. No mention of the most important MIT alumnus of all, GREENSPUN. We need a photo of Greenspun in a funky red hat.

  5. What happens to the rich in their precious castles when the people that grow their food and build/fix their stuff all give up because of the nonsense and focus on providing for themselves?

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