At the time of this blog post being written, it has been 998 days since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. Scientists have been able to lessen the severity of deaths due to COVID-19, but they have not stopped people from falling ill. This post will discuss why and what new technology is being created to stop people from falling ill.
Coronavirus is not different from many other viruses in that COVID-19 uses a protein on its surface to attach to and enter our cells. So, to battle this, scientists created an mRNA vaccine. mRNA is a genetic material that instructs our cells to make proteins. mRNA is covered in a layer of fat to diffuse through lipid bilayers. Ribosomes read the vaccine mRNA, leading to pieces of the viral surface protein being made and displayed on the surface of a dendritic cell. The dendritic cells release cytokines, which leads to lymph nodes making a copy of the surface protein, leading to Cell-Mediated and Humoral responses. This leads to the killing of infected cells and the prevention of reinfection, but the coronavirus repeatedly mutates and changes its structure. So, the antibodies that the B cells created don’t fit onto and block the newly mutated coronavirus surface protein. Don’t fret; there is hope, Professor Seung Soo Oh is working on a coronavirus neutralizer.
Professor Seung Soo Oh uses Hotspot-Oriented Ligand Display technology (HOLD) to create this coronavirus neutralizer. The neutralizer contains a protein fragment and nucleic acids, which strongly bind to the protein spikes of the coronavirus. The HOLD COVID-19 neutralizer is created using technology that operates on the principle of natural selection, which makes it significantly better at dealing with the mutating virus. Professor Seung Soo Oh refers to it as “the world’s first self-evolving neutralizer-developing platform.” His discovery led the neutralizer to be much more effective against the mutating virus. The neutralizer is effective against the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron variants. In fact, it is five times more effective than the current vaccine for Omicron. So, almost 1000 days after COVID-19 was anointed to be a pandemic, Professor Oh has made a tremendous leap in halting the effects of COVID-19.