Today’s Solutions: December 05, 2021

This past weekend we shared an Optimist View highlighting the positive innovations that have come from the pandemic. Among these is the development of mRNA vaccines which are expected to revolutionize immunization. mRNA technology is already being experimented with to create an HIV vaccine and now, preliminary results from Yale School of Medicine show it could be used to create a vaccine for another one of the world’s deadliest diseases: malaria. 

Malaria is incredibly difficult to vaccinate against because the parasites which carry it have a variety of tactics to evade the immune system. Unlike other one-and-done diseases, humans can get malaria over and over again and the current vaccine is only about 30 percent effective.

Researchers have been testing an mRNA malaria vaccine prototype in mice and have been relatively successful. They’ve now obtained a patent to test the process in human trials. Like other mRNA vaccines, the technique injects the RNA instructions that our cells use to produce proteins so that cells can learn to produce antibody proteins. 

There is still a long way to go before this potential vaccine could be widely distributed to humans, but these initial results are very promising. Malaria kills over half a million people each year, so an effective vaccine would reduce the severity of one of the largest global health crises. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Rwanda’s mountain gorillas represent a successful conservation story

Following years of poaching and habitat destruction, the population of mountain gorillas in Rwanda once numbered under 260 individuals. Now, Rwandan gorillas represent a rare conservation success and a key economic engine for the East ... Read More

Germany plans to put 15 million electric vehicles on its roads by 2030

Making electric cars the dominant vehicles on the road is key to curbing planet-warming emissions and protecting the climate. In a bid to reach that goal, an increasing number of countries and cities across the ... Read More

Here are 5 Indigenous-led eco-charities you can support today

The climate crisis has caused us to reconsider our consumerist lifestyles and turn to Indigenous peoples to learn from their superior understanding of living in harmony with nature. Here is a list of five organizations ... Read More

Scientists discover a peculiar new planet

Deep into the Hercules constellation, 855 light-years away from Earth, lies a record breaking exoplanet. This newly discovered gas giant was named TOI-2109b, and the thing that makes it so special is the fact it ... Read More

High altitude experiment shows that snow monkeys are excellent at fishing

Snow monkeys, also known as the Japanese macaque, are native to many of the main islands of Japan. These fluffy creatures are the most northern-based non-human primate out there, meaning they have some cold temperatures ... Read More