Jennifer Doudna was staring at a computer screen filled with a string of As, Cs, Ts, and Gs—the letters that make up human DNA—and witnessing a debilitating genetic disease being cured right before her eyes.
Scientists all over the world are rapidly sequencing coronavirus genomes in a massive genomic surveillance effort. It's the first time in history that researchers can detect novel mutations and track potentially dangerous variants in real time, influencing public policy and the global pandemic response.
Messenger RNA technology powered the development of several early coronavirus vaccines. Scientists now look to apply the breakthrough mRNA technology to tackling viral diseases without successful vaccines including HIV, herpes, and malaria.