One of the major scientific breakthroughs in biotechnology happened nearly a decade ago and most of us are still unaware of it. It was by a Canadian scientist Derek Rossi in 2010. He found a way to manipulate the molecules in our bodies that carry genetic data. Not only did this technology hold major importance at the time scientists are now hopefully we can use to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The molecules in the discussion are ‘messenger ribonucleic acid’ or mRNA. With this discovery, we can now rewrite this data to produce cells of our desire. After this giant leap Rossi retired in 2014 and got disconnected from the company. He now holds only the shares of his company and keeps a lookout for their new innovations. His company Moderna inc. got almost half a billion dollars for developing various vaccines at this time.
In 2006, research was carried out by DARPA on identifying viral, upper respiratory pathogens in its Predicting Health and Disease (PHD) program. For this purpose, they established the Biological Technologies Office (BTO). This new organization researches in implantable technologies for animals. Consequently, this company developed ‘Hydrogel’.
In the early stages, the Hydrogel developer promised big future results. He believed that if this technology gets approved by the FDA. People will get sensors implanted in their bodies to measure vitals such as level of glucose, oxygen, and lactate.
This material is like a contact lens an has a special injector that gets under the skin. It can send light-based data wirelessly through technologies like 5G and other standards. Here is when our initial talk about mRNA comes into play. Once the device is inside the human body, human cells will make any type of cells that scientists deliver them through a substrate.
Not only does this open a lot of new possibilities but it can also help cure several diseases. This technology in other words is the start of our developments towards transhumanism. In the future, more sophisticated versions of these implants will give humans even more mechanical abilities.
The COVID-19 Issue:
Coming to the link of this technology with The COVID Pandemic. Profusa inc. the company responsible for marketing these developments is at work for a long time now. NIH and DARPA provide funds for most of their operations. However, they recently took interest in the COVID situation after March.
NIH mentioned their joint stake in Moderna’s mRNA based COVID-19 Vaccine with their 2019 contract. While the company is working on a usable vaccine their only obstacle right now is the delivery system for it. Moderna is developing its own solution to this problem.
This means that they will most likely not get FDA approval in time. DARPA on the other hand will get a working Hydrogel-based solution approved from FDA in 2021. This means that soon we will use the technology that can reshape our very own unique DNA to treat this deadly virus.
Moderna has some other problems to deal with right now as well. The Department of Health and Human Services is currently investigating Moderna. the charges include failure of disclosure of “federal government Support”. This can also lead to the federal Government owing all of its mRNA-1273 stakes.
Either way, the corporate fight is something that can not be avoided. One good thing however is that at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who owns the tech giant. What matters are the results and developments they produce. Therefore we can only hope for a good future for the company. Because that means they will be back with some other interesting implant technologies.