For more than a decade I have been immersed in the biology of DNA, and how to use the information encoded in our genomic blueprint to understand health, disease, and why we are each unique on a biochemical level.
Using this knowledge, I taught other clinicians how to leverage it for truly personalized healthcare.
Knowing my background, I've had a number of people reach out to me seeking help in wading through fact vs fiction regarding the messenger RNA vaccines. While I am NOT an expert in the vaccines per se, what I can do is shed light on how our DNA, RNA and the biology of our cells work.
While the actual science is quite complicated, here are the nuts and bolts of it.
Hopefully, you can use this information so you can feel better informed in evaluating various claims.
DNA is the backbone of a key aspect of our soul's blueprint. It carries the information to make every protein in our body, and proteins run everything - from breathing, to communication, to thinking, to how our immune system responds to threats. As such, we have developed very complex mechanisms to protect DNA while also enabling it to run everything that goes on in our bodies.
DNA lives in a very protected part of our cell called the nucleus, which tightly regulates what gets in and what goes out. DNA contains the entire genetic code for living.
But in order for the code contained in the DNA to be made into proteins, it has to go through a few steps. The first major step is for its message to be "copied" into a different form, and this is called messenger RNA, or mRNA for short.
This mRNA is then transported out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm of the cell. Here, it is translated into amino acids, and amino acids are then assembled into proteins.
As part of our complex protective system, these mRNA molecules have a very short life - minutes to days. This is so any abnormal mRNA molecules are quickly destroyed, as well as giving our cells the ability to quickly adapt and change to our internal and external environments.
IF mRNA COULD EASILY OR REGULARLY ALTER OUR DNA, IT WOULD WREAK HAVOC WITH OUR BIOLOGY AND WE WOULD NOT EXIST AS THE SPECIES WE ARE TODAY.
Taking this biology into account, the mRNA in the vaccines only enters the cytoplasm of the cell to induce the production of proteins called antibodies, specifically for the COVID-19 virus. It doesn't enter the nucleus where our DNA is stored, and so cannot access it to wreak havoc.
Now, knowing biology, we never say never. There is always the possibility of exceptions to any rule. But these are truly rare, if they exist at all. While mRNA has been around for a long time, and the technology used to develop the mRNA vaccines has actually been a long process, how we are using it with the COVID-19 vaccines is new.
Now, also knowing what I know about how each of us has unique variations in our DNA that create different responses to our diet, our environment, and the world we live in, I also know that how we each respond to various vaccines differs too.
There are actually two newer branches of genomics that are studying this called vaccinomics and adversomics, and I wrote about these a few years ago while part of my previous company. They are helping us understand why people respond differently to the same vaccine in terms of immunity and side effects.
The whole point of science is to study, learn, and apply that knowledge. The same will be true for the mRNA vaccines. We will continue to learn the more we use them and study them in different contexts.
When the underlying science is understood, it helps us be able to critically evaluate new information, and make sense of all the misinformation and chaos that is often mixed in.