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I. LaRouche’s Fourth Law
Science Driver Medicine: RNA Vaccine Technology Expands Into Broader Disease Treatment

by Ned Rosinsky, M.D.

Printable version / Version imprimable

EIR—COVID-19 has created a world-wide disaster of unprecedented propor-tions. If the onslaught of the epidemic is not checked, it may affect most the world’s population, and cause tens of millions of deaths.

Yet, as frightening as this COVID-19 prospect is, there is a breathtaking world-wide surge of research currently underway to develop preventive vaccines, as well as treatments for active cases. This response to the epidemic has also been unprece-dented.

Some efforts are using traditional meth-ods of extracting viral proteins and using them in a vaccine to stimulate an immune response. Some are using more advanced techniques such as taking a SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 illness) gene for a specific virus component, such as the spike protein, putting it into a harmless live virus, and using the virus to get the gene into the cells of the person. (The spike protein, on the surface of the virus, binds the virus to a receptor on the host cell.) The inserted gene is then used by the cells to make the coronavirus protein without the presence of the intact coronavirus, and this protein then stimulates an immune reaction that pro-tects against the actual virus. And there are other ad-vanced techniques in various stages of human testing, which I will describe below.

In the face of a general opposition to technological advance and basic science, begun with the environmen-tal movement and accompanying anti-science Malthusianism in the 1960s, the medical research community is healthy and thriving in its response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Why are we apparently strong in medical re-search and so weak in other areas? It is fortunately due to a vital aspect of basic human nature. At this point in our development as a species, we all, each of us, will someday die. Our children will die. For those of us with living parents, we know that they will die.

Yet every year we read about progress in medical research. Sometimes it is agonizingly slow, sometimes it is surprisingly rapid. Currently we are going through a major transition in cancer treatment, using immune modulator mediations that improve the ability of the immune system to recognize cancer cells and attack them, or medications that decrease the ability of the cancer cells to turn off the immune cell activity, or med-ications that decrease the ability of cancer cells to stim-ulate the growth of new blood vessels that feed the cancer, and so on. We now have hope for some tumors that previously were death sentences, such as mela-noma, multiple myeloma, even lung cancer, and the field is exploding with potential new treatments.

We have not solved all the problems of cancer, heart disease, stroke, dementia, or the aging of body tissues generally, but there is a profound hope and expectation within the population that treatments, cures, and pre-ventions for these major disorders is only a matter of time. After all, we have already seen a remarkable in-crease in life span in the U.S. over the past one hundred years.

This stubborn optimism is a thorn in the side of the oligarchs. They have tried to kill this optimism repeatedly, with HMO’s making decisions for physicians on the basis of maximizing profits, with the right-to-die movement attempting to force through the idea that people who have a hopeless condition should be allowed to die, ravaging the medical ethic idea that every life is precious. And now we have the use of non-physicians practicing medi-cine independently, so potentially family practice physicians will no longer be needed.

Yet the optimism in the population continues, virtu-ally unabated, and in the past several years it has been increasing to an unprecedented level, as the basic sciences of biochemistry, genetics, and physiology have ripened to the point that minor retooling of an established disease treatment may soon be all that is needed to produce a cure for even rare diseases, quickly and efficiently.

Yet the other problems in the economy persist, the destructive investments into derivatives, the trashing of the NASA and fusion budgets, the miserable state of our infrastructure, and the lack of a Hamiltonian type of national bank as a source of very long-term invest-ments.I propose that the COVID-19 epidemic and the as-tonishingly rapid vaccine and treatment research effort be used to spearhead a massive science driver for the economy.

I propose that ...To continue