It is the life of the hoax party. It has been an unprecedented success in social networks. Thanks to it, everyone now knows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines do all sorts of nasty things to our genetic material. Needless to say, everything they cause is bad. Yes, conspiracists are extremely pessimistic…
The truth is that conspiracists don’t agree on this subject either. Some say that mRNA vaccines, such as those of Pfizer or Moderna, would generate genetic mutations in the organism, while others advocate the toxicity version, i.e. that these vaccines contain all kinds of poisonous substances (I will deal with this version in a separate article). If we add to this the experimental nature of mRNA vaccines since this is the first time they are tested on humans, we are faced with the most abject manifestation of Evil. The Antichrist himself would pale before such horror.
P.S.: I apologize in advance to conspiracists for calling this biotechnology a “vaccine”. They hate it when something that does not have an attenuated or inactivated virus as its main component is called a “vaccine”, to the point that this semantic misrepresentation serves as indisputable proof that the mRNA “vaccine” is a fraud. However, it is not wrong to call this new technology a vaccine. The WHO literally asserts that:
“A vaccine is any preparation intended to generate immunity against a disease by stimulating the production of antibodies. It may be, for example, a suspension of killed or attenuated microorganisms, or their products or derivatives.”
Well, let’s get to the point. A prerequisite for mRNA vaccines to be able to modify our DNA is that they integrate into it. That sounds easy enough, but nothing could be further from the truth. The mRNA necessarily lands in the cytoplasm of the cells once it has been inoculated by intramuscular injection. The safe delivery of the nucleic acid into the cells is ensured by the lipid nanoparticle in which the nucleic acid is embedded, which fuses with the target cell membrane when it comes into contact with it, releasing the mRNA inside.
Most of our DNA is enclosed in a porous membrane inside the cell: the nucleus (the rest is housed in the mitochondria). This is because we are eukaryotic organisms. First obstacle: the mRNA has to cross that membrane to reach the nucleus. Problem: the mRNA is an extremely fragile molecule that deteriorates in a very short time. Much of the blame lies with the cellular “detoxification” mechanisms responsible for eliminating metabolites or cytoplasmic residues in order to prevent their toxic accumulation in the cell. But let’s imagine that the nucleic acid survives a prolonged period of time in the cytoplasm.
The mRNA does not have sufficient autonomy to enter the nucleus on its own. It needs to associate with specific proteins (known as importins) that have an amino acid sequence called “nuclear localization sequences”. In the pores of the membrane that isolates the nucleus from the cytoplasm there is a family of proteins, the nucleoporins, which function as a kind of customs: they monitor and dictate what enters or leaves the nucleus and what does not. We must understand the cell nucleus as a sanctuary, the place where the most “sacred” part of the cell is kept, so the materials that can pass through must be strictly controlled, lest something is introduced that damages the chromosomes and, therefore, the whole cell. In this case, only proteins with the proper permissions (the nuclear localization sequence) will be able to pass to the other side with whatever they are carrying.
The mRNA must have a specific nucleotide sequence in order to associate with these transporter proteins. Unfortunately, the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA does not have these sequences. The virus does not need to enter the nucleus to reproduce, so it does not need them. Others, such as influenza viruses, do have them and can be associated with these proteins, since they need to enter the nucleus to complete their infectious cycle.
Let us continue adding miracles and improbable events. Let’s imagine that, somehow, the vaccine mRNA has managed to reach the nucleus. Now it has to integrate into the DNA. Here, however, it encounters another major obstacle. The transmission of genetic information in eukaryotic cells is generally unidirectional and follows this scheme: DNA > mRNA > proteins. To reverse this process, a key element would have to intervene: the enzyme reverse transcriptase, capable of copying mRNA into DNA (as occurs in RT-PCR). Viruses of the Retroviridae (such as HIV-1) and Hepadnaviridae families (which includes the hepatitis B virus) have this enzyme, as they need it to complete their respective infectious cycles. And our cells? They have reverse transcriptases that act on telomeres (the end of chromosomes) and retrotransposons.
Transposons are a fascinating topic, but now it is enough to know that they are also called “jumping genes” because they are able to move throughout the genome. They are elements with the ability to copy themselves, which is why they are so abundant in the genome of eukaryotic organisms (in maize, for example, they constitute between 49-70% of their genetic material, while in humans they constitute 42%). Some are remnants of ancient retroviruses that infected us at some point in our evolutionary history: these are the human endogenous retroviruses.
Many of these elements have the genes necessary to encode the reverse transcriptase (that is why they are called retrotransposons, because to multiply they undergo a process of reverse transcription), so the question is: Could vaccine mRNAs take advantage of these enzymes to integrate into the genome and generate changes? Unfortunately, no. Reverse transcriptases are enzymes whose mechanism of function is extremely specific. The mRNA must have very specific nucleotide sequences to interact with a human reverse transcriptase, like a sort of runway marked with very specific landing signals that the enzyme can recognize in order to start its work. The mRNA has no such sequence anywhere, so our reverse transcriptases cannot copy it into DNA.
Therefore, it is clear. There are too many reasons that point to the impossibility of mRNA vaccines influencing our genes and causing unsolvable genetic defects or transforming us into transgenic mutants. The RNA enters the cell, is processed by ribosomes, and is eliminated by the cell immediately. That’s all. It is an extremely simple and straightforward technology. Therefore, whoever wants to look like Wolverine or Magneto will have to keep waiting.
Pd: as the biomedical doctor Miguel Pellicer Roig points out in his Twitter account, whether you take the vaccine or not, you are going to mutate, and not once or twice, but 30,000,000,000,000,000,000 times a day.
mRNA vaccines are transgenic.
In the conspiracies of the denialists, everything is mixed in, even if it makes no sense at all. The more demonized the object of their attacks is, the better, because the more justified their offensives will be.
Some quietly claim that these vaccines are transgenic. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are so fashionable that, surely, a large part of the population knows what they are. Otherwise, in less than two minutes you can learn what they are with a simple Internet search.
A transgenic organism is one that has received genes from an organism of a different species to give it certain characteristics that it did not have before. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines only have the RNA of the virus that codes for the Spike protein (the antigen), i.e., it is not even the complete genome of the virus. That RNA has undergone a series of modifications and additions to ensure its stabilization and that the cellular ribosomes synthesize proteins from it, but none of those changes imply transgenicity (I insist, we are not even talking about the entire virus). Neither does the lipid vesicle in which the nucleic acid is protected, formed by four lipids and no gene. In other words, they are not transgenic at all. In any case, if they are transgenic, this should not mean anything negative.
Guardeño, J.M.J., Iglesias, A.P., Ortega-Prieto, A.M., Álvarez, F.J.G., Cantón, J., Nava, J.A.R. y Belenguer, J.M.H. (2020). Guía para desmentir 24 bulos sobre la vacuna de COVID-19. The Conversation [online] January 4, available in: https://t.co/WrUdrFCKAs?amp=1
Guardeño, J.M.J. y Ortega-Prieto, A.M. (2020). No, las vacunas de ARN frente a la covid-19 no modificarán nuestro genoma. The Conversation [online] December 13, available in: https://theconversation.com/no-las-vacunas-de-arn-frente-a-la-covid-19-no-modificaran-nuestro-genoma-151812
Kreiter, S., Diken, M., Pascolo, S., Nair, S.K., Thielemans, K.M. y Geall, A. (2016). RNA vaccination therapy: Advances in an emerging field. J. Immunol. Res. 2016, 1–2. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/9703914
Nirenberg, E. (2020). No, really, mRNA vaccines are not going to affect your DNA. Edward Nirenberg [online] November 24, available in: https://edwardnirenberg.medium.com/no-really-mrna-vaccines-are-not-going-to-affect-your-dna-fcf05986ce9e
Organización Mundial de la Salud (2021). Vacunas [online] available in: https://www.who.int/topics/vaccines/es/
Pardi, N., Hogan, M.J., Porter, F.W., Weissman, D. (2018). mRNA vaccines — a new era in vaccinology. Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 17, 261–279. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrd.2017.243
Pfizer (2020). COVID-19 vaccine U.S. distribution fact sheet [online] available in: https://www.pfizer.com/news/hot-topics/covid_19_vaccine_u_s_distribution_fact_sheet