Elon Musk’s Tesla has agreed to build mobile molecule printers that will help make a potential vaccine for Covid19 being developed by CureVac, a German biopharmaceutical company.
CureVac says it is developing portable machines, which it calls printers, that will be able to manufacture mRNA. Those machines can then be sent to remote locations to “print” vaccines on demand.
mRNA vaccination is a method by which RNA “instructions” are injected into the human body and are delivered to ribosomes within human cells, which are akin to the body’s factory assembly lines. Ribosomes then take those instructions and manufacture proteins in your body. Just about every bodily function that exists is carried out by proteins.
So mRNA therapy is not just a way of vaccinating people, but turning their bodies into vaccine factories. And the machines being built by Tesla are akin to RNA “microfactories,” as Musk called them:
Tesla, as a side project, is building RNA microfactories for CureVac & possibly others
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 2, 2020
CureVac is an unlisted country with headquarters in Tuebingen. In 2013 the company received a $52 million investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation has invested extensively in other mRNA technology firms such as BioNTech and its partner Pfizer, as well as Moderna.