Portable vaccine factories

Getting vaccines to the developing world is tricky since many of them are temperature sensitive and require carefully controlled refrigeration throughout their long journey from the facilities where they are made to the impoverished regions where they are badly needed. Many have argued that it would be better to move vaccine production facilities closer to the places where the vaccines are heavily distributed but this is not as simple as it sounds. Genetically modified cells are often responsible for the creation of the proteins found in vaccines and there are a zillion rules and regulations controlling their use and transport. These laws are sensible since these critters could truly cause a lot of ecological damage if they were to escape into the wild but the red tape is so thick that it is nearly impossible to move these cells across international borders. Now a team is revealing that they've found a clever way around this problem by effectively breaking these genetically modified cells into their component parts for transport such that they wouldn't be able to do much of anything even if they did escape. You can read full coverage of this research in my article in The Economist here.