Freeze-Dried Future

Fragile cold chains have long complicated vaccine access, but Keith Pardee, from the University of Toronto, and Jim Collins, from MIT, show it’s possible to produce vaccines and drugs right where they’re needed.
 
The team discovered that cell enzymes that interpret DNA instructions can still function if they are removed from their native cell and freeze-dried, making them portable and stable at room temperature; add water and DNA instructions, and the enzymes will produce molecules for vaccines, antibiotics, etc.
 
Pardee also found a way to freeze-dry cells onto paper discs that can be used to cheaply diagnose diseases like Ebola and Zika outside a lab, just by adding a drop of blood or saliva.
The Atlantic
 

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