Biomanufactura: una conexión inesperada entre una estrella del fútbol y las vacunas contra el COVID-19

Escrito en inglés y traducido al español por: Franco Tavella

Editado en inglés por: Jennifer Baker, Kristen Loesel, Christian Greenhill y Madeline Barron

Editado en español por: Andrés Rivera Ruiz

Ilustrado por: Katie Bonefas

Leer en inglés aquí

Debido a que soy argentino, comparto un sueño con mi país desde hace 16 años: que la selección nacional gane un campeonato de fútbol con Lionel Messi como capitán del equipo. La mayoría de los argentinos, incluso aquellos que no siguen el fútbol atentamente, han compartido la frustración de nunca haber ganado un torneo, pese a tener uno de los mejores jugadores del mundo en nuestra selección. Finalmente, en el verano de 2021, logramos festejar cuando la selección nacional ganó la Copa América tras derrotar a nuestro mayor rival en el fútbol, Brasil, en la final. Una multitud celebró en el icónico Obelisco que demarca el centro de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires y, a pesar de encontrarme en Estados Unidos, me sentí cerca de casa. Sin embargo, este momento de celebración y orgullo nacional quizás nunca hubiese ocurrido si no fuese gracias a la biomanufactura.

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The Henrietta Lacks Estate vs Thermo Fisher: An update on the conversation surrounding the origin of HeLa cells

Written by: Christina Del Greco

Edited by: Ryan Schildcrout, Henry Ertl, and Madeline Barron 

Illustrated by: Katie Bonefas 

On October 4, 2021, Henrietta Lacks’ estate filed a lawsuit against Thermo Fisher Scientific, accusing them of selling products containing Henrietta Lacks’ cells (HeLa cells) for profit, despite the fact that the cells were taken without her consent. Nor, they say, has Thermo Fisher asked for the family’s consent even after the origin of HeLa cells became controversial. HeLa cells can sell for over $2000/mL, contributing significantly to Thermo Fisher’s annual revenue of over $35 billion per year. This lawsuit represents many of the ethical issues that have repeatedly arisen regarding the origin of HeLa cells. As such, to understand the lawsuit, we have to understand the history and significance of the cells themselves.

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Demystifying the origins of embryonic stem cells used in scientific research

Written by: Renee Hein

Editors: Liz Tidwell, Ryan Schildcrout, Maddie Barron

Human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have made quite the name for themselves throughout  history, and they continue to be a buzz-worthy topic in modern society. On the one hand, ESCs serve as valuable tools for scientists studying unique aspects of human development, such as how cells create a functioning organ and why disruptions in this process can cause disease or defects. On the other hand, there are ethical concerns surrounding the use of ESCs in research, which largely center on destroying what some consider to be a potential human life. To form an opinion on the matter, however, it’s first important to understand the facts about where ESCs come from.

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Biomanufacturing: the unexpected connection between a soccer superstar and COVID-19 vaccines

Written by: Franco Tavella

Editors: Jennifer Baker, Kristen Loesel, Christian Greenhill, and Madeline Barron

As an Argentinian, I’ve shared a wish with my country for 16 years: to see our nation’s soccer team win a major tournament with Lionel Messi as team captain. Even Argentinians uninterested in soccer felt the frustration of having one of the world’s best players on the national team, yet never winning a tournament. Finally, this summer we watched with joy as Messi received the trophy after defeating our greatest soccer rival, Brazil, in the 2021 Copa América finals. A large crowd celebrated in the iconic Obelisco, and despite being abroad in the U.S., I felt closer to home. However, this moment of national pride and celebration may have never happened without biomanufacturing. 

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