(Wired) – Compared to methodical do-no-harm modern medicine, historical vaccinologists were cowboys. They used coarse methods that only let them see results at the end of their research. And they took a lot of risks with their patients’ health. And now—though patient safety standards are better, and biologists know more about the immune system—vaccines are basically developed using the same old primitive methods devised by pioneers like Edward Jenner and Jonas Salk. In order to trigger an immune system response, they use a weakened, dead, or deconstructed version of the virus. But now the field is starting to move away from empirical gunslinging, and towards rational drug design.
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