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What RNA Is In There?

Stanford University researchers analyzed the last drops of SAR-CoV-2 vaccines to determine the mRNA sequences they use, Vice's Motherboard reports. It adds that the researchers then posted their findings on GitHub.

Stanford's Andrew Fire and Massa Shoura tell Motherboard that their work didn't use any vaccine that could have been administered — just the 'dregs' at the bottom of the vial — and that they were analyzed under US Food and Drug Administration authorization for research use.

Fire, Shoura, and their colleagues then sequenced the samples to piece together what is contained in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. As Motherboard notes, the Pfizer-BioNTech sequence had already been determined.

The University of New South Wales's Stuart Turville tells the Guardian Australia that it could be important to be able to distinguish RNA generated by the virus and that from the vaccine.

"As the vaccine has been rolling out, these sequences have begun to show up in many different investigational and diagnostic studies," Fire and Shoura tell Motherboard. "Knowing these sequences and having the ability to differentiate them from other RNAs in analyzing future biomedical data sets is of great utility."