Week 9 Final Essay Updates

After meeting with my group once again, we laid out exactly what points we hope to cover in our essays in order to determine what is the best way to link everything together. We decided to do the presentation in a somewhat chronological order with Carolyn going first as she would be talking about the past. Her paper will discuss the past and present about vaccine protest and opposition. Specifically she is going to dig into particular vaccines and the opposition that has come with such as the MMR vaccine and its supposed link to autism. Next, Amy will talk about how vaccine hesitancy is a serious global threat and how art movements can help increase the understanding of vaccines. Next, Jennifer will talk about the current misinformation spread and how it has led to some antivaccination protests. Lastly, I will talk about the future and how safety questions raised from the speeding of vaccine development process might lead to skepticism over whether or not the vaccine is safe to take. I will also talk about how we can use this pandemic as a blueprint for future pandemics and how we can possibly incorporate art to find the answers that we need.

Some of the progress that I have made in the last week in trying to work on my final essay includes the more specific examples of art and artists that I have found that I can incorporate through the text. One of the points that I want to make is that we have been able to make progress towards finding cures by utilizing 3D modeling of biological molecules. Many artists make 3D molecules in the effort to help understand more about its structure which could give more insight into its function. Understanding a biological molecule's (like a protein) function could help us learn how to treat a disease that uses that specific protein. For example, the COVID-19 virus uses a spike protein on its surface. Learning how to deactiviate the spike protein could significantly hinder the virus' ability to function. 

There are many examples of using creating 3D models of biomolecules. One of them was the Nylon model of an antibody bound to a lysozyme antigen. 

Figure 1


Another example involves Bob Hanson's modelling of nitrogenase active site which fixes nitrogen in anaerobic bacteria. 


Figure 2



  1. Background of the disease

    1. Discussion about the theories of where the vaccine exactly originated in Wuhan

    2. Release of sequence and the initial steps that were taken to contain and curtail the virus

    3. Include some statistics about where we are numbers wise as far the pandemic goes both worldwide and in the United States

      1. Worldwide Deaths, Cases, Hospitalizations, R naught

      2. US Deaths, Cases, Hospitalizations, R naught

    4. Next I will compare the types of government measures that were taken throughout the world and how they varied from country to country and regionally throughout one country

      1. Wuhan - strict lockdown for 76 days, couldn’t leave home

      2. Italy - Northern Italy (Lombardy region) very strict Wuhan-like lockdown in which one couldn’t leave home, other parts of Italy had less stringent lockdowns

      3. United States - No national lockdown policy, stay-at-home orders were levied state by state, essential businesses remained open throughout the country

  2. Vaccine Timelines

    1. Look at how past diseases have been curtailed or eradicated by the use of vaccines

      1. Flu vaccines every year, H1N1 in 2009, measles, etc

    2. Look at the typical vaccine development timeline and look at the amount of years of development certain vaccines have taken

      1. Typically, vaccine development can take up to 10-15 years as it goes through several testing and developmental phases.

      2. First there is an exploratory phase in which researchers attempt to identify or synthetically create antigens that can be used to treat the disease (can last few years) 

      3. Next, vaccines go into the preclinical phase in which the antigen is injected into animals such as mice ormonkeys to see if the desired immune response is in fact produced. This is the phase where a majority ofvaccine candidates fail

      4. Must receive FDA approval before moving onto human clinical trials. 

      5.  Once approved the vaccine candidate will move to clinical trials that involve humans which is split into 3 phases. Each phase increases the amount of individuals in the test group and will include randomized controlled trials with placebo groups as well


  1. Current COVID Vaccine Candidates, Research, and Progress on those candidates

    1. Most promising vaccine candidates and where they are as far as the phases go

      1. Johnson and Johnson

      2. Moderna

      3. Oxford

    2. Look into the steps that were skipped and how we are speeding up the process

    3. Cite polls that will discuss the possible safety concerns that the public might have about the virus and how that may impact the amount of people that actually want to go out and get the vaccine

  2. Other effective way to end or curtail a disease: Drug Development

    1. Briefly discuss the drug development timeline and compare to the vaccine development timeline 

    2. Look at some promising drug therapies so far

      1. Remdesivir

      2. Hydroxychloroquine (May discuss its politicization if space is available)

      3. Monoclonal antibodies

      4. Convalescent serum 

  3. Use of Art in science in and its use for finding treatments

    1. Find some artwork that displays 3D models that show particular biological structures and can help determine function for particular structures

    2. Bon Hanson and Tim Herman


    1. Discuss the COVID 19 spike protein and its importance in the virus’ effectiveness


  1. Future Implication from this Virus

    1. I hope that this pandemic will give us a solid blueprint on how to deal with future pandemics that may arise

      1. Using the vaccine and drug development timelines for future emergency operations 

      2. Look at how funds were used to deal with this pandemic (stimulus, PPP) and how funds in state and federal budgets should be set aside for emergency uses for things like this

      3. Better education about disease, viruses, the spread, treatments and vaccines in schools and households


[1] Palca, Joe. “Could Society Move Toward Normalcy Before A Coronavirus Vaccine Is Ready?” NPR, NPR, 7 Apr. 2020, www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/06/828506423/could-society-move-toward-normalcy-before-a-coronavirus-vaccine-is-ready.

[2] Tirumalaraju, Divya. “Trial Shows Covid-19 Patients Recover with Gilead's Remdesivir.” Clinical Trials Arena, 30 Apr. 2020, www.clinicaltrialsarena.com/news/niaid-trial-remdesivir-covid-19-data/.

[3] “Vaccine Development, Testing, and Regulation.” History of Vaccineswww.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/vaccine-development-testing-and-regulation.

[4] Lau, Chris. “Why Shares Of Moderna Soared.” Seeking Alpha, Seeking Alpha, 27 Feb. 2020, seekingalpha.com/article/4327663-why-shares-of-moderna-soared.

[5] Lanese, Nicoletta. “Researchers Fast-Track Coronavirus Vaccine by Skipping Key Animal Testing First.” LiveScience, Purch, 13 Mar. 2020, www.livescience.com/coronavirus-vaccine-trial-no-animal-testing.html.

[6] “NIH Clinical Trial of Investigational Vaccine for COVID-19 Begins.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 16 Mar. 2020, www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-clinical-trial-investigational-vaccine-covid-19-begins.

[7] Rane, et al. “Targeting SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein of COVID-19 with Naturally Occurring Phytochemicals: An in Silco Study for Drug Development.” Figshare, ChemRxiv, 9 Apr. 2020, chemrxiv.org/articles/Targeting_SARS-CoV-2_Spike_Protein_of_COVID-19_with_Naturally_Occurring_Phytochemicals_An_in_Silco_Study_for_Drug_Development/12094203/1.

[8]“NIH Clinical Trial Shows Remdesivir Accelerates Recovery from Advanced COVID-19.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 29 Apr. 2020, www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-clinical-trial-shows-remdesivir-accelerates-recovery-advanced-covid-19.

[9] Schäferhoff, Marco, et al. “Funding the Development and Manufacturing of COVID-19 Vaccines: The Need for Global Collective Action.” Brookings, Brookings, 27 Apr. 2020, www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2020/04/24/funding-the-development-and-manufacturing-of-covid-19-vaccines-the-need-for-global-collective-action/.

[10] Cumbers, John. “Timeline Shows 3 Paths To COVID-19 Treatment And Prevention (INFOGRAPHIC).” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 29 Mar. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/johncumbers/2020/03/25/timeline-shows-3-paths-to-covid-19-treatment-and-prevention-infographic/#334db72a4789.

[11]“Art:Molecular Sculpture.” Art:Molecular Sculpture - Proteopedia, Life in 3D, proteopedia.org/wiki/index.php/Molecular_sculpture#Tim_Herman.​