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Howard Temin's research is key to vaccine -- Max J. Rosenbaum

Howard Temin's research is key to vaccine -- Max J. Rosenbaum


Once again, I am writing to laud the monumental discovery of reverse transcriptase by the late Nobel Prize winner, professor Howard Temin of the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at UW-Madison.

But this time, I am writing to show how professor Temin's discovery has fulfilled the promise that I predicted in my State Journal guest column in 2006, "We owe so much to a modest man in a lab."

This discovery involved replication of animal RNA viruses without the interplay of DNA such as influenza and corona viruses. The astounding development of COVID-19 vaccines by Operation Warp Speed was able to be done by the use of messenger RNA to speedily replicate viral components such as surface spikes to produce neutralizing antibody response of 90% to 95% efficacy. It is likely the same procedure can be used to produce vaccines on various cancer-producing substances

The world owes an inestimable debt of gratitude to professor Temin. If you want to erect a statue, it should be to professor Temin’s contribution to the world.

Max J. Rosenbaum, Madison

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