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Welcome! In this post, we'll be taking a character-by-character look at the source code of the BioNTech/Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine.
Update: The other up and coming vaccines are described in The Genetic Code and Proteins of the Other Covid-19 Vaccines.
I want to thank the large cast of people who spent time previewing this article for legibility and correctness. All mistakes remain mine though, but I would love to hear about them quickly at email@example.com or @PowerDNS_Bert
Now, these words may be somewhat jarring - the vaccine is a liquid that gets injected in your arm. How can we talk about source code?
First 500 characters of the BNT162b2 mRNA. Source: World Health Organization
The BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine has this digital code at its heart. It is 4284 characters long, so it would fit in a bunch of tweets. At the very beginning of the vaccine production process, someone uploaded this code to a DNA printer (yes), which then converted the bytes on disk to actual DNA molecules.