Translation= mRNA -> Protein

To celebrate the completion of my vaccine passport, here's the beginning of my poem this blog was named after ("Six Degrees of Polypeptide," published in Black Warrior Review Issue 43.1, 2016, craft essay here--please excuse the atrocious autocorrect typo that turned phenotype to phonetype). The rest of the poem, not included here, is very much Not Safe for Work, but this relatively PG excerpt begins to explain (or perhaps confound) what mRNA (as seen in Pfizer & Moderna vaccines) does.

Six Degrees of Polypeptide


i. transcription

In the nuclear envelope: Let me 

helicase your jeans, DNA, cleave 

you, polymerase you back into two 

wholes, polymerase you again, splice 

exons of mRNA transcribed from your

negative space, U for your A.

ii. translation

Out in cytosol: mRNA t-t-fucks your uneven-

lipped ribosome (anticodona dentata)

the t-ts squirting polypeptide until

UAA / UGA / UAG stop. 

Every day, our bodies take the DNA we were born with, unzip it, and transcribe it into mRNA that gives ribosomes (little protein factories in your cells) the instructions for what proteins (aka amino acids) to make. 

In the case of mRNA vaccines, we get pre-made mRNA injected into our arms. This mRNA carries instructions for our body's ribosomes to to make spiked proteins like those on the surface of the coronavirus, without ever having been exposed to any actual virus particles--our bodies make the proteins, which then cause our immune system to create antibodies against the gross spiked proteins, and voila, we are better equiped to fight the virus whenever the spiked protein from real life covid tries to dock onto the ACE receptors on our blood vessels, lungs, etc. when someone coughs/sneezes all over us.

People (who are waiting to see if I die from the vaccine before they get theirs) keep asking how I feel 48 hours after the second dose of Pfizer, but so far both doses weren't more sore than the flu shot, and any fatigue, soreness or headaches weren't worse than the usual side effects of twelve-hour nursing shifts that involve every two-hour repositioning of folks and not drinking enough water. 

Will continue to monitor.


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