DIY Scientist Tests Home-Made Covid-19 Vaccine
Josiah Zayner, a former NASA researcher who left to start engaging in “do-it-yourself” experiments, had a plan to replicate a Covid-19 vaccine that worked on monkeys and use it for himself. He found out that is much more complicated than he originally had thought.
Zayner said the experiment had some positive results, but there were too many unanswered questions. It was not clear to him whether or not the antibodies in his own body made a difference in the test results. He believes this is why it is important to have larger scale tests. “Human beings — their biology is so complex. The results are going to be messy. The experiments are going to be messy. So, you test 30,000 people so that the messiness kind of averages out.”
Zayner is well known for his experiments like this, using himself as a guinea pig. He once injected himself with Crispr, the gene editing tool, at a biotech conference. He as such has become a figurehead when it comes to “do-it-yourself” scientists. He believes state of the art health science and technology should be accessible to anyone.
He believes the Covid-19 vaccine would be relatively straightforward. He was able to order the same spike protein the other researchers had used. The plan was for he and Daria Dantseva in Ukraine and David Ishee in Mississippi, to test the homemade vaccine on themselves and livestream the process. However, when data came up that Zayner had antibodies in his system he wondered whether any positive results yielded from the test could be influenced by them. Hank Greely, a bioethicist at Stanford University, said Josiah’s experiment shed some light on the reality of vaccine making, “Actually making the vaccine isn’t that hard,” he said. “It’s testing it and knowing that it’s safe — and knowing that it’s effective.”
Zayner said he wants to continue his work with “DIY Human experimentation”, but with vaccines, “Large scale clinical trials are probably required, because it is so messy.”
Be sure to check back with the ABN Blog regularly for updates.