Tesla building 'RNA microfactories' with coronavirus vaccine maker: Elon Musk

'I think synthetic RNA ... has amazing potential'

Tesla founder Elon Musk said the automaker is building "RNA microfactories" with coronavirus vaccine maker CureVac in a tweet posted early Thursday.

Musk was replying to a question about his thoughts on an RNA vaccine.

"In principle, I think synthetic RNA (and DNA) has amazing potential. This basically makes the solution to many diseases a software problem," the Tesla founder wrote. "Tesla, as a side project, is building RNA microfactories for CureVac [and] possibly others."

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RNA is a type of acid that exists in all living cells, and some pharmaceutical companies like CureVac are working to create a COVID-19 vaccine using "messenger RNA," which can be manually inserted into cells to initiate an immune response.

RNA and DNA vaccines can be manufactured more quickly than other traditional vaccine methods, according to The New York Times, but there are no approved RNA vaccines at this time. RNA vaccines are being used in clinical trials, however, for MERS and other diseases.

Other companies making RNA vaccines include Moderna and Pfizer and BioNTech, according to the Times.

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Musk has also said Tesla and SpaceX helped build or buy ventilators for hospitals facing a shortage, according to Musk.

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