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Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #460 on: May 14, 2021, 01:17:43 pm »
Far out. Mask free!

I guess this comes with several caveats. I can still carry the virus, but my vaccinated body will probably suppress it to low enough levels that I won't turn infectious (I can even test positive without being infectious!). If that fails, I can unfortunately become an asymptomatic carrier and start infecting others. And no vaccine is 100% perfect, so it's still possible I can become symptomatic and even get very sick, and there's always the remote risk of being on the tail end of the distribution and dying. Just because nobody has doesn't mean nobody can. Even the Cubs won the World Series.

The other night I saw one of those virology talking heads say that we're now heading into a phase where there will soon be two populations in the USA: the vaccinated and the infected. That seemed a little histrionic.

All the same, there was a ring of truth to it. A lot of folks will still refuse to take the jab for political reasons, though I've seen polling that shows more and more are coming around. There are always the usual anti-science types. You can also count on seeing people who will get sick, falsely claim they've taken the vaccine, and go around screeching that the vaccine doesn't work.

What a world, what a world.



A few interesting viral things have recently caught my eye:


- Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, points out that many of the virus's "variants of concern" have very similar mutations, and that in fact what we're seeing is evidence of convergent evolution. In a way, that's amazingly cool because it once again demonstrates how right Wallace and Darwin were.

In another way, it's absolutely terrifying. Ecologically speaking, and taken as a whole, the virus is evolving to get better and better at infecting us, and the more infectious strains are spreading faster and crowding out the older strains. Not only that, but strains that are even more infectious are going to evolve from their highly infectious mommas.

This points out how important it is to get the entire world vaccinated, and fast: the quicker we can get all of us vaccinated, the fewer human petri dishes there are for the virus to evolve new strains in. I don't know much about all this intellectual property rights stuff, but I do know that a number of new vaccines will soon be coming online that don't require fancy refrigeration and that can be made fast and cheap and distributed easily, and thank goodness for that.



- Science magazine today printed a letter signed by eighteen serious scientists at serious universities across multiple serious disciplines demanding that a serious, "proper investigation" be given to the possibility that the virus did not originate in the wild. They point out how the WHO report gave short shrift to the possibility and that the head of the WHO himself admits that "the report's consideration of evidence supporting a laboratory accident was insufficient"

Here's a link to the Science article:  https://science.sciencemag.org/content/372/6543/694.1

Here's a link to the WaPo's continuously updating coronavirus stories. If you catch it today, the story should still be there:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/05/14/coronavirus-covid-live-updates-us/



- Finally, this article is truly tl;dr, and it's truly slanted, but the technical science part is the important part. I think it (or something like it) may have been the basis for Sen. Paul's lively dispute with Dr. Fauci the other day.

https://nicholaswade.medium.com/origin-of-covid-following-the-clues-6f03564c038

Outside of the political implications, the science part is wildly interesting for a geeky gal like me. I'm dumb at biochemistry, but even I could understand it.

Moreover, it does point out a few things about the evolutionary aspects of the virus, which I do understand, and which makes one think hard about the natural origin hypothesis. One of which is that if the virus really did originate in an animal, why, after two years, hasn't that animal been found yet? I'd be going ape (heh) looking for that creature. And if the virus did actually evolve from some intermediary critter, why haven't evolutionarily similar but less perfectly-adapted-to-specifically-infect-humans viruses been found yet? Again, I'd be batsh*t (heh) worried about those, and I don't know what kind of urgency is being put behind finding them.

I get it, poo happens, we don't know what we don't know, there's always the chance the virus popped up by random mutation, and the Cubs did win the World Series, but gee whiz. When the Chinese government locks down all the files at its virology lab and silences its researchers... hmmmm.
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Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #461 on: May 16, 2021, 09:56:17 pm »
Far out. Mask free!

I guess this comes with several caveats. I can still carry the virus, but my vaccinated body will probably suppress it to low enough levels that I won't turn infectious (I can even test positive without being infectious!). If that fails, I can unfortunately become an asymptomatic carrier and start infecting others. And no vaccine is 100% perfect, so it's still possible I can become symptomatic and even get very sick, and there's always the remote risk of being on the tail end of the distribution and dying. Just because nobody has doesn't mean nobody can. Even the Cubs won the World Series.

The other night I saw one of those virology talking heads say that we're now heading into a phase where there will soon be two populations in the USA: the vaccinated and the infected. That seemed a little histrionic.

All the same, there was a ring of truth to it. A lot of folks will still refuse to take the jab for political reasons, though I've seen polling that shows more and more are coming around. There are always the usual anti-science types. You can also count on seeing people who will get sick, falsely claim they've taken the vaccine, and go around screeching that the vaccine doesn't work.

What a world, what a world.



A few interesting viral things have recently caught my eye:


- Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, points out that many of the virus's "variants of concern" have very similar mutations, and that in fact what we're seeing is evidence of convergent evolution. In a way, that's amazingly cool because it once again demonstrates how right Wallace and Darwin were.

In another way, it's absolutely terrifying. Ecologically speaking, and taken as a whole, the virus is evolving to get better and better at infecting us, and the more infectious strains are spreading faster and crowding out the older strains. Not only that, but strains that are even more infectious are going to evolve from their highly infectious mommas.

This points out how important it is to get the entire world vaccinated, and fast: the quicker we can get all of us vaccinated, the fewer human petri dishes there are for the virus to evolve new strains in. I don't know much about all this intellectual property rights stuff, but I do know that a number of new vaccines will soon be coming online that don't require fancy refrigeration and that can be made fast and cheap and distributed easily, and thank goodness for that.



- Science magazine today printed a letter signed by eighteen serious scientists at serious universities across multiple serious disciplines demanding that a serious, "proper investigation" be given to the possibility that the virus did not originate in the wild. They point out how the WHO report gave short shrift to the possibility and that the head of the WHO himself admits that "the report's consideration of evidence supporting a laboratory accident was insufficient"

Here's a link to the Science article:  https://science.sciencemag.org/content/372/6543/694.1

Here's a link to the WaPo's continuously updating coronavirus stories. If you catch it today, the story should still be there:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/05/14/coronavirus-covid-live-updates-us/



- Finally, this article is truly tl;dr, and it's truly slanted, but the technical science part is the important part. I think it (or something like it) may have been the basis for Sen. Paul's lively dispute with Dr. Fauci the other day.

https://nicholaswade.medium.com/origin-of-covid-following-the-clues-6f03564c038

Outside of the political implications, the science part is wildly interesting for a geeky gal like me. I'm dumb at biochemistry, but even I could understand it.

Moreover, it does point out a few things about the evolutionary aspects of the virus, which I do understand, and which makes one think hard about the natural origin hypothesis. One of which is that if the virus really did originate in an animal, why, after two years, hasn't that animal been found yet? I'd be going ape (heh) looking for that creature. And if the virus did actually evolve from some intermediary critter, why haven't evolutionarily similar but less perfectly-adapted-to-specifically-infect-humans viruses been found yet? Again, I'd be batsh*t (heh) worried about those, and I don't know what kind of urgency is being put behind finding them.

I get it, poo happens, we don't know what we don't know, there's always the chance the virus popped up by random mutation, and the Cubs did win the World Series, but gee whiz. When the Chinese government locks down all the files at its virology lab and silences its researchers... hmmmm.

More likely than not, the virus originated in the Wuhan lab.  I can't prove it, but the evidence supporting this theory is overwhelming.  Just listen to Joe Rogan's podcast (Spotify show) interview of Josh Rogin Episode #1640.  For the discussion of the origins of the virus, start listening @ 34:23  which is fully explained in his book "Chaos Under Heaven".

We don't KNOW for a fact that it was made in the lab, but it is the only explanation that matches all of the evidence.  We do know that the U.S. government made researching the gain of function research illegal here, but that the lab in Wuhan received funding from the U.S. CDC to make bat viruses more receptive to human lungs.  We know the lab in Wuhan was understaffed and sloppy.  There was a program of $200,000,000 U.S. funded research which Obama banned here, and the CDC moved it to China.

We know the bats that do have the root virus are 1,000 miles from Wuhan, but the lab doing the research on the virus was in Wuhan.  We know that the first documented cases were in Wuhan.  We know that the WHO assigned the investigation of the lab as the origins of the virus to people who were financially dependent upon the program continuing.

The CDC, and in particular Fauci himself arranged the funding for the Chinese research of the virus.  And, now Fauci wants to double down and expand funding for the research.

Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #462 on: May 23, 2021, 02:38:41 pm »
More likely than not, the virus originated in the Wuhan lab.  I can't prove it, but the evidence supporting this theory is overwhelming.  Just listen to Joe Rogan's podcast (Spotify show) interview of Josh Rogin Episode #1640.  For the discussion of the origins of the virus, start listening @ 34:23  which is fully explained in his book "Chaos Under Heaven".

We don't KNOW for a fact that it was made in the lab, but it is the only explanation that matches all of the evidence.  We do know that the U.S. government made researching the gain of function research illegal here, but that the lab in Wuhan received funding from the U.S. CDC to make bat viruses more receptive to human lungs.  We know the lab in Wuhan was understaffed and sloppy.  There was a program of $200,000,000 U.S. funded research which Obama banned here, and the CDC moved it to China.

We know the bats that do have the root virus are 1,000 miles from Wuhan, but the lab doing the research on the virus was in Wuhan.  We know that the first documented cases were in Wuhan.  We know that the WHO assigned the investigation of the lab as the origins of the virus to people who were financially dependent upon the program continuing.

The CDC, and in particular Fauci himself arranged the funding for the Chinese research of the virus.  And, now Fauci wants to double down and expand funding for the research.

Rachel, I seriously love what you bring to this thread. You read widely and gather data broadly. I do Plato; you, Aristotle.

And holy smokes. $200m? With that kind of scratch, they should have been able to build a better containment facility.

Rachel, where's your source for that figure? It's so eye-poppingly huge that I can't imagine how every serious journalist in the world can have ignored it. I'm afraid that some dude saying some thing on Joe Rogan's podcast doesn't do it for me, but you're good at digging through databases, so if the dude is telling the truth, I bet you can verify the numbers. It has to be a total amount spent over several years, and at any rate it has to have spent on several subcategories of work. For instance, I know they were working to upgrade safety protocols in that lab. For all the good it did us.  :-\

Can you break the money out by year and large budget line-items?

Gotta say that I agree with you that the natural origin hypothesis seems dodgier and dodgier. A persistent inability or unwillingness to find the actual animal host(s) and document the actual path of zoonotic transmission, and to do so transparently and satisfactorily to hordes of skeptical foreign scientists, is ugly fishy.

In my mind there's nothing shameful about admitting that a lab accident happened. Lab accidents do happen, and from what I've read, lab researchers elsewhere have been infected by the viruses they were working on. This world isn't perfect. Doing very dangerous research with poor safety protocols at a leaky laboratory, though, can't be excused. National prestige doesn't count for much when millions die, and face erodes with loss of credibility.

All the evidence pointing toward a lab accident puts me in mind of the Demon Core: created from naturally-occurring elements, formed into an unnatural configuration expressly to kill humans, and ending up doing so via sloppy protocols in lab accidents.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_core
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Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #463 on: May 23, 2021, 09:10:45 pm »
I guess everyone is “some dude”, but some dudes are respected journalist with great credibility and a lot of well published experience.  Glenn Greenwald comes to mind.  I guess Greenwald is just some dude, but then again...

Josh Rogin graduated with a B.A. in international affairs from the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. After graduation, he worked as a journalist covering foreign policy and national security for Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy, Bloomberg View, The Washington Post, Federal Computer Week, Asahi Shimbun of Japan, and Congressional Quarterly. He is currently a foreign policy columnist for Global Opinions section of The Washington Post and a political analyst for CNN.


Rogin was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow and a 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. In 2011, Rogin was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and the 2011 recipient of the Interaction Award for Excellence in International Reporting.

He isn’t exactly some random person off the streets, he is one of the most respected investigative journalists in the world.






Offline Angelaney

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #464 on: May 24, 2021, 03:48:12 am »
^^
Some of the most stupid people i've ever met, had college/university degree's.

A persons qualifications mean nothing to me, especially when people claim to be an expert in a subject they didn't even qualify in.
In the UK right now, we have one "Linda Baud" who is being praised as a "public health expert" regarding the coronavirus problem in UK, but she has no qualification for that, her degree is in "social science". The real experts refuse say what they're being told to say, so the authorities claim she's the real expert.

Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #465 on: May 25, 2021, 05:54:04 pm »
I guess everyone is “some dude”, but some dudes are respected journalist with great credibility and a lot of well published experience.  Glenn Greenwald comes to mind.  I guess Greenwald is just some dude, but then again...

Josh Rogin graduated with a B.A. in international affairs from the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. After graduation, he worked as a journalist covering foreign policy and national security for Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy, Bloomberg View, The Washington Post, Federal Computer Week, Asahi Shimbun of Japan, and Congressional Quarterly. He is currently a foreign policy columnist for Global Opinions section of The Washington Post and a political analyst for CNN.


Rogin was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow and a 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. In 2011, Rogin was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and the 2011 recipient of the Interaction Award for Excellence in International Reporting.

He isn’t exactly some random person off the streets, he is one of the most respected investigative journalists in the world.

Rachel, you're absolutely right. That was a cheap shot I shouldn't have taken. I apologize.

I'm afraid I've become far too knee-jerky about considering my sources of information.

That's also why I was knee-jerkish about Joe Rogan. The man's an idiot by his own admission. I don't expect him to book serious guests with serious credentials and serious credibility when he feels empowered to go rogue and and make up his own rotten advice on vaccines. I got no trust. I guess if I were doing a book tour, I'd probably go on his show, too, but I'd feel better about being interviewed by Terry Gross.

The other day the WSJ published a leaked intelligence report that three researchers from that virology lab sought hospital treatment for an undisclosed viral infection back in November, 2019.

Caveat, caveat, the report is as yet unconfirmed, the specific illness is not known, nor is its severity. November is cold and flu season, and I've read that people in China often go to hospitals for primary medical care instead of doctors' offices, so they may not have been all that ill. Former CDC director Redfield thinks the virus may have been circulating in October, not November. The report is, at best, circumstantial evidence. There's no way I can sensibly rush to judgment. Similar reports have come out in the past but haven't been quite so specific, so it isn't exactly super-new information. The timing of the leak is mighty convenient to get the jabbersphere building public opinion about the lab-release theory.

But it did the trick. The MSM today is doing all sorts of pieces on the lab-release theory. I think that early on, Occam's Razor pretty much demanded that we give more weight to the zoonotic origin theory of the virus. That's where these viruses had always come from before. Not that Covid couldn't have been a lab accident, but when you hear hoofbeats you should look for horses, not zebras. Now, though, as time has passed and for reasons in posts above, a lab accident seems more and more credible to me.
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Offline RandiL

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #466 on: May 25, 2021, 10:41:52 pm »
This discussion has been interesting, with great content from Rachel and BG. Here's a fairly complete timeline from the Washington Post's Fact Checker today.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/05/25/timeline-how-wuhan-lab-leak-theory-suddenly-became-credible/

Of particular interest to me is that they still have not pinpointed a natural origin for the virus. While it's possible one or a few wild animals got the new mutation and spread it to humans, you'd think it would have continued spreading among the wild population just as it did among humans and would be detectible. It has not been detected yet, despite significant effort at searching.

Also one of the latest entries in the article I referenced above is about the "furin cleavage site" which increases infectivity in humans:
Quote
May 5: Former New York Times science reporter Nicholas Wade, writing in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-origin-of-covid-did-people-or-nature-open-pandoras-box-at-wuhan/, reviews the evidence and makes a strong case for the lab-leak theory. He focuses in particular on the furin cleavage site, which increases viral infectivity for human cells. His analysis yields this quote from David Baltimore, a virologist and former president of the California Institute of Technology: “When I first saw the furin cleavage site in the viral sequence, with its arginine codons, I said to my wife it was the smoking gun for the origin of the virus. These features make a powerful challenge to the idea of a natural origin for SARS2.”

The lab leak hypothesis is gaining credibility in my mind. Not so sure about whether the virus had engineering work done to it, or if it was simply stored and studied in the lab.
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Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #467 on: May 26, 2021, 12:00:59 am »
I believe it was “gain of function” work by the lab.

Evidence?  As you said, they can’t find a wild animal of any species that carries the virus, and bats don’t get infected easily from exposure.  It’s hard to make a bat infected.  But, as you pointed out, it is easy to infect humans. 

That is probably because they used mice that have been breed to have human lung tissue, and they exposed them to the virus and did generational studies, making it more and more transmissible until...it got out.

Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #468 on: May 28, 2021, 04:20:24 pm »
All things considered, maybe I should lighten up on the "they haven't found the animal host yet" line of thought.

SARS first hit in November of 2002. The PRC notified the WHO of the SARS outbreak in early February, 2003, after it had spread to Hong Kong. It was in Vietnam and Canada by late February. I was working for a major international airline at the time. Scary stuff.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002%E2%80%932004_SARS_outbreak

However, it wasn't until 2005 that researchers were able to locate bats that carried what looked like progenitors of the original SARS virus. Nor were they able to conclusively identify an intermediate host. They have some good candidates, but nothing for sure.

https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/news/060101_batsars


I guess I'll continue to be patient with my ignorance.

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Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #469 on: May 28, 2021, 04:33:21 pm »
Bats don’t get infected easily from exposure.  It’s hard to make a bat infected.

From what I've read, it's almost impossible not to infect a bat. The little cuties are seething cauldrons of viruses. They just don't get sick from them.

https://www.wired.com/2014/10/bats-ebola-disease-reservoir-hosts/
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Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #470 on: June 04, 2021, 02:39:36 pm »
A few good reads I've come across of late.

The MLM is lately taken to issuing mea culpas just like I have about dismissing the lab leak theory because of its early proponents. Senator Cotton started talking about the lab leak theory early on, but he's famously a China hawk and can get pretty far out there. Senator Paul promoted it, too, but we've all seen how he handles transgender issues when given a public forum. Admit it - we all do it. Insisting that simple public health measures are ineffective because politics can't have saved many lives.

Cognitive bias stinks, don't it? When someone has an agenda that doesn't match your own, it doesn't mean they're always and inevitably wrong. And yet we get summaries first, subtleties disregarded; headlines next with words twisted and context ignored; then mass distribution to audiences primed to hear what they already wanted to be told.



Some of the better apologies, with my apologies if they don't open for you:


https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/06/the-lab-leak-theory-inside-the-fight-to-uncover-covid-19s-origins

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/wuhan-lab-leak-theory-intelligence-biden/2021/05/28/786d57ac-bfe6-11eb-83e3-0ca705a96ba4_story.html

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/lab-leak-hypothesis-covid-liberal-media-science-biden-trump-china.html

https://thetriad.thebulwark.com/p/the-conservative-media-double-standard  (Forewarning: This is a political newsletter, and I'm not advocating for or against their ideas. All the same, I'm a sucker for excellent writing, and they're excellent writers. The coronavirus stuff is in Section 2. A fun bit about Carlton "Pudge" Fisk is in Section 3.)


Last but not least, a well-written look back at plague policy in 2020. Dig the publication date!  :o

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/01/04/the-plague-year
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Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #471 on: June 04, 2021, 03:33:45 pm »
I still can't post links.  But, I can post quotes, so:

Quote
An institute “funded by American dollars is trying to teach a bat virus to infect human cells, then there is a virus” in the same city as that lab. It is “not being intellectually honest not to consider the hypothesis” of a lab escape.

And given how aggressively China blocked efforts at a transparent investigation, and in light of its government’s own history of lying, obfuscating, and crushing dissent, it’s fair to ask if Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan Institute’s lead coronavirus researcher, would be at liberty to report a leak from her lab even if she’d wanted to.
Vanity Fair Article entitled "The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins"

Quote
A small group within the State Department’s Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance bureau had been studying the Institute (the Wuhan Institute of Virology) for months. The group had recently acquired classified intelligence suggesting that three WIV researchers conducting gain-of-function experiments on coronavirus samples had fallen ill in the autumn of 2019, before the COVID-19 outbreak was known to have started.

As officials at the meeting discussed what they could share with the public, they were advised by Christopher Park, the director of the State Department’s Biological Policy Staff in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, not to say anything that would point to the U.S. government’s own role in gain-of-function research, according to documentation of the meeting obtained by Vanity Fair.
Ibid.

Quote
No one at the State Department had much interest in Wuhan’s laboratories at the start of the pandemic, but they were gravely concerned with China’s apparent cover-up of the outbreak’s severity. The government had shut down the Huanan market, ordered laboratory samples destroyed, claimed the right to review any scientific research about COVID-19 ahead of publication, and expelled a team of Wall Street Journal reporters.

In January 2020, a Wuhan ophthalmologist named Li Wenliang, who’d tried to warn his colleagues that the pneumonia could be a form of SARS was arrested, accused of disrupting the social order, and forced to write a self-criticism. He died of COVID-19 in February, lionized by the Chinese public as a hero and whistleblower.

“You had Chinese [government] coercion and suppression,” said David Feith of the State Department’s East Asia bureau. “We were very concerned that they were covering it up and whether the information coming to the World Health Organization was reliable.”

Quote
The idea of a lab leak first came to NSC officials not from hawkish Trumpists but from Chinese social media users, who began sharing their suspicions as early as January 2020. Then, in February, a research paper coauthored by two Chinese scientists, based at separate Wuhan universities, appeared online as a preprint. It tackled a fundamental question: How did a novel bat coronavirus get to a major metropolis of 11 million people in central China, in the dead of winter when most bats were hibernating, and turn a market where bats weren’t sold into the epicenter of an outbreak?
The paper offered an answer: “We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus.” The first was the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which sat just 280 meters from the Huanan market and had been known to collect hundreds of bat samples. The second, the researchers wrote, was the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The paper came to a staggeringly blunt conclusion about COVID-19: “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.... Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.” Almost as soon as the paper appeared on the internet, it disappeared, but not before U.S. government officials took note.

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #472 on: June 04, 2021, 03:51:43 pm »
Quote
Three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, all connected with gain-of-function research on coronaviruses, had fallen ill in November 2019 and appeared to have visited the hospital with symptoms similar to COVID-19, three government officials told Vanity Fair.

While it is not clear what had sickened them, “these were not the janitors,” said the former State Department official. “They were active researchers. The dates were among the absolute most arresting part of the picture, because they are smack where they would be if this was the origin.” The reaction inside the State Department was, “Holy <poo>,” one former senior official recalled. “We should probably tell our bosses.” The investigation roared back to life.

An intelligence analyst working with David Asher sifted through classified channels and turned up a report that outlined why the lab-leak hypothesis was plausible. It had been written in May by researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which performs national security research for the Department of Energy. But it appeared to have been buried within the classified collections system.

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #473 on: June 04, 2021, 04:03:53 pm »
See also:

"Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag"

Quote
We are currently witnessing a major epidemic caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The evolution of 2019-nCoV remains elusive. We found 4 insertions in the spike glycoprotein (S) which are unique to the 2019-nCoV and are not present in other coronaviruses. Importantly, amino acid residues in all the 4 inserts have identity or similarity to those in the HIV-1 gp120 or HIV-1 Gag. Interestingly, despite the inserts being discontinuous on the primary amino acid sequence, 3D-modelling of the 2019-nCoV suggests that they converge to constitute the receptor binding site. The finding of 4 unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV, all of which have identity /similarity to amino acid residues in key structural proteins of HIV-1 is unlikely to be fortuitous in nature. This work provides yet unknown insights on 2019-nCoV and sheds light on the evolution and pathogenicity of this virus with important implications for diagnosis of this virus.

That study was withdrawn by its publisher because of backlash in the scientific community (which is very funding driven), and not for technical or scientific deficiency.

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #474 on: June 04, 2021, 04:12:05 pm »
This is an article about vaccine research that relies upon the FACT that the HIV and Covid 19 viruses both have similar if not identical function.  This probably did not evolve in nature, as no Coronavirus ever found in nature has this protein.

"Shape-Shifting Viral Proteins: Key to HIV and COVID-19 Vaccines"  amfAR

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #475 on: June 10, 2021, 09:16:32 am »
I got my second Astra-Zeneca jab yesterday and it has wiped me out. I have zero energy and I'm alternating between sweating and chills.
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Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #476 on: June 11, 2021, 12:24:21 pm »
See also:

"Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag"

That study was withdrawn by its publisher because of backlash in the scientific community (which is very funding driven), and not for technical or scientific deficiency.

Great digging, as always, Rachel, but I'm not so sure as I agree with your summary.


From what I can piece together on this paper, the original article was a pre-print, not anything peer-reviewed. I think the scientific community's main criticism was that the paper's method could be pointing to any number of creatures, not just HIV-1. Cryptosporidium and malaria were two cited examples, but there are tons more.

That doesn't sound to me that it proved that Covid couldn't have been man-made. It does sound to me like the paper's methodology was rushed and its conclusions were insufficiently supported.

https://healthfeedback.org/claimreview/no-hiv-insertions-were-not-identified-in-the-2019-coronavirus-contrary-to-claims-based-on-questionable-bioinformatics-study/

It's all summed up in a Reuters article debunking another topic that's truly tl;dr, but I'll paste the relevant parts below and then put the link at the very bottom if y'all want to read the whole article.

THE REPORT

The report, published in the very early days of the virus and entitled “Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag”, claimed to have found “4 insertions in the spike glycoprotein (S) which are unique to the 2019-nCoV and are not present in other coronaviruses”, adding that these four “unique” spikes were similar to some DNA sequences in HIV-1 (the most common type of HIV).

EXPLAINING FOUR INSERTIONS, HIV AND GLYCOPROTEINS
Dr. Catherine Blish, infectious disease specialist at Stanford Medicine, told Reuters via email that the “insertions” mentioned in the withdrawn report, refer to the “extra amino acids, the building blocks of proteins”, that are found in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.

The spike protein of coronavirus, Blish explained, is the protein that “mediates entry into the cell”. In HIV, the analogous entry protein is the gp160 (which is composed of the two glycoproteins gp120 and gp41). “These viral proteins interact with cellular proteins to allow the virus enter a cell”, she said.

Blish explained the issue with the withdrawn paper’s author’s interpretation: “the authors did not include bat coronaviruses, including the bat strain that bears the strongest resemblance to SARS-CoV-2.”

Blish referred to another paper co-authored by virus expert Feng Gao which concluded that the highlighted patterns in the withdrawn report are not HIV-specific. According to Gao’s paper, the motifs were also found in at least “100 identical or highly homologous” sequences in “host genes of mammalian, insects, bacterial and others” and also in “all kinds of viruses from bacteriophage, influenza, to giant eukaryotic.”

According to Blish, this suggests that this sequence patterns are “merely common motifs in nature.”

According to Gao’s paper, the four insertions mentioned in the withdrawn report are present not only in SARS-CoV-2 but also in three sequences of bat coronavirus found in 2018 and 2013.

Coincidentally, experts noted that in addition to SARS-CoV-2 and HIV, the DNA protein sequences mentioned in the withdrawn study “are found in many different organisms, including the ones that cause cryptosporidiosis and malaria”. Further evaluation shows that “these proteins are not unique to coronaviruses and are common source of viral biology in a huge number of ailments caused by a variety of actors”.

Fact checker Health Feedback addressed the withdrawn report here and found that “the sequences analyzed by the study authors were so short that it is easy to find similarities to a wide variety of organisms”.


https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-hiv-covid-explained-idUSKBN29C26E


That healthfeedback site is p great. Here's a cool article with some great data and graphics that shows the state of the state of scientists' thinking about the natural vs man-made nature of Covid as of May last year.

Things don't seem much different than today. A few people claiming there's no possible way the virus can be man-made, some saying it must have been, and most saying it doesn't necessarily look like it for these reasons, but let's withhold judgment until all the facts are in.

https://healthfeedback.org/did-the-covid-19-virus-originate-from-a-lab-or-nature-examining-the-evidence-for-different-hypotheses-of-the-novel-coronavirus-origins/
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Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #477 on: June 11, 2021, 12:27:21 pm »
I got my second Astra-Zeneca jab yesterday and it has wiped me out. I have zero energy and I'm alternating between sweating and chills.

Aargh. Sorry to hear it, amiga. My heinie was absolutely dragging the day after my second shot.

Bad news/good news: you're having a rough day, but your immune system rocks!
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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #478 on: June 11, 2021, 01:24:33 pm »
This is an article about vaccine research that relies upon the FACT that the HIV and Covid 19 viruses both have similar if not identical function.  This probably did not evolve in nature, as no Coronavirus ever found in nature has this protein.

"Shape-Shifting Viral Proteins: Key to HIV and COVID-19 Vaccines"  amfAR

Can you explain more? I don't know much about virology.
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Re: Coronavirus?
« Reply #479 on: June 11, 2021, 07:08:19 pm »
People are still dying of this awful virus.  I rejoice that the numbers of the seriously ill and the deaths are decreasing a lot in the USA.

Worldwide there are numerous areas that are COVID-19 hotspots for many.

Please keep all of these people throughout the world in your thoughts and prayers.  Be safe. 


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Good living, joy, unity, love, and happiness can come from following these practices: Never let selfishness or conceit motivate you.  Regard others as more important than yourself.  Do not limit attention to only your interests, but include the interests of others

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