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New Routes to Making Covid-19 In The Lab

Discussion in 'News & Current Events (Articles Required)' started by whatbogsends, Sep 24, 2021.

  1. whatbogsends

    whatbogsends Senior Veteran

    +8,159
    Atheist
    Two new caches of documents have added considerable substance — though not yet proof — to the idea that the SARS2 epidemic may have originated in a lab accident.
    ...
    A prominent feature of the proposal is to “introduce appropriate human-specific cleavage sites” into SARS-like viruses. Such a procedure is eye-catching, if not jaw-dropping, because the distinctive feature of the SARS2 virus is a genetic element known as a furin cleavage site. The element greatly enhances the virus’s ability to infect human cells. The furin cleavage site attracted attention from the start because SARS2 is the only member of its family — a group known as Sarbecoviruses — to possess one.
    ...
    The EcoHealth grant proposal to DARPA now puts beyond doubt that engineering cleavage sites into SARS-like viruses was a technique to be explored at the Wuhan institute.

    Moreover the preceding sentence in the document specifically mentions furin cleavage sites, showing this particular element was on the researchers’ minds and could well have been the cleavage site used in experiments:

    “We will analyze all SARSr-CoV S gene sequences for … the presence of potential furin cleavage sites,” the proposal says, referring to the S or spike gene where the SARS2 furin cleavage site is located. SARSr-CoV means coronaviruses related to SARS1, the cause of the SARS1 epidemic of 2003.
    ...
    The proposal was rejected by DARPA, but that does not necessarily mean the experiments it described were not performed. It’s routine practice for researchers to use funds from one grant to do experiments that will support their application for the next. Or, EcoHealth could have undertaken them with other funds. At the least, people at EcoHealth and the Wuhan Institute of Virology were actively contemplating inserting a cleavage site, very possibly the furin one, into a SARS-related virus, the exact recipe for generating SARS2.

    Three points emerge from EcoHealth’s DARPA proposal, it seems to me. First, the lab leak hypothesis becomes substantially more credible. Before, it was just a guess that the Wuhan researchers might have wanted to add the furin cleavage site to a virus. It’s now evident that they were actively thinking of the precise genetic manipulation by which the SARS2 virus could have been generated in the lab.

    Second, it’s long been clear that Peter Dazsak, the president of EcoHealth Alliance, has known a great deal more than he is saying. In hindsight, his vigorous campaign of deriding lab leak as ridiculous gives the strong impression of being fueled by his fear that it was not. If Congress were at all interested in the origin of a virus that has so far killed almost 700,000 Americans, why would it not subpoena Dr. Daszak to turn over all his records and explain under oath everything he knows about the research he funded at the Wuhan Institute of Virology?

    Third, the 18 intelligence agencies which labored unsuccessfully to reach a conclusion about the origin of SARS2 evidently failed to discover the EcoHealth proposal to DARPA or they would have given stronger weight to lab escape. “Parturient montes; nascetur exiguus mus,” wrote the poet Horace — “The mountains labored, and brought to birth a tiny mouse.” Avril Haynes, director of National Intelligence and owner of the risible mouse, may now be wondering why the 18 agencies under her command can’t do as well as small amateur groups like the DRASTIC cooperative in turning up relevant intelligence about the origins of the Covid epidemic.
    ...
    From the full grant, it’s now clear that the Wuhan researchers were working with a bat virus, called WIV1, which is related to the virus that caused the SARS1 epidemic of 2003. They swapped out its spike protein gene for that of three other SARS1-related viruses, creating three novel viruses, which they then tested on humanized mice. These are animals genetically engineered to carry the human receptor protein, the virus family’s target, in the cells of their airways.

    Two conclusions emerge from the Intercept’s documents. The first is that, although these particular experiments could not have generated the SARS2 virus, they provided the perfect procedure for doing so, had the Wuhan researchers selected an appropriate parent virus from the many unpublished bat viruses in their collection, and added a furin cleavage site as mentioned in the DARPA proposal.

    ...
    A second conclusion derivable from the Intercept’s documents is that the Wuhan researchers had all but certainly trespassed into the red flag area of gain of function experiments. The virology community has been in schism for the last 10 years on the question of how much researchers in the quest for knowledge should be allowed to soup up a virus’s natural functions. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, and his boss, Francis Collins, the director of NIH, have advocated in favor of gain of function research. Researchers affiliated with the Cambridge Working Group have argued against it.
    ...
    In a 27 July letter to Senator Grassley Dr. Collins asserted that the novel viruses being generated in Wuhan did not count as gain of function because they “would contain only small portions of evolutionarily distant bat coronaviruses.” This is a surprising argument because the “small portion” grafted into the parent virus was the gene for the spike protein of other viruses. The spike is critical to determining which species the virus can infect. It’s hard to see why greater pathogenicity caused by inserting a new spike protein into a virus would not count as a gain of function.

    New Routes to Making Covid-19 In The Lab | by Nicholas Wade | Sep, 2021 | Medium
     
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  2. Tanj

    Tanj Redefined comfortable middle class

    +7,157
    Australia
    Atheist
    Married
    What an incoherent pile of utter nonsense, innuendo, and make believe. Nicholaswade.medium.com. lol
     
  3. whatbogsends

    whatbogsends Senior Veteran

    +8,159
    Atheist
    Former science reporter for the New York Times.

    What's funny is that you wrote this just the other day:

    Yet here we have you now attempting to discredit the article based on the source.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
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  4. Nithavela

    Nithavela Cool catchphrase goes here

    +15,523
    Germany
    Other Religion
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    Come back when there's proof.
     
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  5. whatbogsends

    whatbogsends Senior Veteran

    +8,159
    Atheist
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