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Virus not from Animals(?)

Discussion in 'Physical & Life Sciences' started by SelfSim, May 17, 2020.

  1. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    'Virus did NOT come from animals in Wuhan market', landmark study claims as Beijing thwarts global efforts to establish the source of Covid-19
    The paper here more or less confirms the news report:
    They conclude:
    .. and then:
     
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  2. Radagast

    Radagast comes and goes Supporter

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    There is certainly strong similarity both to SARS from a few years ago and to bat coronaviruses.
     
  3. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    I don't think they explicitly say it .. but it sort of looks like maybe SARS-1 may have been mutating, undetected, amongst humans, since the last documented case in 2004 .. but how did SARS-Cov-2 get to be a better match with known bat coronaviruses than it is with SARS-Cov-1?
     
  4. FrumiousBandersnatch

    FrumiousBandersnatch Well-Known Member

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    From what I heard, there were very few testable animal remains from the market, as it was blitzed as soon as it became suspect.

    But if a trader had bought infected animals from a hunter/trapper/poacher who had been handling the creatures prior to them being brought to market, it's likely that both would be infected, and the trader might well have been infected by his source. All speculation.

    What is clear is that a number of labs have said that the genetics of the virus are more characteristic of natural mutations than experimental mutations.
     
  5. Tanj

    Tanj Redefined comfortable middle class

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    Nope.

    Because your first statement is incorrect. It's a new virus, and it came from some animals, probably bats. Possibly didn't originate from the wet market, but that's just not that interesting or earth shattering. Zoonoses occur, there's been dozens of these outbreaks over the years.
     
  6. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    Makes sense .. the report says:
    Sure .. and if so, it looks like that infection could have happened around the November/December timeframe (1st patient was December) which would likely make early October the date they think when the most recent common ancestor transferred the virus to humans (ie: maybe the trapper?)

    That seems to be pretty well agreed but as they say:
    The Director of the Wuhan lab (aka: the 'bat-woman'), said she checked the first human isolates she was given and found they didn't match the animal sequences she had in her lab (whereupon she said she breathed a sigh of relief). Presumably she still has that comparison data(?) Pity she didn't think of testing her staff too, at that same time? They could also interrogate the staff as to whether or not they visted the markets around those timeframes also, I suppose.
     
  7. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    Ok .. acknowledged.

    Sure.
    So, the report also says:
    Then it says:
    So if I understand this correctly(?) the 'spikes' and their ACE-2 binding capabilities have been with these bats for a while, but the genome (capsid/RNA) itself, looks like the part which has mutated to the new strain?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  8. Tanj

    Tanj Redefined comfortable middle class

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    Right, that's the closest we have. Doesn't mean they are specially related, it just means that RaTG13 is the virus we happened to pull out of the virus universe earlier that is most similar. If we didn't have RaTG13 then some other virus that we isolated from somewhere some when would be "the most similar"

    RaTG13 isn't the father of cov2, it's cov2's second cousin, 3 times removed.

    Umm... I'm not sure what you mean, but I think it's related to your previous comment? There's no direct line from RaTG13 to cov2...or at least there absolutely no way to determine that.

    At the end of the day, it's of passing academic interest and that's it. Knowing the "true" source of the virus doesn't affect anything.
     
  9. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    Ok so it looks like it has to do with the presence/absence of the correct protein sequence for cleavage. More info here.
    That site then explains:
     
  10. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    I'm not sure I did either, when I posted that .. :)
     
  11. Tanj

    Tanj Redefined comfortable middle class

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    That's one bit. The affinity and aividity of binding is another, there's a bunch of other perfect storm stuff this virus has, and you'd be hard pressed to point at any one of them and shout eureka...which what you seem to want to do? Sorry, biology is messy.
     
  12. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    Yes .. I was just reading the comments at the bottom of that page .. and yep .. I can see the complexity in this. There are clearly multiple levels these things can operate at, in order to cause ('successful') infection.
    Someone there even cites a reference which ventures into postdicting that the human infection capable virus may have come into existence around the 1950s .. (then, of course, someone else 'corrects' them and recalculates that it was the 1980s! Lol.)
     
  13. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    Here's another recent study which more or less rules out that SARS-Cov-2 evolved directly from Pangolins:
    Pangolins May Not Have Been The Intermediary Host of SARS-CoV-2 After All
    However, it does make the case that recombination events (affecting that cleavage site) amongst coronaviruses in multiple animals in nature, is likely.
    From the study paper
    Are pangolins the intermediate host of the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)?:
    .. beats me how Bear Grylls is still alive and kicking!?
     
  14. Strathos

    Strathos No one important

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    Does any of this have any bearing on how fast we can develop a vaccine?
     
  15. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    I think pursuing a deeper understanding how a specific novel virus evolved and how those steps affects the way it spreads disease, (compared with other known similar virus types), directly impacts the technologies used in the production of a vaccine.
    Two of the key causes of failure of a vaccine are inadequacies of the technologies used in the vaccine itself, directly resulting in incomplete efficacy and; impacts of assumptions made about the condition of a target recipient's genetic/health status. Many/most vaccines fail during the preclinical phase (ie: 'The probability of success for an infectious disease vaccine candidate to pass preclinical barriers and reach Phase I of human testing is 41-57%').
    So knowing such information before one sets out designing a vaccine can significantly impact the speed (and effectiveness) of its ultimate rollout, (IMO).
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
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