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Thread: Origins of New Coronavirus

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    Origins of New Coronavirus



    We heard so much about the new coronavirus originating from the Wet Market in Wuhan. However, the study of the genomic data
    https://www.researchgate.net/publica...e_genomic_data

    suggests the strain of the virus found in the market evolved from other strains found elsewhere, not the other way around:
    By applying the reported bat coronavirus genome (bat-RaTG13-CoV) as the outgroup, we found that haplotypes H13 and H38 might be considered as ancestral haplotypes, and later H1 (whose descendants included all samples from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market) was derived from the intermediate haplotype H3. The population size of the SARS-CoV-2 was estimated to have undergone a recent expansion on 06 January 2020, and an early expansion on 08 December 2019. Phyloepidemiologic analyses suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 source at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market was potentially imported from elsewhere. The crowded market then boosted SARS-CoV-2 circulation and spread it to the whole city in early December 2019.

    "Did someone encounter or eat a pangolin elsewhere in Wuhan away from the Huanan Seafood Market, contract SARS-CoV-2, travel around the city infecting others, then go to the market and set off the bigger outbreak? And from that, they ended up contracting a strain of the coronavirus that originated in bats was unrelated to the research on coronaviruses in bats going on in two major laboratories in the city? It is possible, but it is a remarkable sequence"https://www.nationalreview.com/the-m...iruss-origins/

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    ^^That's if it was a mutation that originated in nature, of course.

    Given that China has now announced it will be censoring the papers published in China about the virus we may never find out.

    "China has imposed restrictions on the publication of academic research on the origins of the novel coronavirus, according to a central government directive and online notices published by two Chinese universities, that have since been removed from the web.Under the new policy, all academic papers on Covid-19 will be subject to extra vetting before being submitted for publication. Studies on the origin of the virus will receive extra scrutiny and must be approved by central government officials, according to the now-deleted posts.
    A medical expert in Hong Kong who collaborated with mainland researchers to publish a clinical analysis of Covid-19 cases in an international medical journal said his work did not undergo such vetting in February."

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/12/asia/...hnk/index.html


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    ^^That's if it was a mutation that originated in nature, of course.
    Given that China has now announced it will be censoring the papers published in China about the virus we may never find out.
    "China has imposed restrictions on the publication of academic research on the origins of the novel coronavirus, according to a central government directive and online notices published by two Chinese universities, that have since been removed from the web.Under the new policy, all academic papers on Covid-19 will be subject to extra vetting before being submitted for publication. Studies on the origin of the virus will receive extra scrutiny and must be approved by central government officials, according to the now-deleted posts.
    A medical expert in Hong Kong who collaborated with mainland researchers to publish a clinical analysis of Covid-19 cases in an international medical journal said his work did not undergo such vetting in February."
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/12/asia/...hnk/index.html
    Wasn’t there a paper that explicitly highlighted the fact that it has all the signs of a natural mutation process from the ancestral virus? They ruled out any possibility of it being manmade.

    Found it: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    Wasn’t there a paper that explicitly highlighted the fact that it has all the signs of a natural mutation process from the ancestral virus? They ruled out any possibility of it being manmade.
    Found it: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9
    There have also been papers which state it's impossible to tell, and there was some credence given to the hypothesis by the highest level of British Intelligence.

    "One member of Cobra, the emergency committee led by Boris Johnson, said last night that while the latest intelligence did not dispute the virus was “zoonotic”—originating in animals—it did not rule out that the virus first spread to humans after leaking from a Wuhan laboratory.
    The member of Cobra, which receives detailed classified briefings from the security services, said: “There is a credible alternative view [to the zoonotic theory] based on the nature of the virus. Perhaps it is no coincidence that there is that laboratory in Wuhan. It is not discounted.”
    “Many microbiologists, molecular biologists, and biosecurity/biosafety policy specialists agree that the possibility cannot be dismissed,” he said. “Virologists—especially virologists who perform gain-of-function or global-virome research, whose research likely would be restricted or terminated if the possibility were confirmed—tend to disagree.”

    Other disease experts won’t go nearly that far. “This isn’t something that’s completely far-fetched, it does happen,” said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. That said, Adalja continued, “I think it’s a lower probability than the pure zoonotic theory. I think as we get a better understanding of where the origin of this virus was, and get closer to patient zero, that will explain some of the mystery.”

    However,

    My last question for Ebright was whether he thinks the lab theory will ever be conclusively confirmed or debunked. “It will not be possible to assign a numerical probability to the lab-accident scenario without a forensic investigation,” he said. “A forensic investigation would require access to lab facilities, samples, records, and personnel, and would include environmental sampling of facilities and serological sampling of personnel. A forensic investigation—if one occurs—would face the same challenges as the 2001–2008 investigation of the 2001 anthrax mailings in the U.S., plus additional challenges arising from more time to alter evidence and from dealing with a government not known for transparency and introspection.” The one thing Ebright is confident of? “The probability is substantial.”


    Does anyone really think foreign scientists will ever be given that kind of access to the "real" data?


    So, what is the truth? I don't know, but, as I said, if research from China is now going to be censored we will never know for sure.

    I should make it clear that given my line of work for a good chunk of time, I'm not a big believer in coincidences, so that may color my interpretation of the data, as does the fact that I have always made it a practice never to trust data from what we call an "impeached" witness, impeached for moral wrongdoing but particularly for a less than close relationship with the truth.

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    The identification of a potential intermediate host of SARS-CoV-2 is still unclear, which is a problem, because it might re-occur again via the same route.

    At the same time, China has re-opened its wet markets in Wuhan. It is a rather doubtful decision if they really believed that the virus made its way into people because of conditions in wet markets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    There have also been papers which state it's impossible to tell, and there was some credence given to the hypothesis by the highest level of British Intelligence.

    "One member of Cobra, the emergency committee led by Boris Johnson, said last night that while the latest intelligence did not dispute the virus was “zoonotic”—originating in animals—it did not rule out that the virus first spread to humans after leaking from a Wuhan laboratory.
    The member of Cobra, which receives detailed classified briefings from the security services, said: “There is a credible alternative view [to the zoonotic theory] based on the nature of the virus. Perhaps it is no coincidence that there is that laboratory in Wuhan. It is not discounted.”
    “Many microbiologists, molecular biologists, and biosecurity/biosafety policy specialists agree that the possibility cannot be dismissed,” he said. “Virologists—especially virologists who perform gain-of-function or global-virome research, whose research likely would be restricted or terminated if the possibility were confirmed—tend to disagree.”

    Other disease experts won’t go nearly that far. “This isn’t something that’s completely far-fetched, it does happen,” said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. That said, Adalja continued, “I think it’s a lower probability than the pure zoonotic theory. I think as we get a better understanding of where the origin of this virus was, and get closer to patient zero, that will explain some of the mystery.”

    However,

    My last question for Ebright was whether he thinks the lab theory will ever be conclusively confirmed or debunked. “It will not be possible to assign a numerical probability to the lab-accident scenario without a forensic investigation,” he said. “A forensic investigation would require access to lab facilities, samples, records, and personnel, and would include environmental sampling of facilities and serological sampling of personnel. A forensic investigation—if one occurs—would face the same challenges as the 2001–2008 investigation of the 2001 anthrax mailings in the U.S., plus additional challenges arising from more time to alter evidence and from dealing with a government not known for transparency and introspection.” The one thing Ebright is confident of? “The probability is substantial.”


    Does anyone really think foreign scientists will ever be given that kind of access to the "real" data?


    So, what is the truth? I don't know, but, as I said, if research from China is now going to be censored we will never know for sure.

    I should make it clear that given my line of work for a good chunk of time, I'm not a big believer in coincidences, so that may color my interpretation of the data, as does the fact that I have always made it a practice never to trust data from what we call an "impeached" witness, impeached for moral wrongdoing but particularly for a less than close relationship with the truth.
    Thanks for passing those excerpts along. Interesting. To some degree it reminds me of this video: https://youtu.be/bpQFCcSI0pU, obviously I don't know how accurate any of this is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    To some degree it reminds me of this video: https://youtu.be/bpQFCcSI0pU, obviously I don't know how accurate any of this is.
    Yes, as you say, it is difficult to judge, but somehow there are really too many coincidences over there - scientists in Wuhan have been working for years in trying to get SARs like virus to infect people. And yes, bingo, it seems that they made the progress by the end of 2019... But it has nothing to do with the current pandemic, of course, which must have developed naturally ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagne View Post
    Yes, as you say, it is difficult to judge, but somehow there are really too many coincidences over there - scientists in Wuhan have been working for years in trying to get SARs like virus to infect people. And yes, bingo, it seems that they made the progress by the end of 2019... But it has nothing to do with the current pandemic, of course, which must have developed naturally ....
    I wouldn’t necessarily theorize that far, in regards to them “trying to get SARs like virus to infect people”. I would think since the SARS outbreak there was more research into coronaviruses, especially in areas with large bat populations. I would think such a deliberate attempt at making a bio-weapon with such a risk for massive backfire would come with a lot more rigorous preventative measures to stop any spread.

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    True, I was reflecting on the youtube film above, and it is not about creating a SARs like virus that can infect people, but about a research on a newly discovered bat virus that can infect people and animals. I don't think that the virus was intentionally released to infect the local population, it is much more likely that it just escaped from a lab unintentionally.
    But it is a fact that China had a lab in Wuhan who was created for the purpose of researching dangerous viruses like SARS and Ebola, and that this lab has had bats and facilities for carrying out tests with other mammals. (By the way, the US has banned research on SARS like viruses as it is too dangerous, and thus, unethical, whatever the purpose of such research.)

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/...to-wuhan-labs/


    "The Wuhan Institute of Virology in China indeed posted a job opening on November 18, 2019, “asking for scientists to come research the relationship between the coronavirus and bats.”

    The Google translation of the job posting is: “Taking bats as the research object, I will answer the molecular mechanism that can coexist with Ebola and SARS- associated coronavirus for a long time without disease, and its relationship with flight and longevity. Virology, immunology, cell biology, and multiple omics are used to compare the differences between humans and other mammals.” (“Omics” is a term for a subfield within biology, such as genomics or glycomics.)

    On December 24, 2019, the Wuhan Institute of Virology posted a second job posting. The translation of that posting includes the declaration, “long-term research on the pathogenic biology of bats carrying important viruses has confirmed the origin of bats of major new human and livestock infectious diseases such as SARS and SADS, and a large number of new bat and rodent new viruses have been discovered and identified.”

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    I think Financial Times did a fair sum up of what it is going on with regard to "Hunt for Origins of Coronavirus"


    https://www.ft.com/content/aa5f37ab-...4-3b044524c4fe

    "A researcher at Wuhan Institute of Virology, who declined to be named, said China had not shared samples of live virus with the WHO as the country “had already published plenty of information” such as the genetic code of the coronavirus. "


    Chinese authorities made public the genetic sequence of coronavirus on January 12, and Chinese researchers subsequently flagged incidences of the disease dating back to December 1. But the WHO and other scientists now say it could have first passed from an animal to a human more than six months ago as early as October 2019. "



    The WHO told the Financial Times that China was now “doing several investigations” into the origin of the disease and that it “makes sense for them to lead on research to find out the origin of the outbreak”. The Trump administration has censured both China and the WHO for what it describes as a failure to convey information about the disease in time to prevent its global spread. On Tuesday, Mr Trump said the US would halt funding to the WHO and accused it of “severely mismanaging” the coronavirus pandemic. He had previously criticised the UN health agency as being “China-centric”.Western scientists who have analysed the genetic code of the new virus say it is extremely unlikely to have been made by genetic engineering in a laboratory, as some conspiracy theorists have suggested. But they cannot rule out the possibility that it escaped accidentally from a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which were studying animal coronaviruses.


    The first man recorded as dying from the disease came into contact with the market, but his wife — who was also hospitalised with the disease — did not, according to a paper published by Chinese researchers in The Lancet. Of 41 hospitalised patients confirmed to have contracted the disease by January 2, the study showed only 27 had contact with the market.The WHO said it was “necessary to investigate and interview in depth the first known human cases of the disease for indications as to where they may have become infected”.

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    A paper has already been posted here on our site showing that the cases from the wet market derive from an older "strain", so the wet market cases are a red herring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagne View Post
    I think Financial Times did a fair sum up of what it is going on with regard to "Hunt for Origins of Coronavirus"


    https://www.ft.com/content/aa5f37ab-...4-3b044524c4fe

    "A researcher at Wuhan Institute of Virology, who declined to be named, said China had not shared samples of live virus with the WHO as the country “had already published plenty of information” such as the genetic code of the coronavirus. "


    Chinese authorities made public the genetic sequence of coronavirus on January 12, and Chinese researchers subsequently flagged incidences of the disease dating back to December 1. But the WHO and other scientists now say it could have first passed from an animal to a human more than six months ago as early as October 2019. "



    The WHO told the Financial Times that China was now “doing several investigations” into the origin of the disease and that it “makes sense for them to lead on research to find out the origin of the outbreak”. The Trump administration has censured both China and the WHO for what it describes as a failure to convey information about the disease in time to prevent its global spread. On Tuesday, Mr Trump said the US would halt funding to the WHO and accused it of “severely mismanaging” the coronavirus pandemic. He had previously criticised the UN health agency as being “China-centric”.Western scientists who have analysed the genetic code of the new virus say it is extremely unlikely to have been made by genetic engineering in a laboratory, as some conspiracy theorists have suggested. But they cannot rule out the possibility that it escaped accidentally from a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which were studying animal coronaviruses.


    The first man recorded as dying from the disease came into contact with the market, but his wife — who was also hospitalised with the disease — did not, according to a paper published by Chinese researchers in The Lancet. Of 41 hospitalised patients confirmed to have contracted the disease by January 2, the study showed only 27 had contact with the market.The WHO said it was “necessary to investigate and interview in depth the first known human cases of the disease for indications as to where they may have become infected”.
    If Investigated by chinese authorities, do not trust much,
    they may force 27 people to admit that had contact with market,
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    This is a rather lengthy video, but it includes a lot of interesting facts.
    I didn't like the evaluative part with affirmative accusations because it is still too early for that type of conclusions.
    Anyway, it is worth watching.

    We all sort of remember that Wuhan coronavirus has of 89,1% nucleotide similarity with other Chinese bat viruses. The official hypothesis is that it is a natural bat virus which due to handling conditions in the Wuhan Wet Market jumped into pangolin as intermediate host 2 where it mutated making it transmittable to humans. The problem is that the wuhan wet market did not sell any bats and there were no pangolins found which contained the virus. (Finding the "culprit" for spreading this dangerous virus should have been the top priority for the Chinese scientists, however, no clear affirmative answers were found.)

    In the documentary they go on explaining more saying that the Wuhan coronavirus exhibits 100% amino acid similarity in the nsp7 and e (envelop) protein with a previously discovered bat virus from Zhoushan (which were collected in 2018 in Zhoushan by Chinese military research institute). According to scientists that speak in the documentary, it is hard to believe that a virus which jumped across species still demonstrates 100% similarity to bat virus, and that it may suggest that the Wuhan virus was engineered by reverse engineering method.
    Another scientist concludes that this 100% similarity means that it "can't possibly be a natural mutation".

    Is there anyone among us who could understand virology and comment on that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagne View Post


    This is a rather lengthy video, but it includes a lot of interesting facts.
    I didn't like the evaluative part with affirmative accusations because it is still too early for that type of conclusions.
    Anyway, it is worth watching.

    We all sort of remember that Wuhan coronavirus has of 89,1% nucleotide similarity with other Chinese bat viruses. The official hypothesis is that it is a natural bat virus which due to handling conditions in the Wuhan Wet Market jumped into pangolin as intermediate host 2 where it mutated making it transmittable to humans. The problem is that the wuhan wet market did not sell any bats and there were no pangolins found which contained the virus. (Finding the "culprit" for spreading this dangerous virus should have been the top priority for the Chinese scientists, however, no clear affirmative answers were found.)

    In the documentary they go on explaining more saying that the Wuhan coronavirus exhibits 100% amino acid similarity in the nsp7 and e (envelop) protein with a previously discovered bat virus from Zhoushan (which were collected in 2018 in Zhoushan by Chinese military research institute). According to scientists that speak in the documentary, it is hard to believe that a virus which jumped across species still demonstrates 100% similarity to bat virus, and that it may suggest that the Wuhan virus was engineered by reverse engineering method.
    Another scientist concludes that this 100% similarity means that it "can't possibly be a natural mutation".

    Is there anyone among us who could understand virology and comment on that?

    I would be very wary of this documentary, there is a very obvious bias. There were some early papers which were very confident in the fact that SARS-CoV-2 was the result of a natural mutation. Again, it's best that we wait for the final information once all the dust settles.

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    One thing is clear, however.

    China knew long before it announced it to the world that there was human to human transmission, and they censored early research on the virus and punished doctors who were reporting on it.

    Weeks after it was seeded in other countries the WHO was still saying there was no evidence of person to person transmission, and that banning certain international flights would do more harm than good.

    Something smells. Or, as they say, where there's smoke there's fire. If I were the lead analyst or investigator I'd want to see all the data from that military facility and the one in Wuhan. I'd want to speak to one of the lead scientists whose name has been removed and no one has seen for weeks.

    Would I say that the virus was reverse engineered? I don't know. I'll wait for the epidemiologists. Could it have "escapted" from a lab? I think it's certainly possible. Will China give us the access to know for sure? No, it won't. Just like it wouldn't give access to all those concentration camps for Uighers.

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    I just could not believe it - during an interview to LT TV Chinese ambassador to Lithuania states that there is no evidence that coronavirus originated in China and that it first has been noticed in the USA and Italy...

    If an ambassador speaks this way, this is an official policy line in China now. What would follow?

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    Up until this point, we have been presenting each of our claims in a vacuum. Let us put them together:
    At some point in late 2019, many people who visited the The Huanan Seafood Marketfell ill due to a new disease. To date the origin of this disease is unknown.
    This market is less than 9 miles away from The Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, which:



    The market is also less than 3 miles away from the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control, which:


    Let us also look at the actions of China before and after the outbreak, which:



    Also in January 2020, the United States Department of Justice arrested two Chinese nationals and the Chair of the "Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University" for allegedly receiving illegal payments from China, "acting as an agent of a foreign government," and "attempting to smuggle 21 vials of biological research to China."
    Back to the market: the The Huanan Seafood Market didn’t even have bats for sale, and most bats species in Wuhan would be hibernating at the time of outbreak. It was reported that 34% of cases had no contact with the market, and ’No epidemiological link was found between the first patient and later cases’.
    If an infected animal was indeed the culprit, why did it fail to infect a single person outside of the market? It could not have been infected at the market, because there were no bats that could serve as sources of infection. So, where were all the infected people outside of Wuhan by the time SARS-CoV-2 started spreading in the market?
    We hope that this document adequately addressed each claim with what evidence is available and fulfilled its secondary responsibility of educating you on biolaboratory safety. By now, we hope you understand that these claims are not impossible; they are in fact more than likely.
    We may never be certain of the truth. What we are certain of, however, is that these claims shouldn’t be discounted, and far more research must be done to disprove either one.
    Our work as a global community must continue.
    source:
    https://project-evidence.github.io

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagne View Post
    I just could not believe it - during an interview to LT TV Chinese ambassador to Lithuania states that there is no evidence that coronavirus originated in China and that it first has been noticed in the USA and Italy...

    If an ambassador speaks this way, this is an official policy line in China now. What would follow?
    What will follow is constant denial of the Chinese.
    The wet market theory is not sufficient. But IMO the Chinese government will do everything to cover it all up.
    With no free press, no critical investigators etc we only get the Chinese spin....

    And the top of it is that the US even funded that kind of research in Wuhan. Far away from home with no people watching what happens they can do as much cruel and dangerous experiments as they want.

    US Congressman Matt Gaetz said: 'I'm disgusted to learn that for years the US government has been funding dangerous and cruel animal experiments at the Wuhan Institute, which may have contributed to the global spread of coronavirus, and research at other labs in China that have virtually no oversight from US authorities.'
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...urce-bats.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagne View Post
    I just could not believe it - during an interview to LT TV Chinese ambassador to Lithuania states that there is no evidence that coronavirus originated in China and that it first has been noticed in the USA and Italy...

    If an ambassador speaks this way, this is an official policy line in China now. What would follow?
    Not only this, but the Chinese government has threatened Australia over the investigation into its origins in China. China should be held accountable for their failings here (as well as their treatment of the Uighurs).

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    Not only this, but the Chinese government has threatened Australia over the investigation into its origins in China. China should be held accountable for their failings here (as well as their treatment of the Uighurs).
    The actual thing is that before but probably also after the corona crisis the power balance is even more shifted to China. They have a clear expanding strategy, they have or becoming large parts of Africa and Latin America 'in the pocket'. Serbia is also leaning to China. What follows in their new silk road?
    In return for investments they don't talk about 'market economy' and/or human rights....but mostly a conformist non critical attitude....
    #welcominthebravenewworld

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