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Discussion: Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Wuhan has been working with bats and coronavirus for many years - DNA manipulations, cloning....

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  • #31
    Genetic clock data gives the date of COVID human samples all coming from a single introduction a few months ago. The same calculations show divergence from either the closest bat or pangolin sequences as a couple of decades ago. No animal host has been found carrying the decades of lost viral evolution, but it must have been evolving somewhere. There is no evidence of any human interference in this virus' evolution and where close gene sequences (like the snakes) have been found it is due to common mechanisms, and genes, of ancient origin which can be found in most current life forms. The fact that so many drug trials are going on with existing drugs for diseases as diverse as flu, HIV and SARS is due to the same common mechanisms used for cell attachment, cleavage and fusion.


    • #32
      China will promote biosecurity law as soon as possible

      March 02, 2020 23:51

      Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, March 2 (Reporters: Mei Changwei, Ding Peng) Ministry of National Defense spokesman Wu Qian said at a press conference on the army ’s support to fight the new crown pneumonia epidemic on the 2nd that China will promote the introduction of the Biosafety Law as soon as possible and accelerate Establish a national biosafety law and regulation system and an institutional guarantee system.

      Wu Qian said that strengthening national biosafety is a common practice in various countries, and the international community has always attached great importance to biosafety issues. In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development adopted Agenda 21 and the Convention on Biological Diversity, which specifically addressed the issue of biosafety. From the perspective of protecting people's health, safeguarding national security, and maintaining long-term public security, China has decided to incorporate biosafety into the national security system, systematically plan the construction of national biosafety risk prevention and control systems, and comprehensively improve national biosafety governance capabilities.

      "The occurrence of this epidemic has further highlighted the importance of biosafety." Wu Qian said, "China will promote the promulgation of the biosafety law as soon as possible, and accelerate the establishment of a national biosafety legal and regulatory system and institutional guarantee system."


      • #33
        Swiss Scientists Have Recreated the Coronavirus in a Lab

        A synthetic virus could help develop drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tests but could also be used as a bioweapon

        Giving the information above as true (I think that the lab mentioned is where I regularly send my samples to sequence…), how could be possible to publish the following article?

        Shan-Lu Liu, Linda J. Saif, Susan R. Weiss & Lishan Su
        No credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering of SARS-CoV-2,
        Emerging Microbes & Infections,

        The absence of a logical targeted pattern in the new viral sequences and a close relative in a wildlife species (bats) are the most revealing signs that SARS-CoV-2 evolved by natural evolution.

        Maybe they are not aware of the "Swiss" lab ;-P


        • #34
          Originally posted by Kathy View Post
          Swiss Scientists Have Recreated the Coronavirus in a Lab

          A synthetic virus could help develop drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tests but could also be used as a bioweapon

          Giving the information above as true (I think that the lab mentioned is where I regularly send my samples to sequence…), how could be possible to publish the following article?
          Shan-Lu Liu, Linda J. Saif, Susan R. Weiss & Lishan Su
          No credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering of SARS-CoV-2,
          Emerging Microbes & Infections,

          The absence of a logical targeted pattern in the new viral sequences and a close relative in a wildlife species (bats) are the most revealing signs that SARS-CoV-2 evolved by natural evolution.

          Maybe they are not aware of the "Swiss" lab ;-P

          This is the paper referred to above:
          Rapid reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 using a synthetic genomics platform

          Tran Thi Nhu Thao, Fabien Labroussaa, Nadine Ebert, Philip V’kovski, Hanspeter Stalder, Jasmine Portmann, Jenna Kelly, Silvio Steiner, View ORCID ProfileMelle Holwerda, Annika Kratzel, Mitra Gultom, Laura Laloli, Linda H?sser, Manon Wider, Stephanie Pfaender, Dagny Hirt, Valentina Cipp?, Silvia Crespo-Pomar, Simon Schr?der, Doreen Muth, Daniela Niemeyer, Marcel A. M?ller, Christian Drosten, View ORCID ProfileRonald Dijkman, Joerg Jores, Volker Thiel

          Last edited by sharon sanders; April 25, 2020, 04:04 PM. Reason: format


          • #35
            Kathy there is a big difference between copying the existing gene sequence and making a very different sequence engineered to behave in a different way. If you look at the Spike gene section in this post you should see just how much extra genetic code you would need to get to SARS-CoV-2 from a bat SL beta CoV.
            Last edited by sharon sanders; April 25, 2020, 04:05 PM. Reason: format


            • #36
              JJackson: I aligned the aa sequence of the spike protein of RaTG13 with the aa sequence of SARS-CoV-2 and the only gap that I see is the furin cleavage site, but maybe I am wrong, I am not a virologist. The RBD of the two sequences is quite different, but there are published methods to make chimeric viruses. A possibility would be to combine a sequence similar to RaTG13 (who knows how many sequences are not made public) with a sequence similar to the corona virus found in pangolin.

              Regarding my post on the Swiss lab, I just wanted to show that almost all is possible nowadays in genetic engineering and it should be taken in consideration.

              Please have a look at this link:

              William McEwan: This afternoon I received in the post a slim FedEx envelope containing four small vials of DNA. The DNA had been synthesized according to my instructions in under three weeks, at a cost of 39 U.S. cents per base pair (the rungs adenine-thymine or guanine-cytosine in the DNA ladder). The 10 micrograms I ordered are dried, flaky, and barely visible to the naked eye, yet once I have restored them in water and made an RNA copy of this template, THEY WILL ENCODE A VIRUS I HAVE DESIGNED. …

              I am interested in opinions about it. Is that really possible? I was myself surprised when I read it.


              • #37
                I am not a virologist either just an interested amateur.
                The sequences I show aligned at the link include all the SL beta CoVs that I am aware of and I doubt anymore old sequences will come to light. RaTG13 was a sequence that had not been uploaded to either Genbank or GISAID until after the outbreak but anyone with anymore will have come forward by know (there is more on RaTG13 at and Cut'n'paste could allow the creation of SARS-1 from the bat sequences and you could try adding in the furin cleavage site and may end up with high CFR version with SARS-CoV-2 transmissiblity. The real problem I foresee is in the improvement in computer modeling being used for drug interaction, once this reaches a point you can look at a sequence and accurately predict how it will behave in vivo then you could create something truly nasty from scratch. Unfortunately the article does not say if the virus he created actually did what he hoped for, or what virus he started with, I assume the jelly fish provided the fluorescence and he is trying to make a phage.


                • #38
                  Here another article that denies a possible genetic manipulation of SARS-CoV-2:


                  It has really weak arguments, but could influence anyway public opinion.

                  As molecular biologist, and producing myself mutants (i do not work with pathogens though), I am aware of the huge risk connected with this kind of research. We need more strict regulations all over the world and more transparency.


                  • JJackson
                    JJackson commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Welcome, I am glad you decided to join up and post. I look forward to posts from you in the future and correct me if you see anything I have written which is wrong. I try and make constructive comments but my knowledge only goes so far and would hate to be misleading others.
                    Last edited by JJackson; March 14, 2020, 08:18 AM.

                  • Kathy
                    Kathy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thank you JJackson! I am also very glad to be part of this community. It is great to have the possibility to exchange information and knowledge.

                    Regarding "cut'n'paste" of CoVs, I have found another interesting article.

                    A Mouse Model for Betacoronavirus Subgroup 2c Using a Bat
                    Coronavirus Strain HKU5 Variant
                    Sudhakar Agnihothram,a Boyd L. Yount, Jr.,a Eric F. Donaldson,a Jeremy Huynh,a Vineet D. Menachery,a Lisa E. Gralinski,a
                    Rachel L. Graham,a Michelle M. Becker,b Sakshi Tomar,d Trevor D. Scobey,a Heather L. Osswald,e Alan Whitmore,a Robin Gopal,c
                    Arun K. Ghosh,e Andrew Mesecar,d Maria Zambon,c Mark Heise,a Mark R. Denison,b Ralph S. Barica
                    Departments of Epidemiology and Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USAa; Departments of Pediatrics and
                    Pathology and Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USAb; Viral Zoonosis Unit, Public Health of England, London, United Kingdomc;
                    Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USAd; Departments of Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette,
                    Indiana, USA


                    IMPORTANCE The 2012 outbreak of MERS-CoV raises the specter of another global epidemic, similar to the 2003 SARS-CoV epidemic. MERS-CoV is related to BtCoV HKU5 in target regions that are essential for drug and vaccine testing. Because no small animal model exists to evaluate MERS-CoV pathogenesis or to test vaccines, we constructed a recombinant BtCoV HKU5 that expressed a region of the SARS-CoV spike (S) glycoprotein, thereby allowing the recombinant virus to grow in cell culture and in mice. We show that this recombinant virus targets airway epithelial cells and causes disease in aged mice. We use this platform to (i) identify a broad-spectrum antiviral that can potentially inhibit viruses closely related to MERS-CoV, (ii) demonstrate the absence of increased eosinophilic immune pathology for MERS-CoV N protein-based vaccines, and (iii) mouse adapt this virus to identify viral genetic determinants of cross-species transmission and virulence. This study holds significance as a strategy to control newly emerging viruses.

                    It looks like that genetic manipulation of CoVs spike proteins has been widely used since many years and not only in China. I have found a patent for making such chimeras.
                    Title: Methods and compositions for chimeric coronavirus spike proteins United States Patent 9884895 Inventors: Baric, Ralph (Haw River, NC, US) Agnihothram, Sudhakar (Ellicott City, MD, US) Yount, Boyd (Hillsborough, NC, US) Publication Date: 02/06/2018
                    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC, US)

                • #39
                  Opinion: Author argues the coronavirus behind the COVID-19 outbreak may have leaked from a Chinese virology lab
                  Published: Feb. 22, 2020 at 3:39 p.m. ET
                  BySteven W. Mosher

                  The lone microbiology lab in China that handles viruses like the coronavirus is located in Wuhan

                  And then there is this little-known fact: Some Chinese researchers are believed to sell laboratory animals to street vendors after they have finished experimenting on them.

                  You heard me right.

                  Instead of properly disposing of infected animals by cremation, as the law requires, they sell them on the side to make a little extra cash. Or, in some cases, a lot of extra cash. One Beijing researcher, now in jail, made the equivalent of a million dollars selling monkeys and rats on the live animal market, whence they likely wound up in someone’s stomach...

                  Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

                  i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

                  (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
                  Never forget Excalibur.


                  • #40

                    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
                    Experts know the new coronavirus is not a bioweapon. They disagree on whether it could have leaked from a research lab

                    By Matt Field, March 30, 2020
                    Professor Richard Ebright of Rutgers University’s Waksman Institute of Microbiology, a biosecurity expert who has been speaking out on lab safety since the early 2000s, does agree with the Nature Medicine authors’ argument that the new coronavirus wasn’t purposefully manipulated by humans, calling their arguments on this score strong. Ebright helped The Washington Post debunk a claim that the COVID-19 outbreak can somehow be tied to bioweapons activity, a conspiracy theory that’s been promoted or endorsed by the likes of US Sen. Tom Cotton, Iran’s supreme leader, and others.

                    But Ebright thinks that it is possible the COVID-19 pandemic started as an accidental release from a laboratory such as one of the two in Wuhan that are known to have been studying bat coronaviruses.


                    More quotes from Joe Pompeo 4/10/20 Vanity Fair interview of Ebright:

                    He also told Ignatius about a video taken in December from the nearby Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, allegedly showing staff “collecting bat coronaviruses with inadequate [personal protective equipment] and unsafe operational practices.”

                    “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.”

                    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.”
                    Last edited by Emily; April 11, 2020, 04:22 AM. Reason: Added Ebright quotations

                    Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

                    i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

                    (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
                    Never forget Excalibur.


                    • #41
                      State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses

                      April 14, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. EDT


                      What the U.S. officials learned during their visits concerned them so much that they dispatched two diplomatic cables categorized as Sensitive But Unclassified back to Washington. The cables warned about safety and management weaknesses at the WIV lab and proposed more attention and help. The first cable, which I obtained, also warns that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.



                      • #42
                        China clamping down on coronavirus research, deleted pages suggest

                        Move is likely to be part of attempt to control the narrative surrounding the pandemic

                        Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Emma Graham-Harrison and Lily Kuo
                        Sat 11 Apr 2020 08.33 EDTLast modified on Sat 11 Apr 2020 14.28 EDT
                        Two websites for leading Chinese universities appear to have recently published and then removed pages that reference a new policy requiring academic papers dealing with Covid-19 to undergo extra vetting before they are submitted for publication.

                        Research on the origins of the virus is particularly sensitive and subject to checks by government officials, the notices posted on the websites of Fudan University and the China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) said. Both the deleted pages were accessed from online caches.

                        Prof Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute in London, said the Chinese government had had a heavy focus on how the evolution and management of the virus is perceived since the early days of the outbreak.
                        “If these documents are authentic it would suggest the government really wants to control the narrative about the origins of Covid-19 very tightly,” said Tsang of the reports of new regulations.

                        China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) appears to have published and then deleted new requirements that academic papers dealing with the origins of the virus be approved by China’s ministry of science and technology before publication.
                        Another notice, which appears to have been published on 9 April by the school of information science and technology at Fudan University in Shanghai, called for “strict and serious” management of papers investigating the source of the outbreak.


                        Links of the 2 notices provided by The Guardian:

                        Translation Google:

                        Notice on Strengthening the Management of Publication of Scientific Papers on New Coronary Pneumonia

                        Modification time: 2020-04-05 09:03:43 Browse times:Times

                        Colleges and related units:

                        According to the requirements of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the actual situation of the school, the management of the papers on the research results of new coronary pneumonia research is now strengthened.

                        1. Academic papers on the traceability of the new coronavirus must be reviewed by the academic committee of the school before publication, focusing on the authenticity of the paper and whether it is suitable for publication. After the review is passed, the school reports to the Ministry of Science and Technology, which can only be published after the review by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

                        2, academic research on other new crown of pneumonia , prior to publication must Academic Committee review, review papers focused on academic value and timing of publication. After the review is passed, the academic committee of the school forms a written conclusion, and the corresponding author of the thesis will sign it for future reference.

                        Contact: Tian Yongchang, Science and Technology Affairs Center, Zhang Yunshu 67885043,

                        Academy of Science and Technology Development

                        April 5, 2020



                        Notice on the publication of papers on the achievements of scientific research on new coronary pneumonia and strengthening management
                        Every teacher:

                        Now the Academy of Sciences has reissued a notice on the publication of the research results of the new coronary pneumonia research and strengthening management. If you are involved, please follow the instructions.

                        Chen Guoping ( )

                        College of Information Science and Engineering

                        Discipline Research Office

                        Room 416, Science Building

                        Phone: 65643149

                        -------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------

                        Notice on the publication of academic papers related to the New Coronary Pneumonia Epidemic

                        Relevant universities:

                        According to the State Council, the new crown pneumonia epidemic prevention and control mechanism of scientific public opinion research group of special classes 3 Yue 25 -day meeting requirements related to the new academic crown pneumonia epidemic requires the use of category management approach to audit record. The relevant matters are hereby notified as follows:

                        1. Papers related to virus tracing should be managed strictly. After the paper is reviewed and approved by the academic committee of the college, fill in the traceability paper submission form (Annex 1 ), scan it into a PDF after the seal of the college, and send it to our contact email. After the review of the research team of the scientific research team of our company is approved, we will reply to the email notification Submissions can only be made after school.

                        2. Other papers related to the new coronary pneumonia epidemic should be reviewed by the academic committee of the college, and after the academic value and timing of the papers are in place, put forward opinions on whether to publish them at home and abroad. The submission form of the review opinion of the academic committee for the publication of the paper (Annex 2 ) can only be submitted after being filed in the school's scientific research institute.

                        3. The publication of papers must adhere to the bottom line of biosecurity, and matters related to the management of human genetic resources must be examined and approved in strict accordance with regulations. The release of the results of the vaccine should be in line with the schedule and cannot be exaggerated; the drug efficacy evaluation and clinical experience should be summed up in time to form a high-quality paper.

                        Contact person and telephone: Zhou Bin Li Renjie

                        010-66096298 66096301

                        Contact email:

                        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                        -Nelson Mandela


                        • #43
                          Published 1 hour ago
                          Last Update 18 mins ago
                          Sources believe coronavirus originated in Wuhan lab as part of China's efforts to compete with US

                          By Bret Baier, Gregg Re | Fox News

                          EXCLUSIVE: There is increasing confidence that COVID-19 likely originated in a Wuhan laboratory not as a bioweapon, but as part of China's effort to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States, multiple sources who have been briefed on the details of early actions by China's government and seen relevant materials tell Fox News.

                          This may be the "costliest government coverup of all time," one of the sources said.

                          The sources believe the initial transmission of the virus was bat-to-human, and that "patient zero" worked at the laboratory, then went into the population in Wuhan.

                          The “increasing confidence” comes from classified and open-source documents and evidence, the sources said. Fox News has requested to see the evidence directly.
                          .....Documents detail early efforts by doctors at the lab and early efforts at containment. The Wuhan wet market initially identified as a possible point of origin never sold bats, and the sources tell Fox News that blaming the wet market was an effort by China to deflect blame from the laboratory, along with the country's propaganda efforts targeting the U.S. and Italy....
                          There were doctors and journalists who were "disappeared" warning of the spread of the virus and its contagious nature and human to human transmission. China moved quickly to shut down travel domestically from Wuhan to the rest of China, but did not stop international flights from Wuhan.

                          Additionally, the sources tell Fox News the World Health Organization (WHO) was complicit from the beginning in helping China cover its tracks....



                          • #44



                            • #45
                              APRIL 15, 2020
                              Leaked State Department cables add weight to the theory that COVID-19 started in a Wuhan virology lab

                              The evidence continues to pile up

                              Oliver Bunic/Bloomberg via Getty Images
                              PHIL SHIVER

                              In 2018 — nearly two years before the start of the global coronavirus pandemic — U.S. officials in China sent warnings to Washington expressing safety concerns over a Wuhan facility's research into coronaviruses in horseshoe bats, adding weight to the theory that the novel virus originated in a lab and not at a Wuhan wet market.

                              The news broke in a report Wednesday by Josh Rogin of the Washington Post, who said that he obtained access to the first of two diplomatic cables sent from State Department officials who had visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology in January and March 2018....

                              According to Rogin, in January 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing sent American science diplomats to the Wuhan lab, which had in 2017 become the first lab in China to achieve BSL-4 clearance, or the highest level of bioresearch safety. That clearance — granted by a Chinese accrediting agency — allowed researchers at the lab to study the world's most dangerous pathogens.