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Covid Origins: Lab leak hypothesis

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  • #16
    I am especially stunned to see Baric sign it (given some of his previously cautious comments) as he is bascially the western equivalent of Shi Zhengli and arguably the wests scientific leader on GOF research on coronaviruses.

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    • #17
      Its important to note that not all the scientists who signed think lab is the most likely origin, some of them do, some dont, yet they all signed asking for a proper inquiry despit their disagreements. Thats what sceince really is, not the puke the poltical community and increasingly the media serve out.

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      • #18
        What does every lawyer tells you when in an accident? Admit nothing no matter what the evidence says. 161 million world wide cases and 3.5 million deaths. You have any idea the compensation China will have to pay if they determine it is lab released? Never mind communism, even the most democratic of countries will be dragging their feet and deflecting as much as possible. And frankly, that's their job. Avoid the liability as much as possible.
        Chimo

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
          What does every lawyer tells you when in an accident? Admit nothing no matter what the evidence says. 161 million world wide cases and 3.5 million deaths. You have any idea the compensation China will have to pay if they determine it is lab released? Never mind communism, even the most democratic of countries will be dragging their feet and deflecting as much as possible. And frankly, that's their job. Avoid the liability as much as possible.
          No doubt. Still the west can run its own open investigation and has its own intelligence. Even if we cant determine ultimately the origin we can improve our understanding and inform our own future approaches. No reason why we couldnt be the source of the next one, natural or lab, and there are steps we can take to reduce the chances of either.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
            What does every lawyer tells you when in an accident? Admit nothing no matter what the evidence says. 161 million world wide cases and 3.5 million deaths. You have any idea the compensation China will have to pay if they determine it is lab released? Never mind communism, even the most democratic of countries will be dragging their feet and deflecting as much as possible. And frankly, that's their job. Avoid the liability as much as possible.
            I guess what I am saying is we also have a job to do, and I am hopeful that the Biden admin can do it, but some in the USA political, media nd scientific communities have failed to do their roles adequately. It would be good if we can begin to move beyond that now.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by tantalus View Post
              I guess what I am saying is we also have a job to do, and I am hopeful that the Biden admin can do it, but some in the USA political, media nd scientific communities have failed to do their roles adequately. It would be good if we can begin to move beyond that now.
              You do know science will take a big hit PR wise if this turns out to be lab release (accidental or not). Some lab coat was mutating the virus to better infect humans (Dr Redford is of that opinion since this bug took almost un-natural quantum leap from natural to being able to be spreading this fast). To be sure, there is scientific value in mutating viruses to better infect humans so that we can come up with viable defences. But if this is indeed lab release, then scientific community will have to bear the blame.

              Chimo

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              • #22
                Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                It hasn't been possible to discuss this openly since the big orange man endorsed it last spring.
                Good you started this thread. I noticed something strange around Jan. Where what was once considered CT started becoming less so.

                Posted elsewhere already relating to this.


                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                Second time i'm hearing this Dascak name. Nalapat said the same thing as Nicholas Wade.



                The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan? | The Bulletin | May 05 2021
                Bulletin does not do CT


                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                Grim discussion



                Nalapat makes some interesting points. He mentions Peter Daszak

                I was wondering why there was no condemnation from the world of China when it come to this virus. At best you could say its been muted. Some voices of dissent but nothing more than that.

                If other govts were involved with that Wuhan lab they won't like that information to come out. The French built the Wuhan lab.

                It isn't just China that does not want the truth to come out but also other govts. US for instance which is why the Democrats aren't too keen to push this further.

                Democrats or not is irrelevant, the Repubs would be no different here. Innocent or not everyone that collaborated with Wuhan gets tainted. Not only China.

                So China is sitting pretty right now. They have nothing to fear.

                That is what i get from what Nalapat said.
                As to why the condemnation has been muted.

                One thing though. The Aussies are in the clear
                Last edited by Double Edge; 16 May 21,, 06:43.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                  You do know science will take a big hit PR wise if this turns out to be lab release (accidental or not). Some lab coat was mutating the virus to better infect humans (Dr Redford is of that opinion since this bug took almost un-natural quantum leap from natural to being able to be spreading this fast). To be sure, there is scientific value in mutating viruses to better infect humans so that we can come up with viable defences. But if this is indeed lab release, then scientific community will have to bear the blame.
                  I am a huge advocate for science and the value it is and will bring. But yes it would take a hit. There may be some upside to that scenario. Our scientific and techological capabilities will explode this century, We will develop technolgies that will match nuclear weapons and exceed them in danger, and they will be far more accessible than nukes, we need to progress with as much care as we can muster, this could be a motivator, as a silver lining, to take safeguarding more seriously.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Double Edge View Post


                    As to why the condemnation has been muted.

                    One thing though. The Aussies are in the clear
                    Its definitely a factor that strong advocates of GOF and those involved with the Wuhan labs are really eager to avoid this. It may be both true that proper protocols may have not been followed in the USA on this, and that there may have been no wrongdoing of note, but either way people like Fauci would get scalped, fairly or unfairly, so they are eager to avoid this and hoping, and irrationally weighing zoonotic as the stronger possibility because careers and legacies are tied up in this. I am sympathetic as many saw the reasearch as necessary and for the good. As always people get unfairly judged when politics and hindsight bias gets involved. I happen to think its been an even bigger problem with the scientists, than those making policy. While it continues to be a factor, it is slowly disintegrating, this letter in Science has the potential to vaporise the CT notion as many of the big hitters have signed.

                    Whats been a bigger problem than pre covid actions around research and funding, is how some involved in GOF and budget allocation have handled the lab leak hypothesis once the CCP abandoned the pangolin wet market hypothesis by their own admission. It has been irrational and embarrassing, and frankly that desciption is genereous.

                    The media has also had a mini meltdown, and not just in the States. The 2 early letters (by scientists) were disastrous here, as was Trumps bizarre response to the pandemic, and then transparent attemp to blame his fuckups on China, I dont think the CCP could believe their luck, after that the media were incapable of doing their job, and very few scientists would touch it due to fear of looking racist (one of the draw backs of cancel culture and those with the loudest voices are the only ones you can hear). In the end we have had a collective meltdown when it comes to applying common sense.
                    Last edited by tantalus; 16 May 21,, 15:19.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                      It hasn't been possible to discuss this openly since the big orange man endorsed it last spring.
                      It wasn't Trump that stopped me from discussing it here. As leader of the ruling party i was open to anything and everything he had to say until shown otherwise.

                      What stopped me was an interview Steve Bannon did last Feb with a person with a background in bioweapons called Steven Hatfill. Youtube has since removed Bannon's channel so that interview isn't accessible any more. Bannon's uploaded his shows elsewhere though.

                      I made an exception for Dr. Yan though.

                      Hatfill pointed out that the genome had been sequenced several times by then (couple of months later after the breakout) around the world and there was no evidence of any tampering. Presumably if it was engineered there would be tell tale signs in the genome.

                      But over a year later, Wade mentions that this virus has these furin cleavage sites making it well adapted to infect humans which are not seen in other SARS viruses suggesting that this new functionality could not have or is unlikely to have been acquired through the natural course of evolution.

                      This is up for debate but at least somebody is pointing out that this virus has things that should not be there.
                      Last edited by Double Edge; 16 May 21,, 17:05.

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                      • #26
                        Sharri Markson's reporting


                        Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                        The PLA thinks the SARS 2003 outbreak was a biological terrorist attack unleashed on China (!)

                        The lead PLA scientist pushing this line is Xu Dezhong

                        Chinese military scientists discussed weaponising SARS coronaviruses | Weekend Australian | May 07 2021



                        Here she is elaborating further



                        An earlier interview in Feb this year with a couple of members willing to reveal themselves from the group Sharri collaborated with called drastic

                        Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                        The media has also had a mini meltdown, and not just in the States.
                        Still happening.



                        This is the part i don't get. What's their interest is muddying the waters here.
                        Last edited by Double Edge; 16 May 21,, 17:19.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                          It wasn't Trump that stopped me from discussing it here. As leader of the ruling party i was open to anything and everything he had to say until shown otherwise.

                          What stopped me was an interview Steve Bannon did last Feb with a person with a background in bioweapons called Steven Hatfill. Youtube has since removed Bannon's channel so that interview isn't accessible any more. Bannon's uploaded his shows elsewhere though.

                          I made an exception for Dr. Yan though.

                          Hatfill pointed out that the genome had been sequenced several times by then (couple of months later after the breakout) around the world and there was no evidence of any tampering. Presumably if it was engineered there would be tell tale signs in the genome.

                          But over a year later, Wade mentions that this virus has these furin cleavage sites making it well adapted to infect humans which are not seen in other SARS viruses suggesting that this new functionality could not have or is unlikely to have been acquired through the natural course of evolution.

                          This is up for debate but at least somebody is pointing out that this virus has things that should not be there.
                          So the problem with no signs of tampering is that its both true and false. Its true there are no signs of alteration. In the wild there would be mutations that could naturally lead to it becoming more infectious by natural selection and it would look and be ofcourse natural. In the lab you can pass the virus through animals or animal cells where it undergoes the same mutations and selection. Its the same process brought from the wild to the lab except you have a human looking at the mutations and doing part of the selection by choosing which sequences to allow to survive and pass through more animals or cells. Technically these 2 processes are the same and you can't tell them apart from looking at the gemome sequences. But for the point of view of pandemic management there is clearly a vital distinction between them. The human can select for human infectivity more efficiently if thats what the researcher wants too achieve.

                          As for the furin clevage site, its true its present in MERS and not SARS and we know it increases infectivity in humans. But its presence could have occured through natural recombination in the wild. After all it appeared in MERS naturally. That said, if you did create a GOF virus you would use seek to create features currently known by science to increase infectivity, the cleavage site would make sense. I would suggest such a feature present favours lab slightly on a probabilistic level, but mechanistically it doesnt point to lab over natural per se. Over all stating there are clear finger prints of manipulation on a genetic level are wildly overstated imo and are an unhelpful distraction as they create obvious strawmen to target. But saying the presence of certain features are irrelevent when considering lab vs zoonotic is also not true. The fact this unusual feature is known widely by scientists as an obvious insertion/inclusion via serial passaging to increase human infectivity in the lab is worth noting.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                            An earlier interview in Feb this year with a couple of members willing to reveal themselves from the group Sharri collaborated with called drastic
                            Drastic have had a huge influence. I am skeptical this weeks letter in Science woud have occured without their work. One of the anonymous members, i think called the Seeker discovered the online masters thesis which showed the Wuhan labs had sequenced the closest known relative in 2013 and brought in back for study, caught the ccp and Shi lying. Bottom line is the CCP tried to scrub and control everything and with the internet individual people can actually find useful info. Its worth remebering that most sars research is open to the public, only after a possible lab leak would this non senstive info become sensitive or top secret such as the random masters thesis found.

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                            • #29
                              Another interview with Nicholas Wade



                              the virus when it makes this progression leaves all kinds of telltale signs in the environment.

                              I mean, first of all, there's the host population of bats, which you can find. Then there's an enormous trace left in, in human serology. So hospitals have surveillance records, and you can go back and test people who've been exposed in the case of SARS-1, which is very indicative, you'll see the virus picking up one mutation after another as it adapted itself first, to civets, and then to humans.

                              So at first it was very mild pathogen in humans, and then a few more mutations made it a stronger pathogen. And a few more, I think there's 13 mutations all together. By this time, there's a really strong pathogen. So you can track that retrospectively in the human population.

                              With the case of SARS-2, what is about to become increasingly clear, and increasingly bizarre is there is no such trace of SARS-2 emerging in the natural environment in the same pattern as SARS-1.

                              And that WHO commission that went to Beijing, although it seemed at first sight, propaganda victory for the Chinese because they kept on saying, "well, lab escape is ridiculous, we're hardly going to even consider it".

                              What was also clear was that the Chinese had not been able to provide a shred of evidence in favour of the natural emergence hypothesis.

                              So each month that goes by and you have no more evidence of natural emergence makes you have to consider more strongly the lab escape hypothesis.

                              So in other words, if it was the normal natural emergence route as the previous epidemics, by now, you would have expected either some trace in the virus itself or this intermediary species to have been identified and so far it hasn't.

                              That's exactly true. So with SARS-1, I think we knew, we could see the trace in the natural environment after three months. And after MERS it was after seven months, we found this evidence.

                              So despite a presumably very intensive search, by the Chinese unless they knew better not to bother, we haven't found any of this to backup, the natural emergence hypothesis for SARS-2.
                              SARS-1 & MERS left an audit trail that is missing with SARS-2

                              We don't find such an audit trail with SARS-2

                              The evidence of natural emergence with SARS-2 is weaker in comparison.
                              Last edited by Double Edge; 21 May 21,, 16:17.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                                Another interview with Nicholas Wade





                                SARS-1 & MERS left an audit trail that is missing with SARS-2

                                We don't find such an audit trail with SARS-2

                                The evidence of natural emergence with SARS-2 is weaker in comparison.
                                Atleast we havent found it yet. Buy yes agree its another factor pointing tenously in lab direction.

                                Worth noting that H1N1 was a nightmare to track in 09 but I suspect there were particular challenges regarding a flu strain from pig factory farming (global iindustry, huge geo area, huge disease noise) combined with bird and human strains, was relatively benign so we werent looking early on for its origins although I have never read an expert account as to the challenges of sourcing it.

                                Mers and Sars 1 were definitely tracked very rapidly and they had far inferior genetic sequencing scale and speed back then (orders of magnitude) edit...well atleast for SARS 1, MERS is more recent.
                                Last edited by tantalus; 22 May 21,, 16:18.

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