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Old 2nd March 2021, 09:25 PM   #241
angrysoba
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SG, you might like this.

I found a recent video that our friend, Dr Steven Quay, posted on Twitter which is of a conference about the Origins & Spread of Coronaviruses" and Zhengli Shi is one of the speakers.

At one point (I have linked to that point), a man in the audience at the beginning of the Q&A asks Dr Shi about the Ratg13 virus even saying, "4% is not that close when you consider that humans and chimps are 99% similar".

Then he seems to spitball an idea asking if it's possible that two viruses have somehow been combined or if any... *totally innocent question alert* ...virologists present have been doing any studies to see if they can get a higher match.

Zhengli Shi asks him to repeat.

During this, it looks to me at some point (during the reasking of the second part of the question) that the woman sitting in front of him looks up and gives some side-eye as though saying, "Are you seriously asking..."

From what I could get, Zhengli Shi answers the questions straight, saying she is not sure at all if it is the closest, as for the second, she talks about recombination in same cells. But she says they simply don't know yet...

then a guy on the panel, Malik, points out that this stuff takes a lot of time and much of the stuff that we do know about SARS etc... has come from Zhengli's work. He speculates that there will probably be something found in bats, but it is going to take a long time. It's not easy; it takes years.

https://youtu.be/LSISkvlesnA?t=11006
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Old 2nd March 2021, 11:10 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
That's not testable is it?
Ideally it would be testable. My thinking is that it would be testable from a "gods eye point of view".
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Old 2nd March 2021, 11:20 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
SG, you might like this.

I found a recent video that our friend, Dr Steven Quay, posted on Twitter which is of a conference about the Origins & Spread of Coronaviruses" and Zhengli Shi is one of the speakers.

At one point (I have linked to that point), a man in the audience at the beginning of the Q&A asks Dr Shi about the Ratg13 virus even saying, "4% is not that close when you consider that humans and chimps are 99% similar".

Then he seems to spitball an idea asking if it's possible that two viruses have somehow been combined or if any... *totally innocent question alert* ...virologists present have been doing any studies to see if they can get a higher match.

Zhengli Shi asks him to repeat.

During this, it looks to me at some point (during the reasking of the second part of the question) that the woman sitting in front of him looks up and gives some side-eye as though saying, "Are you seriously asking..."

From what I could get, Zhengli Shi answers the questions straight, saying she is not sure at all if it is the closest, as for the second, she talks about recombination in same cells. But she says they simply don't know yet...

then a guy on the panel, Malik, points out that this stuff takes a lot of time and much of the stuff that we do know about SARS etc... has come from Zhengli's work. He speculates that there will probably be something found in bats, but it is going to take a long time. It's not easy; it takes years.

https://youtu.be/LSISkvlesnA?t=11006
Thank you. I haven't watched it yet but I'm looking forward to it.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:50 PM   #244
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Just to bring something up that I have discovered.

There is a bit of a spat going on between David Gorski of Science-based Medicine and someone called Kevin McCairn in the comments. Apparently Kevin McCairn's main claim regarding SARS CoV2 is that it isn't a virus, but a prion.

Kevin McCairn looks like a pretty nasty individual as well as a whack-job and he seems to be an anti-vaxxer as well.

Anyhow, when I looked into him relating to Covid-19, it turns out he is the co-author of a pre-print paper with Rosanna Segreto and Yuri Deigin claiming that Covid-19 came from a lab.

Yuri Deigin is someone active on social media claiming the escaped from a lab theory and was on Bret Weinstein's podcast.

Honestly, when these are some of the people pushing the escaped from a lab theory, it looks more and more like Trutherism than ever.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 4th March 2021, 01:54 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Just to bring something up that I have discovered.

There is a bit of a spat going on between David Gorski of Science-based Medicine and someone called Kevin McCairn in the comments. Apparently Kevin McCairn's main claim regarding SARS CoV2 is that it isn't a virus, but a prion.

Kevin McCairn looks like a pretty nasty individual as well as a whack-job and he seems to be an anti-vaxxer as well.

Anyhow, when I looked into him relating to Covid-19, it turns out he is the co-author of a pre-print paper with Rosanna Segreto and Yuri Deigin claiming that Covid-19 came from a lab.

Yuri Deigin is someone active on social media claiming the escaped from a lab theory and was on Bret Weinstein's podcast.

Honestly, when these are some of the people pushing the escaped from a lab theory, it looks more and more like Trutherism than ever.
Which is why besides maybe a mention, this belongs in the CT thread.

We are trying at least, to discuss the evidence of the COVID origin. That some CTer thinks it originated in the lab is not relevant in this thread.

It's ignorant to proclaim it is a prion. This is what I think of that: So anything else the guy has to say belongs in the other forum.

Why do you argue it's a CT instead of addressing the actual evidence pro or con? Are you having trouble understanding the difference?

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 4th March 2021 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 4th March 2021, 02:40 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Which is why besides maybe a mention, this belongs in the CT thread.

We are trying at least, to discuss the evidence of the COVID origin. That some CTer thinks it originated in the lab is not relevant in this thread.

It's ignorant to proclaim it is a prion. This is what I think of that: So anything else the guy has to say belongs in the other forum.

Why do you argue it's a CT instead of addressing the actual evidence pro or con? Are you having trouble understanding the difference?
I'm flagging those people up just in case you find yourself reading their stuff or being referred to it. Best to know who they are. It's a public service.

Besides, even if they are crazy people, it doesn't mean it didn't escape from a lab.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 4th March 2021, 08:29 PM   #247
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Okay, now this is interesting...

Quote:
A World Health Organization team investigating the origins of Covid-19 is planning to scrap an interim report on its recent mission to China amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington over the investigation and an appeal from one international group of scientists for a new probe.

The group of two dozen scientists is calling in an open letter on Thursday for a new international inquiry. They say the WHO team that last month completed a mission to Wuhan—the Chinese city where the first known cases were found—had insufficient access to adequately investigate possible sources of the new coronavirus, including whether it slipped from a laboratory.

Their appeal comes as the U.S.—which recently reversed a decision to leave the WHO—lobbies for greater transparency in the investigation, saying it is waiting to scrutinize the report on the Wuhan mission, and urging China to release all relevant data, including on the first confirmed infections in December 2019, and potential earlier ones.

Beijing, meanwhile, is pressing for similar WHO-led missions to other countries, including the U.S., to investigate whether the virus could have originated outside China and spread to Wuhan via frozen food packaging.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Feb. 12 that the team would release an interim report briefly summarizing the Wuhan mission, possibly the following week, with a full report coming weeks later. But that summary report has yet to be published and the WHO team is now scrapping that plan, said Peter Ben Embarek, the food-safety scientist who led the team. The WHO team plans to publish a summary along with the full, final report, he said. That final report “will be published in coming weeks and will include key findings,” a WHO spokesman said.
Link

Okay, so Steven Quay is actually one of the sigantories of the new open letter as well as Rossana Segreto and Bruno Canard.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 4th March 2021, 08:49 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I'm flagging those people up just in case you find yourself reading their stuff or being referred to it. Best to know who they are. It's a public service.

Besides, even if they are crazy people, it doesn't mean it didn't escape from a lab.
You mean in case I read it IN THE FUTURE?

Take it to the CT thread, thank you.
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Old 4th March 2021, 09:30 PM   #249
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Okay, now this is interesting...

Link

Okay, so Steven Quay is actually one of the sigantories of the new open letter as well as Rossana Segreto and Bruno Canard.
And McCairn is not one of the signatories.

So is it guilt by association now, Segreto and Canard wrote a paper or something with McCairn?? That's what you are basing discrediting the the whole letter with 26 signatories (if I counted right) on it? Did you look at the credentials of the signatories? There are a large number of virologists, the folks you said did not support the lab hypothesis on that letter.

And these 2:
Quote:
Bruno Canard, DR CNRS, molecular virologist, Aix Marseille University, France, (ORCID 0000-0003-4924-1991)...

Rossana Segreto, PhD, Department of Microbiology, University of Innsbruck, Austria (ORCID 0000-0002-2566-7042)

Here is the title of the preprint you think discredits 2 people on the list of 26 signatories based on the fact McCairn's name is on it.

An open debate on SARS-CoV-2's proximal origin is long overdue
Quote:
Rossana Segreto (1), Yuri Deigin (2), Kevin McCairn (3), Alejandro Sousa (4 and 5), Dan Sirotkin (6), Karl Sirotkin (6), Jonathan J. Couey (7), Adrian Jones (8), Daoyu Zhang (9) ((1) Department of Microbiology, University of Innsbruck, Austria, (2) Youthereum Genetics Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, (3) Synaptek - Deep Learning Solutions, Gifu, Japan, (4) Regional Hospital of Monforte, Lugo, Spain, (5) University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, (6) Karl Sirotkin LLC, Lake Mary, FL, USA, (7) University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, USA, (8) Independent bioinformatics researcher, (9) Independent genetics researcher)
And where is Canard on there? My head is spinning trying to find where you discredited Canard. OTOH, he was mentioned in Ridley's blog that you tried to discredit???

You're going to have to be more specific here about who you are discounting and why. Thanks.

This is an excellent link, BTW so thanks for posting it.


Please take something away from this that maybe, just maybe you've lumped a whole slew of highly qualified virologists and other research experts into an idiot bag because someone on Science Based Medicine posted bizarre claims in the comment section just happened to have his name on an editorial with other legit scientists that a serious debate on the origin of COVID was long overdue.

Please correct me if I have that wrong.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 4th March 2021 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 4th March 2021, 09:36 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Please correct me if I have that wrong.
I'm not metioning Canard, Quay and Segreto to discredit the letter at all. The opposite, if anything.

I think it is an interesting development as well as with the WHO's decision to shelve the report.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 5th March 2021, 12:26 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
.... There is a bit of a spat going on between David Gorski of Science-based Medicine and someone called Kevin McCairn in the comments. Apparently Kevin McCairn's main claim regarding SARS CoV2 is that it isn't a virus, but a prion.

Kevin McCairn looks like a pretty nasty individual as well as a whack-job and he seems to be an anti-vaxxer as well.

Anyhow, when I looked into him relating to Covid-19, it turns out he is the co-author of a pre-print paper with Rosanna Segreto and Yuri Deigin claiming that Covid-19 came from a lab.

Yuri Deigin is someone active on social media claiming the escaped from a lab theory and was on Bret Weinstein's podcast.

Honestly, when these are some of the people pushing the escaped from a lab theory, it looks more and more like Trutherism than ever.
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I'm flagging those people up just in case you find yourself reading their stuff or being referred to it. Best to know who they are. It's a public service.

Besides, even if they are crazy people, it doesn't mean it didn't escape from a lab.
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Okay, now this is interesting...

Link

Okay, so Steven Quay is actually one of the sigantories of the new open letter as well as Rossana Segreto and Bruno Canard.
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I'm not metioning Canard, Quay and Segreto to discredit the letter at all. The opposite, if anything.

I think it is an interesting development as well as with the WHO's decision to shelve the report.


Moving forward: good, glad we cleared that up, and absolutely it is an interesting development. Maybe some people trying to dismiss the idea as a CT will think again.
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Old 5th March 2021, 06:33 PM   #252
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Now, this bloke's an Aussie, so of course, I question his qualifications, experience and even what kind of human he is, but Professor Dominic Dwyer throws a huge bucket of cold water on the conspiracists.

Hate them or loathe them, one thing about Australians is they tend not to pull any punches, and I think the idea Covid came from a lab can be put to bed now: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/hea...ry-leak-theory
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Old 5th March 2021, 11:06 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
[snipped stuff that belongs in the CT thread.] https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/hea...ry-leak-theory
From your link:
Quote:
A World Health Organisation investigator looking into the source of Covid-19 in Wuhan says it's “extremely unlikely” the virus was released from a lab.
So one of the WHO investigators disagrees with the slew of virologists and other researchers/experts in relevant fields and you think that's the end of the discussion? Are you serious?

Here's his reasoning:
Quote:
“To have a leak in a laboratory, you’ve got to be growing up the virus in large amounts. Many of these bat coronaviruses, at least the ones that are very closely related to the SARS coronavirus, actually haven’t been cultured in the lab; they’re only a genetic sequence rather than a live virus,” he said.
First, we don't know what the minimal infectious dose is.

Second, I posted evidence the lab was indeed working with live cultures.

It looks like your 'debunker' took the lab workers' word for it they had no bat coronavirus culture programs. But they reported they did in papers written before COVID pandemic started.

See post #229

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Old 6th March 2021, 12:02 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
From your link:


So one of the WHO investigators disagrees with the slew of virologists and other researchers/experts in relevant fields and you think that's the end of the discussion? Are you serious?

Here's his reasoning:First, we don't know what the minimal infectious dose is.

Second, I posted evidence the lab was indeed working with live cultures.

It looks like your 'debunker' took the lab workers' word for it they had no bat coronavirus culture programs. But they reported they did in papers written before COVID pandemic started.

See post #229
The vast consensus among almost all virologists seems to be that this was NOT a lab escape. The fact that there may be a few virologists that have questions about the lab does not change that.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 6th March 2021, 12:46 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The vast consensus among almost all virologists seems to be that this was NOT a lab escape. The fact that there may be a few virologists that have questions about the lab does not change that.
There you go again arguing with hyperbole instead of facts.
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Old 6th March 2021, 01:33 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
There you go again arguing with hyperbole instead of facts.
It is a fact.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 6th March 2021, 02:08 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
There you go again arguing with hyperbole instead of facts.
Seriously that is an appalling counter argument, do you say the same about the vast consensus between climate scientists regarding ACC?
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Old 6th March 2021, 07:55 AM   #258
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We seem to have this by this great consensus.

Somewhere in the world in late 2019 scientists were studying how a virus might jump from bats to people.

Somewhere in the world in late 2019 a virus jumped from bats to people.

It is absolute coincidence it was the same place.

Fine, but my premises must be wrong somewhere.
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Old 6th March 2021, 09:54 AM   #259
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Seriously that is an appalling counter argument, do you say the same about the vast consensus between climate scientists regarding ACC?
That is established. It is not established that there is a "vast majority" of virologists who are of the belief the evidence is overwhelmingly against it being a lab accident.

There is the WHO team and their assessment has been questioned and there are virologists in China who deny it was the lab.

The vast majority have not weighed in.

Then there is a sizable number of virologists who want further investigation because they don't believe the lab accident has been ruled out.

I have asked angrysoba to provide evidence of this "vast majority" and his answer was that I should provide evidence instead. And now he repeats the assertion again.

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Old 6th March 2021, 09:56 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
We seem to have this by this great consensus.

Somewhere in the world in late 2019 scientists were studying how a virus might jump from bats to people.

Somewhere in the world in late 2019 a virus jumped from bats to people.

It is absolute coincidence it was the same place.

Fine, but my premises must be wrong somewhere.
Nicely summarized.
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Old 6th March 2021, 11:50 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
We seem to have this by this great consensus.
The consensus is clearly we don't know where Covid came from. A vocal minority may give the appearance of consensus, but it's illusory, as I shall explain to you.

Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Somewhere in the world in late 2019 scientists were studying how a virus might jump from bats to people.
They had been studying them for decades. https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/...015-0422-1.pdf

And not just coronaviruses - bats are, as Ace Ventura once said "Evil spawn of Satan!"

Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Somewhere in the world in late 2019 a virus jumped from bats to people.
Incorrect. There was an intermediary.

Originally Posted by Samson View Post
It is absolute coincidence it was the same place.
It wasn't necessarily even a coincidence. The fact that the first super-spread of Covid happened in the same city doesn't mean the first case was.

Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Fine, but my premises must be wrong somewhere.
They are. You've staked a position based on flawed evidence and loose assumptions.

The irony in that is very deep.
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Old 6th March 2021, 12:09 PM   #262
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NBC News last month:U.S. still hasn't ruled out lab accident origin for Covid because China hasn't been transparent
Quote:
...But the director general of the WHO appeared to walk back that definitive statement a few days later, saying that "all hypotheses remain open and require further analysis and study."...

...Intelligence officials counter that one key lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, removed from public view a database of 22,000 virus samples for security reasons, and has not allowed a detailed look at the lab's notes or other records.

They say it's suspicious that the virus outbreak arose in Wuhan, a hub of virus research in China, while the bats that commonly carry coronaviruses are typically found in caves a thousand miles from that city.

They note that scientists also have not found a host animal that could have transferred the virus to humans, after a year of looking....

Then there is the Aussie who TA decided ruled the lab origin out:
Quote:
One member of the team, Australian microbiologist and infectious diseases expert Dominic Dwyer, told NBC News that the scientists didn't get all the data they sought from the Chinese government, and that team members disagreed about various aspects of what they saw and heard.

"There were tense moments and disagreements and, you know, arguments about what things meant and so on, between both sides," Dwyer said. "And some of that is just because the data isn't strong enough to give a single, a great conclusion."

Dwyer says the team was given "aggregated data," as opposed to detailed, line-by-line case information, for the 174 known Covid cases from Wuhan in December....

Several members of the WHO team told NBC News they were provided with just 13 DNA sequences from the 174 cases. Of those, five had small genomic differences, suggesting a wider pool of virus, Dwyer said, though the sample was so small it was hard to draw conclusions.
Doesn't sound like a mic drop to me. Perhaps "throwing a bucket of cold water on conspiracy theorists" was just that, the CTers who are peddling the purposeful creation of a bioweapon hypothesis.

Despite the frequent framing of the lab leak hypothesis as 'extremely unlikely', it appears that drilling down finds more language of 'can't be ruled out'.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 6th March 2021 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 6th March 2021, 12:53 PM   #263
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An oped summary that is pretty thorough:

C-Net: The twisted, messy hunt for COVID-19's origin and the lab leak theory - Did COVID-19 leak from a Wuhan lab? A tangle of conspiracy and politicking has complicated the investigation into the pandemic's origin.

Absolutely CTers and politicians have muddied the waters.
Quote:
... the "lab leak theory" has wended its way back into the spotlight.

Over the last year, that theory has become increasingly difficult to ignore. Coincidences and circumstantial evidence continue to build, pointing to the Wuhan institute as a potential starting point. But the theory, and a dearth of information, has also helped spawn baseless conspiracies, like the notions that COVID-19 is a bioweapon or that it was used as a cover to install 5G across the world. ...

Investigating a possible accidental lab leak is a valid line of inquiry. Proponents of the lab leak theory argue that without a full accounting of the work performed at the WIV we may never truly know where the coronavirus came from -- and that could stifle our efforts to prevent the emergence of the next pandemic. To understand why a lab leak is so plausible to so many, we must stitch together clues, stretching a decade into the past.
A valid line of inquiry is what this thread is about.

The Caves: in 2009 a cluster of mine worker's deaths from pneumonia were investigated by the researchers from the WIV.
Quote:
At both locations, the samples were screened for pieces of genetic material from a range of infectious agents, including coronaviruses. One sample, dubbed "BtCoV4991," looked similar to the virus that caused SARS in 2002. It was entered into an online database known as GenBank in 2016 and, for the most part, it was forgotten about.

But when SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Wuhan in December 2019, the miners and BtCoV4991 were thrust back into the spotlight.
China clamped down on BBC and AP reporters looking into the pneumonia deaths at the caves.

The scientists at the WIV stated none of their research included anything close to COVID 19, and they also claimed they only had
Quote:
"All researchers have is chunks of the virus' genetic code. "This virus exists only as a virtual sequence in the computer,"
But in 2018 the WIV was working with in vivo specimens. And there is evidence (posted upthread) they were working with live bats, not just looking at virtual genomes.

Quote:
But the fact that relatives of the SARS-CoV-2 virus were discovered so far from Wuhan and then researched at the WIV has placed constant scrutiny on Shi Zhengli's work and the safety protocols in Chinese laboratories.
Pangolins:
Quote:
One specific genetic fragment of this virus was similar to that seen in SARS-CoV-2. Such a match, scientists said, made the pangolin a "probable origin" of the pandemic.
But it is not a "consensus".
Quote:
And the pangolin coronavirus data was unusual. Chan and her collaborator Shing Zhan studied the sequences, highlighting a number of inconsistencies between the major studies and questioning missing or unpublished data in a preprint paper posted to bioRxiv. She points to one Nature paper as "dishonest" and says it involves "scientifically unacceptable" practices like publishing samples under different names and the inclusion of deceptive figures. On Nov. 11, Nature added an editors' note to that paper, alerting readers to these concerns. An investigation is ongoing, though the authors have stated these were honest mistakes.

In light of these oddities, and earlier research examining the pangolin coronaviruses, microbiologist Roger Frutos believes the creatures should be "exonerated." Yet, as recently as Jan. 8, the pangolin is still being brokered as a potential starting point in the origins of COVID-19 by Shi Zhengli and other scientists.

Any continued focus on the pangolin, Frutos notes, risks misleading investigations into the origins of the disease. But he also says, even discounting the pangolin's relevance, we may be looking at the emergence of COVID-19 from the wrong angle.
There's a long discussion about natural spillover events vs lab leaks and the involved WHO research team and conflicts of interest.

Then we come to this:
Quote:
What makes discussing the lab leak theory so uncomfortable -- and potentially dangerous -- is how often it's aligned with more extreme, often sinophobic or nationalistic conspiracy theories around the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. ...

This lack of certainty has allowed conspiracy theories to fester, particularly on social media, where misinformation and a skewering of facts are prevalent. "It's not necessarily a conspiracy to consider a lab leak scenario," says Andersen, the virologist from Scripps, "but most theories about lab leaks are indeed conspiracy theories."
This is why I'm trying so hard to keep this evidence based discussion separate from the CT discussions.

Quote:
These are conspiracies. But some arguments against an accidental leak have unfairly mixed the conspiracies with legitimate lines of inquiry. An accidental leak should be given equal weight, when there's no clear evidence against it. Yet the mess of adjacent conspiracies has seen most scientists shy away from the topic altogether.
From what I see the "vast majority" of virologists don't want to get involved in the debate. After all, the crazies are involved:
Quote:
The constant questioning is wearing down researchers. For scientists like Andersen, countering misinformation around the origin story has been "extremely distracting and time consuming." One prominent virologist, Angie Rasmussen of Georgetown University, wrote in Nature Medicine that she has experienced threats of violence and sexual assault for debunking misinformation.
Further:
Quote:
A serious, reputable investigation is required.

The WHO mission in Wuhan is not prepared to do so.
It will, a spokesperson says, examine hospital records and map activities and items traded at Huanan and other seafood markets. But even if the investigation was giving serious thought to alternative hypotheses like an accidental leak, so much time has elapsed since COVID-19's emergence that we may have missed our window. "I'm afraid it's too late for the lab leak theory to be seriously investigated," says Suryanarayanan, from US Right To Know. "That said, I don't think people should give up on that."
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Old 9th March 2021, 02:03 AM   #264
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I guess this pre-print abstract is of interest to those who want to know more about the origins of Covid:

Quote:
Although a variety of SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses have been identified, the evolutionary origins of this virus remain elusive. We describe a meta-transcriptomic study of 411 samples collected from 23 bat species in a small (~1100 hectare) region in Yunnan province, China, from May 2019 to November 2020. We identified coronavirus contigs in 40 of 100 sequencing libraries, including seven representing SARS-CoV-2-like contigs. From these data we obtained 24 full-length coronavirus genomes, including four novel SARS-CoV-2 related and three SARS-CoV related genomes. Of these viruses, RpYN06 exhibited 94.5% sequence identity to SARS-CoV-2 across the whole genome and was the closest relative of SARS-CoV-2 in the ORF1ab, ORF7a, ORF8, N, and ORF10 genes. The other three SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses were nearly identical in sequence and clustered closely with a virus previously identified in pangolins from Guangxi, China, although with a genetically distinct spike gene sequence. We also identified 17 alphacoronavirus genomes, including those closely related to swine acute diarrhea syndrome virus and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. Ecological modeling predicted the co-existence of up to 23 Rhinolophus bat species in Southeast Asia and southern China, with the largest contiguous hotspots extending from South Lao and Vietnam to southern China. Our study highlights both the remarkable diversity of bat viruses at the local scale and that relatives of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV circulate in wildlife species in a broad geographic region of Southeast Asia and southern China. These data will help guide surveillance efforts to determine the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogenic coronaviruses.
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Old 9th March 2021, 03:51 PM   #265
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From the full paper (just click on download pdf and it will open):
Quote:
From May 2019 to November 2020, a total of 283 fecal samples, 109 oral swabs and 112 19 urine samples were collected from bats in Yunnan province, China. The majority of 113 samples were collected from horseshoe bats,
Interesting that collection started before the pandemic. Not saying this has anything to do with a jump, mind you. This analysis was related to COVID-19 regardless of the collection dates. They went back through specimens which makes sense if you are looking for the original jump.

The researchers are from a couple places in China (not Wuhan) one from Taiwan and a couple from the US (IIRC, I wasn't counting).

I saw this before but don't see that it moves the ball down the court except to say, we're all screwed.

Kidding, there are lots of potential sources from bats to pangolins but none look to be definitively the hot trail.

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Old 9th March 2021, 04:40 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
From the full paper (just click on download pdf and it will open):Interesting that collection started before the pandemic. Not saying this has anything to do with a jump, mind you. This analysis was related to COVID-19 regardless of the collection dates. They went back through specimens which makes sense if you are looking for the original jump.

The researchers are from a couple places in China (not Wuhan) one from Taiwan and a couple from the US (IIRC, I wasn't counting).

I saw this before but don't see that it moves the ball down the court except to say, we're all screwed.

Kidding, there are lots of potential sources from bats to pangolins but none look to be definitively the hot trail.
I think that it provides part of the bigger picture that many virologists have been warning about. Essentially it is a similar picture to what David Quammen talks about in Spillover (by the way I recommend reading the book. I think it is currently only five or six dollars on Kindle last time I checked).

The big picture is that, yeah, we could be screwed. The evolutionary picture of it coming into more and more contact with humans if we don’t address some serious ecological and agricultural policies and our relationship with wildlife, suggests that it could be an even bigger problem than if it escaped from a lab. I think the idea here is that we will be lucky if it is just a lab escape, because if not there are many more and deadlier pandemics in the pipeline.
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Old 9th March 2021, 04:49 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
...I think the idea here is that we will be lucky if it is just a lab escape, because if not there are many more and deadlier pandemics in the pipeline.
I don't see those being mutually exclusive.
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Old 9th March 2021, 05:31 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I don't see those being mutually exclusive.
True. A bigger tragedy could be of work to prevent the bigger tragedy is shut down because it is considered too dangerous. I think that could be one of the reasons the majority of virologists are so keen to play down those fears. It seems that scientists who were most concerned about gain of function research are some of those who are saying it is a possibility it escaped from a lab because that is the thing they warned about.
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Old 9th March 2021, 05:41 PM   #269
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
True. A bigger tragedy could be of work to prevent the bigger tragedy is shut down because it is considered too dangerous. I think that could be one of the reasons the majority of virologists are so keen to play down those fears. It seems that scientists who were most concerned about gain of function research are some of those who are saying it is a possibility it escaped from a lab because that is the thing they warned about.
Do we have one shred of evidence the research has prevented any potential pandemics?

I am not suggesting the research should be stopped. There's some evidence work at the lab led to a rapid identification of COVID-19 which was then shared around the world and used to develop vaccines.


But if we do find the smoking gun was fired from any lab, be it the WIV or some other nearby lab we aren't hearing as much about, then a major effort to prevent future such accidents is called for. It's probably called for anyway.
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Old 9th March 2021, 06:13 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Do we have one shred of evidence the research has prevented any potential pandemics?

I am not suggesting the research should be stopped. There's some evidence work at the lab led to a rapid identification of COVID-19 which was then shared around the world and used to develop vaccines.


But if we do find the smoking gun was fired from any lab, be it the WIV or some other nearby lab we aren't hearing as much about, then a major effort to prevent future such accidents is called for. It's probably called for anyway.
Yes. Action is needed because the hunt for viruses and formulation of plans to prevent serious spillovers is, at least according to many virologists, understaffed and underfunded.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 10th March 2021, 04:32 AM   #271
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Jamie Metzl, who I think organized that recent letter, has appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast.

He explains why he thinks a lab leak is a strong possibility...

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


...and also about the pushback against the lab leak hypothesis. He talks quite a bit about Peter Daszak as well:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 10th March 2021, 09:51 AM   #272
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That is an excellent discussion. They should be in the OP. It clearly explains all the points I've been trying to make here. He verbalizes what the paper said that I linked to in 263 for anyone that doesn't have the time to watch the videos. I highly recommend people watch the videos though.

Makes me curious now to see what people are saying in the CT origins thread. Can you see why I've tried to push the CT stuff out of this thread? A few people here slipped a bit in, in a knee jerk fashion. I understand that, we're all programed to question what doesn't sound evidence supported. But sometimes we are wrong.

I want to thank Sherkeu for getting me thinking about the circumstantial evidence the first outbreak started near the WIV. That's when I started looking at the lab leak hypothesis as plausible.

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Old 10th March 2021, 08:03 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
That is an excellent discussion. They should be in the OP. It clearly explains all the points I've been trying to make here. He verbalizes what the paper said that I linked to in 263 for anyone that doesn't have the time to watch the videos. I highly recommend people watch the videos though.

Makes me curious now to see what people are saying in the CT origins thread. Can you see why I've tried to push the CT stuff out of this thread? A few people here slipped a bit in, in a knee jerk fashion. I understand that, we're all programed to question what doesn't sound evidence supported. But sometimes we are wrong.

I want to thank Sherkeu for getting me thinking about the circumstantial evidence the first outbreak started near the WIV. That's when I started looking at the lab leak hypothesis as plausible.
You are most welcome.
I found it so curious that what seemed like very valid connections were labeled "Conspiracy!". Each bit of news I learn that gives insight out about why is was discounted early on seems to place an actual CT on those who steered the narrative away from taking a serious look at any connection to the lab.

For China to push origin theories that reduce culpability is a given- plenty of evidence that they are about as transparent as a tar pit- but the motives of the global scientists, ie the "experts", is interesting. There seems to be some "greater good" reason for it in not hampering future virus research by focusing on what is still the next big risk (negligent animal trade across regions) and not what might actually have happened.
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Old 10th March 2021, 08:56 PM   #274
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I wondered about what was going on in those caves and small villages in Yunnan. Surely there is a story there. Seems the AP tried, unsuccessfully, to get that story.

China clamps down in hidden hunt for coronavirus origins

Quote:
The area is of intense scientific interest because it may hold clues to the origins of the coronavirus that has killed more than 1.7 million people worldwide. Yet for scientists and journalists, it has become a black hole of no information because of political sensitivity and secrecy.

A bat research team visiting recently managed to take samples but had them confiscated, two people familiar with the matter said. Specialists in coronaviruses have been ordered not to speak to the press. And a team of Associated Press journalists was tailed by plainclothes police in multiple cars who blocked access to roads and sites in late November.

And while many countries tested thousands of 2019 flu samples, China did not (or at least has not disclosed data).
Quote:
The Chinese government is also limiting and controlling the search for patient zero through the re-testing of old flu samples.

Chinese hospitals collect thousands of samples from patients with flu-like symptoms every week and store them in freezers. They could easily be tested again for COVID-19...
“They’d be crazy not to do it,” Yip (of US CDC in China) said. “The political leadership will wait for that information to see, does this information make China look stupid or not? ... If it makes China look stupid, they won’t.”

But in China, scientists have only published retrospective testing data from two Wuhan flu surveillance hospitals. The data includes just 520 samples out of the 330,000 collected in China last year.

Chinese researchers found that a child over a hundred kilometers from Wuhan had fallen ill with the virus by Jan. 2, suggesting it was spreading widely in December. But earlier samples weren’t tested, according to a scientist with direct knowledge of the study.

“There was a very deliberate choice of the time period to study, because going too early could have been too sensitive,” said the scientist, who declined to be named out of fear of retribution.
Another article mentioned that much of the patient data they did publish on flu cases were mostly children sick in Jan 2020. While it was useful to know how children were affected, the dearth of pre-2020 sample testing is a glaring omission.
(here is the 4/20 published study of 366 children:
Detection of Covid-19 in Children in Early January 2020 in Wuhan, China https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmc2003717)

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Old 10th March 2021, 11:00 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
You are most welcome.
I found it so curious that what seemed like very valid connections were labeled "Conspiracy!". Each bit of news I learn that gives insight out about why is was discounted early on seems to place an actual CT on those who steered the narrative away from taking a serious look at any connection to the lab.

For China to push origin theories that reduce culpability is a given- plenty of evidence that they are about as transparent as a tar pit- but the motives of the global scientists, ie the "experts", is interesting. There seems to be some "greater good" reason for it in not hampering future virus research by focusing on what is still the next big risk (negligent animal trade across regions) and not what might actually have happened.
You don't need to put scare quotes around the word "experts".

Peter Daszak, Zhengli Shi, Kristian Andersen, Ian Lipkin, Vincent Racaniello, Eddie Holmes, Angela Rasmussen, Linfa Wang, Hume Field, Malik Peiris etc... are experts. Given that they are experts, it is probably worth paying attention to them.

Generally speaking, they don't seem to be that interested in talking about it, presumably because there are other things to talk about. Vincent Racaniello, for example, simply says this...

https://youtu.be/AwPbA2k3Ub0?t=5222
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 10th March 2021, 11:30 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
You don't need to put scare quotes around the word "experts".

Peter Daszak, Zhengli Shi, Kristian Andersen, Ian Lipkin, Vincent Racaniello, Eddie Holmes, Angela Rasmussen, Linfa Wang, Hume Field, Malik Peiris etc... are experts. Given that they are experts, it is probably worth paying attention to them.

Generally speaking, they don't seem to be that interested in talking about it, presumably because there are other things to talk about. Vincent Racaniello, for example, simply says this...

https://youtu.be/AwPbA2k3Ub0?t=5222
Those aren't "scare quotes". I meant it to accentuate the "actual" leading experts in the field. Maybe there is some "scare quote" internet grammar guide I missed because I was accused of it last week as well- and did not intend it then either.

I may switch to some other "syntax" for emphasis.
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Old 10th March 2021, 11:59 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
Those aren't "scare quotes". I meant it to accentuate the "actual" leading experts in the field. Maybe there is some "scare quote" internet grammar guide I missed because I was accused of it last week as well- and did not intend it then either.

I may switch to some other "syntax" for emphasis.

I’d suggest using bold or italics for emphasis. Quotes in a text format are generally used for actual quotes, or considered like air quotes in voice conversation (scare quotes or indicating sarcasm)

Just my $.02


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Old 15th March 2021, 05:32 AM   #278
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Quote:
Virus host shifts are generally associated with novel adaptations to exploit the cells of the new host species optimally. Surprisingly, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has apparently required little to no significant adaptation to humans since the start of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and to October 2020. Here we assess the types of natural selection taking place in Sarbecoviruses in horseshoe bats versus the early SARS-CoV-2 evolution in humans. While there is moderate evidence of diversifying positive selection in SARS-CoV-2 in humans, it is limited to the early phase of the pandemic, and purifying selection is much weaker in SARS-CoV-2 than in related bat Sarbecoviruses. In contrast, our analysis detects evidence for significant positive episodic diversifying selection acting at the base of the bat virus lineage SARS-CoV-2 emerged from, accompanied by an adaptive depletion in CpG composition presumed to be linked to the action of antiviral mechanisms in these ancestral bat hosts. The closest bat virus to SARS-CoV-2, RmYN02 (sharing an ancestor about 1976), is a recombinant with a structure that includes differential CpG content in Spike; clear evidence of coinfection and evolution in bats without involvement of other species. While an undiscovered “facilitating” intermediate species cannot be discounted, collectively, our results support the progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 being capable of efficient human–human transmission as a consequence of its adaptive evolutionary history in bats, not humans, which created a relatively generalist virus.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 15th March 2021, 08:21 AM   #279
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
We seem to have this by this great consensus.

Somewhere in the world in late 2019 scientists were studying how a virus might jump from bats to people.

Somewhere in the world in late 2019 a virus jumped from bats to people.

It is absolute coincidence it was the same place.

Fine, but my premises must be wrong somewhere.
Corona viruses in bats in that region have been recognised as dangerous and a risk for making the jump from bats to humans even before the SARS outbreak 20 years ago. OF COURSE the Wuhan lab is studying this issue. China only has 2 BSL-4 labs where live viruses can be studied and this one is located in a known high risk area. In fact studying this known risk is likely a major reason why the lab was built in the first place.

The fact that a virology lab is studying viruses tells us absolutely nothing about whether this is where the viruses came from because this is what BSL-4 labs do and they would be doing it REGARDLESS of where the outbreak occurred.

As to why the outbreak and lab are in exactly the same city, there is a little coincidence there but you also need to take into account that:
- Since SARS, another bat virus jumping to humans has been considered highly probabaly and possibly inevitable.
- the region is a high risk for this type of event so it makes sense for this lab to be doing the work.
- not only is the city in an area where bat viruses could jump to humans, there are cultural practices like live animal markets where infected animals are brought into close contact with a large number of people.

If we narrow down where this "inevitable" crossover is likely to occur to a large city, in that region of China where live animal markets are still the norm and Wuhan looks like a probable epicenter for any such event. It's no coincidence e at all that is where China would center it's research.
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Old 15th March 2021, 08:34 AM   #280
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
From the full paper (just click on download pdf and it will open):Interesting that collection started before the pandemic.
Identifying bat viruses in China has been an ongoing research topic since SARS, because a virus like Covid has emerging there been a known risk for at least that long.

What is actually most telling is that for all the samples collected in that time Covid-19 was NOT one of them. For it to get into a lab in the first place someone needed to have collected it, so finding either in the wild or in the previously collected samples should be relatively straightforward. The fact that no really close ancestor has yet been identified suggests Covid was never collected and never in a lab and therefor could not have escaped from one.
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