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The authors consider it dubious that the pangolin is an intermediate species for the receptor biding domain. They note that the putative pangolin sequence was released after the outbreak. They claim no coronaviruses have been detected in Malaysian pangolins smuggled into China and that binding to receptors in the pangolin is significantly weaker than for human ACE-2. (However, in a forum on this site, Dr, Mayer said he was aware of pangolins smuggled into China that were very sick.)
That is true, Island girl. The pangolin theory was already debunked 3 months ago back in June.
- “Time to exonerate the pangolin from the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans”
- “No evidence of coronaviruses or other potentially zoonotic viruses in Sunda pangolins (Manis javanica) entering the wildlife trade via Malaysia”
- “Single source of pangolin CoVs with a near identical Spike RBD to SARS-CoV-2″
- “The Pan-SL-CoV/GD sequences may be from contamination”
She’s lived up to her new nom de tweet. As the search for the source of the virus continued, several scientific teams published papers identifying a closely related coronavirus in pangolins—anteater-like animals that are heavily trafficked in Asia for their meat and scales. The number of different studies made it seem as though this virus was ubiquitous in pangolins. Many scientists eagerly embraced the notion that the animals might have been the intermediate hosts that had passed the novel coronavirus to humans. It fit their preexisting theories about wet markets, and it would have meant no lab had been involved.
As Chan read the pangolin papers, she grew suspicious. The first one was by a team that had analyzed a group of the animals intercepted by anti-smuggling authorities in southern China. They found the closely related virus in a few of them, and published the genomes for that virus. Some of the other papers, though, were strangely ambiguous about where their data was coming from, or how their genomes had been constructed. Had they really taken samples from actual pangolins?
Once again, Chan messaged Shing Hei Zhan. “Shing, something’s weird here,” she wrote. Zhan pulled up the raw data from the papers and compared the genomes they had published. Individual copies of a virus coming from different animals should have small differences, just as individuals of a species have genetic differences. Yet the genomes in all of the pangolin papers were perfect matches—the authors were all simply using the first group’s data set. Far from being ubiquitous, the virus had been found only in a few pangolins who were held together, and it was unclear where they had caught it. The animals might have even caught it from their own smuggler.
Remarkably, one group of authors in Nature even appeared to use the same genetic sequences from the other paper as if it were confirmation of their own discovery. “These sequences appear to be from the same virus (Pangolin-CoV) that we identified in the present study.”
Chan called them out on Twitter: “Of course it’s the same Pangolin-CoV, you used the same dataset!” For context, she later added, “Imagine if clinical trials were playing fast and loose with their patient data; renaming patients, throwing them into different datasets without clarification, possibly even describing the same patient multiple times across different studies unintentionally.”
She and Zhan posted a new preprint on bioRxiv dismantling the pangolin papers. Confirmation came in June when the results of a study of hundreds of pangolins in the wildlife trade were announced: Not a single pangolin had any sign of a coronavirus. Chan took a victory lap on Twitter: “Supports our hypothesis all this time.” The pangolin theory collapsed.
Will be curious to read what Dr. Mayer thinks of these articles, and the response by Chris.
It’s doubtful that Dr. Mayer would give a positive review of Yan’s paper because one of its main arguments is based on the claim that RaTG13 is fake. Going by the established consensus (RaTG is real), the paper wouldn’t make too much sense. However, if RaTG13 turns out to be fake, then the paper would make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, Dr. Mayer does seem to take RaTG13 at its face value. So I wouldn’t put too much hope on it.
Nonetheless, despite its flaws, I still think the paper made a good case that this virus could be lab-made, and we cannot rule out that possibility. Just no smoking gun, imo. Hopefully, this paper can convince the public that lab origin is no conspiracy theory, but I extremely doubt that they will change their minds. The narrative of the natural origin theory has already been set. Most of them likely would not change their minds until there’s a smoking gun that suggests otherwise.
As for Chris, I think he has already moved on from this topic. I’m pretty sure he believes that it most likely came from the lab. He has other priorities to focus on just like how he had moved on from his pandemic update videos on YouTube.
On a side note, here’s a pretty objective review of Yan’s paper by Alina Chan, a molecular biologist, who has been doing a very objective scientific investigation of the virus origin. I would says she’s probably 50/50 split between lab and natural origin, based on her public display. I think she’s playing it really safe because there are no smoking guns from either side, and to avoid being labeled as a quack among the scientific community for leaning towards the lab origin side. Just my opinion, once again.
Here’s a thread from Reddit that discussed this 10 days ago for more opinions.
The general consensus seems to think we don’t need to worry about it.
It’s disheartening that the Democrats have chosen a candidate who is clearly, to anyone with medical training, experiencing progressive dementia and then compounded their error by selecting Harris over other candidates with more integrity such as Tulsi Gabbard or even a communist like Bernie Sanders (who is at least congruent with and halfway honest about his ideology).
The democrats didn’t choose her, the democratic party establishment chose her.
Here’s another one:
No-SCAR (Scarless Cas9 Assisted Recombineering) Genome Editing
Here’s the article without paywall.
From the article:
“The FDA’s database of adverse events has limitations, including a lack of verification of the reports or of causation, and the possibility that other drugs could also have been used. For those and other reasons, the database should not be used to determine the safety of a drug, though experts say it can help identify concerning safety signals.”
According to this study, HCQ apparently have the following additional effects other than acting as a zinc ionophore:
- It can change the pH at the surface of the cell membrane and, thus, inhibit the fusion of the virus to the cell membrane
- It can also inhibit nucleic acid replication, glycosylation of viral proteins, virus assembly, new virus particle transport, virus release, and other processes to achieve its antiviral effects
- It may have an “immunomodulatory effect… [that] may be useful in controlling the cytokine storm”
However, the 3rd effect may not be true as HCQ doesn’t appear to be effective when administered late, and people don’t usually experience cytokine storm until the disease becomes too serious. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Or does it only help prevent a cytokine storm?
Anti-mask and Pro-HCQ are not always mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s pretty common.
Probably unlikely. HIV can be contracted from shared needles, but you can’t get it from mosquito bites.
Ya, as much as I like Chris, he didn’t mention about the use of steroids on that study at all. I was a little surprised, since he’s usually pretty objective and analytical.