Experts Assert ‘Rare’ Genome Sequencing Shows Coronavirus Bioengineered, Optimized for Human Infectivity
Also, Chinese medical researchers created mice with ‘humanized lungs’ mere months before the pandemic began, suggesting a gain-of-function focus.
Early last month, I reported on a classified study of SARS-CoV-2’s origin conducted a year ago by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists, the Department of Energy’s premier biodefense research institution. They determined the virus could have originated in a laboratory in China.
The study has attracted serious interest in Congress due to the administration’s order that U.S. intelligence agencies report within 90 days on how the virus emerged. The research focuses on the genome, which is the complete set of genetic information on the organism and can be used to trace the virus’s genetic history….natural or otherwise.
Lawrence Livermore has considerable expertise on biological issues. Its assessment drew on genomic analysis of the SARS-COV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, they said.
Scientists analyze the genetic makeup of viruses to try to determine how they evolved and spread in the population. Proponents on both sides of the debate over the origins of Covid-19 have cited such analysis to try to make their case.
A spokeswoman for Lawrence Livermore declined to comment on the report, which remains secret.
The assessment is said to have been among the first U.S. government efforts to seriously explore the hypothesis that the virus leaked from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology along with the competing hypothesis the pandemic began with human contact with infected animals.
Now, Drs Stephen Quay, CEO of biopharmaceutical company Atossa Therapeutics Inc, and Richard Muller, a physics professor at the University of California Berkeley, assert that “rare” genome sequences prove a Chinese lab bioengineered SARS-cov-2. The Wall Street Journal published the analysis on Sunday (emphasis is mine).
A genome is a blueprint for the factory of a cell to make proteins. The language is made up of three-letter “words” [i.e. codons] 64 in total, that represent the 20 different amino acids. For example, there are six different words for the amino acid arginine, the one that is often used in supercharging viruses. Every cell has a different preference for which word it likes to use most.
In the case of the gain-of-function supercharge, other sequences could have been spliced into this same site. Instead of a CGG-CGG (known as “double CGG”) that tells the protein factory to make two arginine amino acids in a row, you’ll obtain equal lethality by splicing any one of 35 of the other two-word combinations for double arginine. If the insertion takes place naturally, say through recombination, then one of those 35 other sequences is far more likely to appear; CGG is rarely used in the class of coronaviruses that can recombine with CoV-2.
In fact, in the entire class of coronaviruses that includes CoV-2, the CGG-CGG combination has never been found naturally. That means the common method of viruses picking up new skills, called recombination, cannot operate here. A virus simply cannot pick up a sequence from another virus if that sequence isn’t present in any other virus.
Quay and Muller point to the “double CGG” sequence as the “damning fact” suggesting a laboratory origin. Natural-origin believers would have to explain it away:
Proponents of zoonotic origin must explain why the novel coronavirus, when it mutated or recombined, happened to pick its least favorite combination, the double CGG,” they wrote. “Why did it replicate the choice the lab’s gain-of-function researchers would have made?
“At the minimum, this fact — that the coronavirus, with all its random possibilities, took the rare and unnatural combination used by human researchers — implies that the leading theory for the origin of the coronavirus must be laboratory escape.”
Quay and Muller also note that Chinese researchers use mice genetically modified to have the same coronavirus receptor in their lungs as humans, called “humanized mice.” Scientists repeatedly expose the mice to the virus to encourage adaptation. This approach is a hallmark of gain-of-function research. As a result, the coronavirus appears optimized for human infectivity.
Interestingly, the Chinese military medical researchers engineered these animals just months before the outbreak began.
The mice, developed using CRISPR gene-editing technology, were mentioned in an April 2020 study which researched their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness, Vanity Fair revealed in its bombshell investigation.
Of the study’s 23 co-authors, 11 of them worked for the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, the medical research institute for the Chinese army.
Investigators with the U.S. National Security Council, researching the origins of the pandemic, determined that the mice referenced in the study were created in the summer of 2019 – just months before the emergence of the pandemic.
As I noted before, each addition to the coronavirus origin timeline is more disturbing than before.DONATE
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