[conspire] (forw) Re: [skeptic] The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora???s box at Wuhan?

Deirdre Saoirse Moen deirdre at deirdre.net
Tue May 25 19:10:33 PDT 2021

Rick said:

> Dr. James Duehr _is_ a virologist.
> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kAHSEx9-eIyVIahczH8itHaUm9jI9WX7/view

> That's his FAQ entitled "Wny SARS-CoV-2 Is Not Connected to the Wuhan
> Institute of Virology in Any Way".  He also cites his reasons for being
> confident that the virus is not manmade anywhere else, either.  In a
> nutshell, he thinks it's highly likely ('by a landslide') that
> SARS-CoV-2 arose zoonotically in humans from bats or other species, and 
> is not connected to Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) or any other
> laboratory in any way.

My take, having read all the arguments one day, is basically this:

1. The people who think that it was connected to WIV tend to *dramatically* overestimate what we know about viruses. It's almost hilarious how little we know.
2. If it were engineered, it'd be more like SARS (14-15% fatal) or MERS (35% fatal) as those are the closest human forms we've had.
3. If engineering a new virus, it would have been far more likely to take one of the existing common cold forms of the coronavirus and make it more lethal rather than take something dramatically bad and trying to make it less lethal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_cold#Viruses
4. People who work in biohazard level labs are really used to the constraints (my first husband worked with organophosphates as a research chemist). If you want to go see what some of the actual work is, I recommend this 10-minute video from TWiV (This Week in Virology) host Vincent Racaniello: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGVDYGxqtJ0

He shows off his favorite experiment. My personal favorite I've done is gel electrophoresis. 7-min vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VraA7Tj6AZM Until I did it, I didn't realize how ephemeral the samples are. I'd assumed they were printed on film or something. No. It's just DNA in gel. You get the fragments that go through the gel by RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism).
  Deirdre Saoirse Moen
  deirdre at deirdre.net

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