(BEIJING, China.) Coronavirus Opinion Report: Crucial questions are being asked about where and how did #COVID19 begin and many virologists and media are beginning to look the way it mutates and adapts to its a environment and that it is being singled out as very different to other SARS-COVID-2 that emerged in China that has now become a worldwide #pandemic ….But are we looking at a Chimera of sorts? #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – July.20: Editor says these are the latest posts that l have put together from various sources that are looking at the #coronavirus construct and as a man who constructed systems and contracts l have applied this to this post and l say this it is simply an opinion report and as with systems and contracts it can vary according to additional details daily as removing or replacing a part or paragraph can change its who meaning:

The #coronavirus that is now threatening the world is subtly different from the one that first emerged in China: Sars-Cov-2, the official name of the virus that causes the disease Covid-19, and continues to blaze a path of destruction across the globe, is mutating: But, while scientists have spotted thousands of mutations, or changes to the virus’s genetic material, only one has so far been singled out as possibly altering its behaviour: The crucial questions about this mutation are: does this make the virus more infectious – or lethal – in humans? And could it pose a threat to the success of a future vaccine? BBC.Com/

#Coronavirus Report: Are mutations making coronavirus more infectious? BBC Health News reports

This coronavirus is actually changing very slowly compared with a virus-like flu: With relatively low levels of natural immunity in the population, no vaccine and few effective treatments, there’s no pressure on it to adapt. So far, it’s doing a good job of keeping itself in circulation as it is: The notable mutation – named D614G and situated within the protein making up the virus’s “spike” it uses to break into our cells – appeared sometime after the initial Wuhan outbreak, probably in Italy. It is now seen in as many as 97% of samples around the world.

Evolutionary edge ………..The question is whether this dominance is the mutation giving the virus some advantage, or whether it’s just by chance.

Viruses don’t have a grand plan: They mutate constantly and while some changes will help a virus reproduce, some may hinder it. Others are simply neutral. They’re a “by-product of the virus replicating,” says Dr Lucy van Dorp, of University College London. They “hitch-hike” on the virus without changing its behaviour: The mutation that has emerged could have become very widespread just because it happened early in the outbreak and spread – something known as the “founder effect”. This is what Dr van Dorp and her team believe is the likely explanation for the mutation being so common. But this is increasingly controversial.

A growing number – perhaps the majority – of virologists now believe, as Dr Thushan de Silva, at the University of Sheffield, explains, there is enough data to say this version of the virus has a “selective advantage” – an evolutionary edge – over the earlier version: Though there is still not enough evidence to say “it’s more transmissible” in people, he says, he’s sure it’s “not neutral”.

When studied in laboratory conditions, the mutated virus was better at entering human cells than those without the variation, say professors Hyeryun Choe and Michael Farzan, at Scripps University in Florida: Changes to the spike protein the virus uses to latch on to human cells seem to allow it to “stick together better and function more efficiently”…………..But that’s where they drew the line. …………….Prof Farzan said the spike proteins of these viruses were different in a way that was “consistent with, but not proving, greater transmissibility”.

Lab result proof

At the New York Genome Center and New York University, Prof Neville Sanjana, who normally spends his time working on gene-editing technology Crispr, has gone one step further.

His team edited a virus so that it had this alteration to the spike protein and pitted it against a real Sars-CoV-2 virus from the early Wuhan outbreak, without the mutation, in human tissue cells: The results, he believes, prove the mutated virus is more transmissible than the original version, at least in the lab.

Dr van Dorp points out “it is unclear” how representative they are of transmission in real patients: But Prof Farzan says these “marked biological differences” were “substantial enough to tilt the evidence somewhat” in favour of the idea that the mutation is making the virus better at spreading.

Outside a Petri dish, there is some indirect evidence this mutation makes coronavirus more transmissible in humans: Two studies have suggested patients with this mutated virus have larger amounts of the virus in their swab samples. That might suggest they were more infectious to others: They didn’t find evidence that those people became sicker or stayed in hospital for longer, though: In general, being more transmissible doesn’t mean a virus is more lethal – in fact the opposite is often true. There’s no evidence this coronavirus has mutated to make patients more or less sick.

But even when it comes to transmissibility, viral load is only an indication of how well the virus is spreading within a single person. It doesn’t necessarily explain how good it is at infecting others: The “gold standard” of research – a controlled trial – hasn’t yet been carried out. That might involve, for example, infecting animals with either one or the other variant of the virus to see which spreads more in a population: One of the studies’ leads, Prof Bette Korber, at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US, said there was not a consensus, but the idea the mutation increased patients’ viral load was “getting less controversial as more data accrues”.

The mutation is the pandemic………..When it comes to looking at the population as a whole, it’s difficult to observe the virus becoming more (or less) infectious. Its course has been drastically altered by interventions, including lockdowns…………But Prof Korber says the fact the variant now appears to be dominant everywhere, including in China, indicates it may have become better at spreading between people than the original version. Whenever the two versions were in circulation at the same time, the new variant took over.

In fact, the D614G variant is so dominant, it is now the pandemic. And it has been for some time – perhaps even since the start of the epidemic in places like the UK and the east coast of the US: So, while evidence is mounting that this mutation is not neutral, it doesn’t necessarily change how we should think about the virus and its spread: On a more reassuring note, most of the vaccines in development are based on a different region of the spike so this should not have an impact on their development. And there’s some evidence the new form is just as sensitive to antibodies, which can protect you against an infection once you’ve had it – or been vaccinated against it: But since the science of Covid-19 is so fast-moving, this is something all scientists – wherever they stand on the meaning of the current mutations – will be keen to keep an eye on.

On April 7th, a Trump campaign advisor told the Los Angeles Times “One way we still win this election is by turning it into a referendum on China.” Within weeks the Washington Post noted “reports that the Trump administration has sought to pressure U.S. intelligence agencies to search for proof of a link between the Wuhan lab and the #COVID19 outbreak.

Norwegian virologist claims coronavirus is ‘chimera’ made in Chinese lab

British-Norwegian study alleges COVID-19 has ‘inserted sections’

By Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2020/06/10 18:37

Shi Zhengli (left) in WIV lab in 2017.

Shi Zhengli (left) in WIV lab in 2017. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A joint British-Norwegian study alleges that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is a “chimera” constructed in a Chinese lab: A study, authored by University of London Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian virologist Birger Sorensen and published in Cambridge University’s QRB Discovery, claims that Sars-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, did not evolve naturally but rather was artificially manipulated. Specifically, the authors allege that the spike proteins of the virus contain “inserted sections.”

#Coronavirus Report: Full Text of US State Dept Cables Released Showing Safety in Chinese Lab:

And that same month selected portions of two diplomatic cables from 2018 were leaked to the Washington Post, and published in a controversial “opinion piece.” The Post requested “expedited processing” for the release of the complete text of both cables — a routine request which was nevertheless denied: (Though a virologist at Columbia University shared a rebuttal in memes.) The complete text of the cables has now been released — and the additional information undercuts the story line that the lab — which was located a full nine miles from the market at the centre of the outbreak — was anything less than safe.

Though the Post’s opinion piece had highlighted a clause about “a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory” — the diplomats had actually been concerned instead that the shortage would interfere with the lab’s productivity and utilisation — and not it’s safety. And there was apparently more information in the cable which was withheld. CNN reports: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/18/politics/state-department-cable-coronavirus-chinese-lab/index.html The January 2018 cable, obtained by the Washington Post after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, noted that ties between the WIV and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston could help alleviate the shortage and that, reportedly, the US-based institution was training technicians to work at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). A second cable about the WIV from April 2018 cited a French official who said that “French experts have provided guidance and biosafety training to the lab, which will continue….”

Back in April a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development surmised the misleading excerpts from the cables had come from an
https://mobile.twitter.com/JeremyKonyndyk/status/1250475984115163137 an administration official with an obvious axe to grind.” And this weekend the Columbia University virologist reacted to what the cable’s full text revealed about the high safety standards at the Wuhan Institute of Virology: https://mobile.twitter.com/angie_rasmussen/status/1284893344930258944 This cable says NOTHING about concerns with the work that was being done at WIV. The supposedly worrisome work was actually presented as a success story in a lab that was coming online more slowly than everyone — including the US authors of the cable — expected or hoped.”

#AceHealthDesk report……..Published: July.20: 2020:

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