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Lab-Made Coronavirus Triggers Debate (2015) (archive.org)
134 points by benpiper 14 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 69 comments



From the Nature medicine paper:

> Editors’ note, [30] March 2020: We are aware that this article is being used as the basis for unverified theories that the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 was engineered. There is no evidence that this is true; scientists believe that an animal is the most likely source of the coronavirus.

And from "The Scientist":

> Update (March 11, 2020): On social media and news outlets, a theory has circulated that the coronavirus at the root of the COVID-19 outbreak originated in a research lab. Scientists say there is no evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus escaped from a lab.

And an obligatory link to SA's recent post on the phrase "no evidence": https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/the-phrase-no-evidence...


There is no way that this is a coincidence:

A GRANT PROPOSAL written by the U.S.-based nonprofit the EcoHealth Alliance and submitted in 2018 to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, provides evidence that the group was working — or at least planning to work — on several risky areas of research. Among the scientific tasks the group described in its proposal, which was rejected by DARPA, was the creation of full-length infectious clones of bat SARS-related coronaviruses and the insertion of a tiny part of the virus known as a “proteolytic cleavage site” into bat coronaviruses. Of particular interest was a type of cleavage site able to interact with furin, an enzyme expressed in human cells.

https://theintercept.com/2021/09/23/coronavirus-research-gra...

There's more evidence that it's lab made.

https://yurideigin.medium.com/lab-made-cov2-genealogy-throug...

https://nerdhaspower.weebly.com/ratg13-is-fake.html


The wild speculation that I've read that is somewhat related to the grant proposal, because it was submitted to DARPA. The speculation is following (paraphrasing):

> WIV is a dual research institution. What that means is there's been military research done by PLA at WIV. Ecohealth Alliance is a front for two different things: 1. outsource risky pathogens experiments, which is done by NIH, NIAID and other organizations 2. spying on Chinese military operations at WIV, which is done by US military and intelligence organizations. That's why Daszak is intricately linked to US administration and has been untouchable so far. EHA has been essentially voilating NIH grant terms and denied NIH requests to submit all the experiments data. That explains US govt's reluctance to have a proper investigation.

I am in no way claiming there's any evidence to it, especially EHA is partially funded by US intelligence operation. You be the judge.


"the SARS-CoV-2 spike, similarly to the more distantly related Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV), contains a polybasic CS, characterized as being a suboptimal furin CS. This polybasic CS is absent from the closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2, although similar polybasic CSs are found in more distantly related coronaviruses"



It's not even the most similar virus to sars-cov-2. Even if it's fake it doesn't matter and there's no evidence that it is.


I didn't realize that COVID-19 has a virus more similar to it than ratg13. When did this change?

> Even if it's fake it doesn't matter and there's no evidence that it is.

That's disingenuous. There's evidence, but you're just ignoring it.

It does matter because it means that COVID-19 is likely created in a lab.


>Scientists say there is no evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus escaped from a lab.

Unfortunately there's no evidence it didn't escape from a lab either, but there are many strong indications that it did.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-coronavirus-lab-leak-v...


> but there are many strong indications that it did.

Nope, there really aren't. We're now finding more and more naturally-evolved viruses in cave-dwelling bats that share plenty of features with SARS-CoV2, including the 'weird' features everyone was talking about at the beginning of the pandemic. All it really takes is to go and look for them. Occam's razor says this virus too is just one of many.


10's of thousands of animals have been tested for a predecessor to human Covid-19 though, for two years now, and nothing has been found, despite looking very hard and in ways that 'should have' found something had it been there. In all other known zoonotic crossovers, where we had the modern capability to test, the virus or a very close relative was quickly found.

Since we have exhaustively eliminated zoonotic origin, whatever is left must be the cause, even if it did not have the preponderance of circumstantial evidence that lab escape does.


> All it really takes is to go and look for them

They did, the closest sample is still Ra4991/RaTG13 which was found in a Wuhan mine and transported to the Wuhan virology lab before the outbreak.

Not aware of another confirmed sample found that is closer to SARS-CoV-2:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RaTG13


Indeed. They've been looking for the intermediate host for 2 years and have not found anything close to SARS-CoV-2.

Contrast that with the fact that they found the intermediate host for the first SARS within just a few months of that outbreak.


> Not aware of another confirmed sample found that is closer to SARS-CoV-2

Paraphrasing from this article: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02596-2

> BANAL-52 is 96.8% identical to SARS-CoV-2; one section in BANAL-103 and BANAL-52 could have shared an ancestor with sections of SARS-CoV-2 less than a decade ago.

> RaTG13 is 96.1% identical to SARS-CoV-2 and the two viruses probably shared a common ancestor 40–70 years ago.


> The results, which are not peer reviewed, have been posted on the preprint server Research Square

It's a CCP propaganda piece. I find that "study" pretty fishy, the results would have been easy to verify if true.

Same as the CDC study they tried to use against Israel's study for natural immunity.


Once you let ideology infiltrate your reasoning, you’re no longer doing science. Just because you don’t like the implications of a particular piece of research doesn’t mean you get to dismiss it.


That's not what I said. I said it should be easy to peer review but it hasn't been.

That's a very common ask especially among HN, is it not?

https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...

From my perspective it looks dubious and the only goal is to shift attention away from the RatG13 sample.


Exactly. Parent poster is spewing a line without evidence. Please cite discoveries of respiratory viruses with “weird features” on par with SARS-cov2.


I think the parent poster was talikng about BANAL virus discovered in Laos, which apparently is closest to SARS-CoV2, but it doesn't have Furin Cleavage Site.

> The Laos study offers insight into the origins of the pandemic, but there are still missing links, say researchers. For example, the Laos viruses don’t contain the so-called furin cleavage site on the spike protein that further aids the entry of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses into human cells.

From [1]. So yes, the claim made by the parent poster is patently false.

[1] https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02596-2


> Wuhan mine

correction: Yunnan mine

It is exceedingly important that you get all facts right. Much depends on this.


Sorry yes, typo. Thank you!

Very important because it was transported across the country to the lab.

If it was natural the outbreak would be in and between Yunnan and Wuhan, not Wuhan as the epicenter.


An independent inquiry into the lab could settle that quickly.


In other news:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29927990

Top scientists believed COVID leaked from Wuhan lab but feared going public: Emails


Scientists believe that scientists are not the most likely source of the coronavirus.

Totally unrelated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_ZDQKq2F08


Sigh. As I've said in other posts, if any experiment of this sort were the source of sars-cov-2, it would be -blindingly- obvious. The synthetic metagenomic experiments looking into spike, etc. leave completely obvious traces, number one being the use of known, characterized viral vectors. Using some random isolates as experimental vectors is not only methodologically pointless and counterproductive, it's vastly more difficult to do.


I think this is very wishful thinking, or deliberately choosing how to interpret "lab-made" to be "sliced and diced and recombined".

"Lab-made" still encompasses the whole of GoF research. That is, a virus can appear to have naturally evolved but have been evolved in lab under conditions by which it develops quicker, more efficiently, etc. If the virus was manufactured through some means then it was, by definition, lab-made. Even if it doesn't imply base-pair level manipulation by humans themselves.

It has been clear for ~1 year that not only did the NIH fund some GoF research it also funded research by a lab that was researching this exact virus. It is also clear that the Obama administration early on tried to kill this type research because it's glaringly obvious its extremely dangerous.

It is so unlikely such a novel, effective, and dangerous virus was created through bats sharing the same cave that it's not even worth considering. Similarly evolved viruses in nature rarely reach global pandemic levels. Even SARS v1 was weak in comparison. This all being said though, by the nature of GoF research, it would be impossible to tell anyway. At least as far as the MSM is concerned.

The only question now, I think, is malevolence. It's more likely a researcher was infected in the sub-par lab in Wuhan and brought it home than it is to be any of the cover stories given in the beginning: pangolin soup, BBQ bats, or what have you. I doubt the leak was malicious. I am certain the leak was from the lab. Finally, this isn't a new occurrence. This has happened several times here in the US and thankfully it was caught it time to stop it because we don't have a population density near what China has and the standard we hold our labs to makes carelessness with such research extremely hard to do.


>> It is so unlikely such a novel, effective, and dangerous virus was created through bats sharing the same cave that it's not even worth considering.

I'm not old enough to remember first-hand but I have a friend (and mentor) who does, and this is the kind of thing that people used to say about AIDS, that it's not possible that such a horrible and lethal disease could arise spontaneously in nature. So in the early days of the AIDS epidemic many people invented all sorts of stories about how HIV was created by humans. It was a bioweapon that escaped the lab, it was created specifically to target gays, it was created to remind people that sex is only for reproduction...

Back then also, the conspiracy theories circulated in the press because the media figured they'd have a field day kicking up a shit storm and then sitting back and pretending they're only doing their job objectively presenting both sides of the "debate".

Then, as now, people also denied the existence of HIV completely, or denied that it was lethal, or denied that taking the few early treatments that could prolongue life was beneficial, or thought that the treatments caused AIDS. It's déja-vu all over again.

So not only there is a very strong prior for zoonotic origin of lethal pandemics, there is also a very strong prior for people coming up with all sorts of fanciful stories to explain the appearance of new diseases. Anyone who understands anything about how the human mind works and how it tends to tangle up itself in its own unconscious biases should proceed very carefully, if what one wants is to know the truth (rather than role-play an interesting fantasy of human-caused pandemic).

Btw, it's no joke: the norm throughout history was to ascribe disease to conscious agency, for example, the spirits of the dead, or evil sorcerers. See for example what people made of kuru:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru_(disease)#History


> That is, a virus can appear to have naturally evolved but have been evolved in lab under conditions by which it develops quicker, more efficiently, etc.

And as I understand it, that's the "serial passage" possibility they discuss in the recently publicized papers.


It sounds like you'd consider the state of Florida being a lab to produce covid variants?

The wet market theory is also then a lab made one, since putting sick Bata and pangolins and whatever together can promote viruses jumping species.

Flu is mostly a lab made virus by this definition too. Put people close to chickens, and you help people catch new flu variants


This is a really dishonest form of argument and I don't think you actually read my post for context.

There's a very large difference between the relatively small gaps in genomes between related virus species and the grand canyon sized gap between COVID and it's nearest neighbor. The difference between omicron and delta is very small, delta and alpha also very small. These would be "expected" differences much like influenza changing to be a little different every single year. If we are to believe that a cave of bats cooked up a super infectious, lethal, extremely novel variant of CoV-SARS-1 then shouldn't other animal born diseases be the same? H1N1? Swine flu? Shouldn't they all have had extremely novel pathways given just how many animals it infected?

With the exception of certain hemorrhagic fevers I can't think of another virus that emerged from the wild with such extremely novel infection methods and I've been on this earth for a long time. Even H1N1, a big scare, wasn't THAT much different than it's neighbors.

Yet here we have a virus with basically never before seen infection pathways and virulence. Something that might have been created through scientifically tested and studied evolutionary pressure in a petri dish. It's not that hard to imagine. Get some lung cells, get some starter culture of a virus, and start beating it up with various methods until it evolves. Take those, and keep the survivors, and repeat ad nauseum. In fact, this is exactly how GoF research works. If you view it altruistically this allows us to create novel vaccines for novel infection methods. Unfortunately, it also means a leak will create a pandemic.

All of this could be cleared up in a month if China would allow regulators from the UN to investigate their lab and pull all the data associated with it. This is common procedure, and yet China appears to be railroading any attempt to do so going so far as to destroy related documents. Occam's razor, this isn't the action someone would take if it was a simple batch of bad bat soup. Logic would dictate you'd want to give up all the evidence of bad bat soup as fast as possible...yet 3 years later we have seen absolutely no evidence pointing to an animal borne infection pathway...


> Logic would dictate you'd want to give up all the evidence of bad bat soup as fast as possible.

No logical narrative for PRC is this:

Covid19 never originated in PRC in the first place - Wuhan was merely the first identified cluster, being a large transit hub in the world's most populous country that just happens to have some labs which contributed to PRC's flu monitoring system picking up the novel disease in the first place. The most likely origin is some cave down south, likely (hopefully for PRC) across the border in Laos/Vietnam/Cambodia. And PRC should be praised for identifying and reporting novel virus relatively promptly, even more so for unprecedented locking down and buying the world time, which most countries squandered. That geopolitical adversaries of PRC who failed to contain convid are looking for an escape goat, and there is zero reason for PRC to cooperate by entertaining their conspiracy theories, let alone open up sensitive PRC facilities to inspection because frankly sovereignty violations like that are not "common" for large countries - it's the kind of weapons inspection tier treatment enforced upon losers of wars. PRC already entertained WHO investigation. That's enough. Now go validate PRC conspiracy theory that it was a leak from Fort Detrick, which is just as valid, knowing full well there's about zero chance US would open Fort Detrick to international scrutiny (though it would certainly shut PRC up if US did). Ultimately PRC would never submit to that kind of sovereignty violation doubters deem necessary even if she's innocent due to history and basic geopolitics. It's not going to change enough minds to matter.

Of course I'm being somewhat hyperbolic, but not by much. Official PRC position is to let science work it out, which will take time, which is to say spend decades years sampling all the bat caves in South Asia and best case find something to clear PRC or worst case implicate PRC through process of elimination. But by then so much time has passed that it would barely be consequential and in all likelihood there's going to be an entire universe of conspiracy theories to cloud any findings. Or the fact that PRC's superior covid response could vindicate it's claim that it was simply best prepared to identify novel virus that did not originate in PRC because in retrospect, the idea that west was best prepared to deal with pandemic is a meme. Or that time will bring clarity to all the covid geopolitics, and conclude lab-leak is just one of many propaganda campaigns in nascent Sino-US cold war. And frankly it'll probably work, because none of this is even wrong and history has tendency to be rewritten.


>PRC already entertained WHO investigation. That's enough.

Entertained? Hardly. But if there is one thing China does well it's manipulating others to partake in or at least not dispute their highly effective propaganda machine.

The WHO is at the mercy of the PRC for access, and PRC knows that and has exploited it to their advantage from the very beginning, from changing long held naming conventions, to delaying access, to altering messaging so it falls in line with PRC's narrative.

>Now go validate PRC conspiracy theory that it was a leak from Fort Detrick, which is just as valid, knowing full well there's about zero chance US would open Fort Detrick to international scrutiny.

How is it just a valid? The virus was discovered in Wuhan, not near Fort Detrick.

China denied the outbreak was occurring and suppressed info on it for weeks and months, but now we're supposed to recognize their superb ability in identifying novel viruses? What good is early detection if it's a secret and only benefits locals? Why would they do that and keep international flights open if they suspected foreign origin and weren't taking actions consistent with containing an outbreak at its source?

That's either incompetence or suppression/censorship or both, but it in no way evidence of ability to identify early or respond quickly and effectively.


Hardly is more than enough courtesy considering US officials was pushing lab leak. WHO is also at the mercy of US funding and pressure that entails. Including entertaining US initiated lab leak propaganda which is more effective and well funded than what PRC is capable of. And of course PRC gets to dictate access and terms, it has sovereignty.

>How is it just a valid? The virus was discovered in Wuhan, not near Fort Detrick.

The virus was _identified_ in Wuhan, does not mean originate there. PRC lab leak conspiracy is Fort Detrick leak + Wuhan military game spread. Again, it's PRC conspiracy but holds equivalent validity in terms of discourse power if CCP wants to exploit to it counter pressure WHO to access Detrick for investigation.

>China denied the outbreak

No PRC notified WHO of novel corona virus a few weeks after first cluster was discovered. It was praised as extremely expedient at the time.

> keep international flights open

Because it's expatriation flights. PRC is not going to lock foreign nationals in China, countries have right to recall their citizens. And inbound flights had actual competent quarantine setup, ergo PRC could maintain covid0 whereas most places that did security theatre temperature checks could not.

> That's either incompetence or suppression/censorship or both, but it in no way evidence of ability to identify early or respond quickly and effectively.

Identifying within weeks and responding with some incompetence/censorship/corruption is still overwhelmingly better than what most developed countries did with multi months heads up after Hubei lockdown. Despite how they topped the pandemic response index. Incompetence is relative and the fact is, places with high interconnectivity with PRC like Korea, Japan, TW, Singapore, Australia etc all managed to suppress covid pre omicron based on info provided by PRC and competent epidemiological interventions. And their import case statistics show PRC never exported that much covid cases post Hubei lockdown. It was completely manageable, whereas most of their import cases came from EU/NA.

Point is, lab leak could very well be true, but there's plenty of datapoints for history to be rewritten in PRC favor once/if geopolitics cool down, ergo it's in PRC interests to wait. At then end of the day, covid origin is going to be determined more by propaganda, less science.


Remember when there was an Ebola outbreak from CDC facilities in Reston, VA?

There is currently one in Washington, too


We already know that the EcoHealth Alliance sought funding for DEFUSE, which involved making chimeras of "random isolates" (novel coronaviruses collected by the WIV from nature) and certain known backbones. They proposed to do that work in North Carolina, not Wuhan, and the proposal was rejected for safety concerns; but it gives general insight to the kind of work they wanted to do, and might have continued with other funders.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/21066966-defuse-prop...

So is it really that crazy to think they made a chimera of two "random isolates"? David Relman didn't think so:

> This argument fails to acknowledge the possibility that two or more as yet undisclosed ancestors (i.e., more proximal ancestors than RaTG13 and RmYN02) had already been discovered and were being studied in a laboratory—for example, one with the SARS-CoV-2 backbone and spike protein receptor-binding domain, and the other with the SARS-CoV-2 polybasic furin cleavage site. It would have been a logical next step to wonder about the properties of a recombinant virus and then create it in the laboratory.

https://www.pnas.org/content/117/47/29246

Of course the opportunities for a lab accident aren't limited to genetic engineering. SARS-CoV-2 could be a naturally-evolved virus, but one that was sitting harmlessly in a remote cave until WIV researchers collected it. SARS-CoV-2 could also be naturally-evolved, and spread to some hapless villager who then made a day trip to Wuhan; but the point is that we don't know, and all options require investigation until we do.


Yeah, I used to engineer viruses and immune cells, etc. I've read that grant a few times. Again, a rejected _American_ grant for work to be done in Baric's lab in North Carolina. Most of the work outlined in it involved chimeric genomes that would be obvious. There's a few sentences about verifying properties of full-length quasispecies isolates, but the QS experiments aren't well outlined - a lot of chimeric experiments and re-syntheses, all which would likely leave pretty tell-tale signs.

Of course it's possible to describe a physically possible route to sampling, lab accident, and infection. Anyone can come up with these just-so stories. Professors too! Making a chimera of random isolates is crazy story. It's incredibly annoying to mess with 30kb RNA viruses. You have no idea. That's just not how a skilled practitioner would go about asking these questions. There's a reason most work on these things are in characterized strains.

These stories remain ludicrous when compared with the unambiguous epidemiological evidence for zoonosis that we have in hand. You're simultaneously alleging this tight collaboration between western scientists and WIV, but positing that somehow all these western scientists were in the dark about a conspiracy to do this massive amount of work without our knowledge, or an active conspiracy on the part of a significant percentage of western virology to hide it. All in a field that before the pandemic was a completely undramatic backwater of science!

The power of "lab-leak" isn't its strength as an evidence-backed scientific hypothesis, it's its power as a compelling work of fiction, and I doubt any amount of hard evidence will kill it.

The damage it does is distracting us from the unregulated wild-meat and fur industries that were the overwhelmingly likely cauldron for evolving these strains (as in SARS-1!). If we yet again fail to shut down those sources, we risk another pandemic just like this happening again in a few decades. That's where international attention and pressure should be applied, not this cockamamie distraction.


> These stories remain ludicrous when compared with the unambiguous epidemiological evidence for zoonosis that we have in hand.

What would you consider the strongest evidence for zoonosis? All previous pandemics of novel[1] viruses have been of natural origin. But the technology to enable such an accident has only existed for a few decades, so that seems far from decisive. No one had died in a plane crash before the Wright brothers, but that doesn't mean the risk wasn't there.

We've found lots of viruses related to SARS-CoV-2 in bats; but no one questions that the virus is ancestral in bats, just whether it passed through some postdoc's hands on its way to humans. We've found new bat viruses in Laos, and perhaps SARS-CoV-2 emerged naturally from that; but the WIV was also sampling in Laos, so perhaps it emerged that way too. I don't think natural zoonotic origin is impossible, but I certainly don't see unambiguous evidence for it.

> The damage it does is distracting us from the unregulated wild-meat and fur industries that were the overwhelmingly likely cauldron for evolving these strains (as in SARS-1!).

I'd certainly argue for restricting those industries, even if this pandemic turns out to be lab-origin, just as I'd argue for restricting certain virological research of concern even if this pandemic turns out to be natural-origin. Per above, neither risk seems small enough to me to ignore for the sake of the other.

1. I say "novel" to exclude the 1977 flu pandemic, which somehow nobody gets upset about even though ~700k people died.


Apparently seemless recombination was successfully attempted (search word seemless here https://yurideigin.medium.com/lab-made-cov2-genealogy-throug...)

Whole post is quite interesting despite author alluding from time to time to lab leak being likely.

What I got from it is that lab leak is entirely possible but there are at least few indications that it would require mixture of ineptitude and pointless cunningness.

And that natural origin is superbly likely because coronavirus are just amazing melting pot where same exact mutations popup in multiple unrelated species.


This is like saying Apple couldn’t have possibly developed the iPhone in secrecy. China has massive incentive to both do this research and make said research as opaque as possible to the rest of the world.


The main problem with such evidence is that even in a lab-made virus it simply may not exist. Basically, a good genetic engineer can create a synthetic virus that would be indistinguishable from a natural one. Moreover, often researchers deliberately introduce some synonymous mutations into their designs so that later they can discern their strain from natural ones. But if the creators choose not to reveal these markers, it is impossible to distinguish them from natural mutations.

https://yurideigin.medium.com/lab-made-cov2-genealogy-throug...


> Correction, October 25, 9:50 am: A previous version of this story stated that SARS-CoV-2 had been definitively proven not to be a bioengineered virus. While an August 2021 US intelligence report concluded, “Most agencies … assess with low confidence that SARS-CoV-2 probably was not genetically engineered,” and many scientists agree with that assessment, it was an overstatement to claim that the theory has been definitively ruled out. The introduction and conclusion of the story have been updated to reflect this lower level of certainty. (h/t to Alina Chan, biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, for her critique and input)

From https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/22734496/genetic-engineer....

So yes, your claim is false.


Why is that? How would selecting for evolved inactivity be differentiable?


We'll find out in 90+ years what really happened when the documents get unclassified.

This line of thinking wasn't yet authorised by the US government so it must be fake news until approved.


Not likely. Chinese authorities will demolish whole district and build a stadium in its place if they have to to bury the truth and erase bad memories.


Wouldn't you do the same? Unambiguous proof that it was leaked from a lab would be ruinous to the country. Everybody would demand damage compensation. There is absolutely no upside in admitting the truth if it was so. A nation doesn't get any points for doing the "moral" thing.

That's why it is important that this is NOT about establishing historical truth with evidence. If it was human-made, we would realistically never find evidence.

The only thing that counts here is whether it is a plausible scenario or not. I do think there is evidence that this is a plausible scenario, which means that we should act to prevent something like this from happening in the future. Completely regardless whether there was a actual lab leak in the past or not.



This is a very polarizing topic. I'd love to know enough about this field to understand what is going on.

I just hope that if this is man made we have learned something to prevent this happening again.

How hard would it be for someone to do this on purpose?


i think the biggest learning from covid is that we cant prevent something like this from happening again.

not without stopping travel at least


I think the biggest learning from covid is that everybody can choose their own truths and facts, and the internet can provide a limitless amount of support for any theory, hypothesis and conjecture about all of them (even when they're diametrically opposed).

COVID-19 launched us so far into the post-truth world that I'm afraid there's no way back.


I don’t honestly know if we are more capable of finding the truth now or prior to modern social media and COVID. To me it seems plausible that the truth of things was always abysmally obfuscated by those in control of information distribution. But now we have become very aware of it.

The distinction seems critically important but I don’t know how to figure it out for certain.


The most important lesson is that we need to re-enact the moratorium on gain of function research that the Trump administration lifted.

The link goes to the Wayback Machine because the original publication tried to memory-hole it by putting it behind a paywall and hiding the first paragraph:

> Ralph Baric, an infectious-disease researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, last week (November 9) published a study on his team’s efforts to engineer a virus with the surface protein of the SHC014 coronavirus, found in horseshoe bats in China, and the backbone of to one that causes human-like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in mice. The hybrid virus could infect human airway cells and caused disease in mice, according to the team’s results, which were published in Nature Medicine.


The nature medicine paper is still online, so I’m not sure about the memory hole hypothesis

https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985


I think you should have put (2015) in the title to give this even more context, because there's probably a lot of people thinking, oh this article is probably from after SARS-CoV-2 got out.


Check out “Viral” by Chan and Ridley - I highly recommend this book.

Edit: Yes, the initial pandemic virus most likely leaked from WIV lab in Wuhan. Whether it was engineered and whether it was intentional are different questions.


Now this is much more likely than it supposed to have been a bio weapon.


I don't know whether it was a bioweapon. But consider that if the goal of a bioweapon is to disrupt your adversaries as much as possible, which is more effective: 1. having it kill almost everyone (including your own people) and then disappear, or 2. having it kill some people, cause fear and panic, and disrupt economies and societies for years on end? If it is a bioweapon, it's been an extremely effective one.

One “coincidence” to keep in mind is that Hong Kong had months of pro-democracy protests with China having no viable solution to this “problem” until pandemic shut down all street activities.

So it could be that pandemic info obstruction by China in the beginning was related to that regardless of how the virus emerged.


Why wouldn't it be? We have all the technology. Why make a dirty bomb, when you can make something invisible and release it at a busy airport, and it gets everywhere in a month and only affects the unvaccinated. It could be very profitable. Why politicians rush to convince us that this is not lab-made?! If not the original SARS-CoV-2, then Omicron for sure was lab-made.


Covid-19 does not match the characteristics that the CCP are stating they wish to develop [1] in regards to targeted biological weapons. The closest I could see to calling covid-19 a targeted weapon would be against people that are already sick have comorbidity. Otherwise at best it disrupts every economy to some degree. It has done a good job of dividing people, creating distrust, angst and anxiety but I would argue that impacted China as well. I could however see a disgruntled lab tech that is angry at the world releasing it. People throw their lives away for far less impact all the time think mass shootings. For a government to use this type of virus as a weapon would require first inoculating all of the people they value against it.

[1] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biNxl7tiVSY [video]


Or “inoculating” those they don’t value after releasing it


If SARA-CoV-2 wasn’t lab-made, Omicron for sure wasn’t either. Why would you release a biological weapon that already does exactly as the currently ongoing pandemic?

Also, how are you going to get every non-target vaccinated before the virus shows up?

What you’re saying makes absolutely no sense.


> Why would you release a biological weapon that already does exactly as the currently ongoing pandemic?

and with less mortality and milder symptoms.


Are you a creationist? Serious question.


I am a practicing Orthodox Christian, so, yeah, I do buy the Simulation hypothesis very seriously.

Then your assumption that Omicron just had to be made in a lab makes sense, considering you don't believe in evolution in the first place.

There's no conflict between evolution and Orthodoxy. I have medical researchers, physicists, psychologists, and other prominent scientist attending our church. Our planets was seeded with life and then God help a little bit so that it's not populated only by beasts.



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