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Thread: The coronavirus did not escape from a lab

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    Default The coronavirus did not escape from a lab

    Here's how we know

    The persistent myth can be put to bed

    Viruses like the novel coronavirus are shells holding genetic material

    As the novel coronavirus causing
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    COVID-19 spreads across the globe
    , with cases surpassing 284,000 worldwide today (March 20), misinformation is spreading almost as fast.

    One persistent myth is that this virus, called SARS-CoV-2, was made by scientists and escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began.
    A new analysis of SARS-CoV-2 may finally put that latter idea to bed. A group of researchers compared the genome of this novel coronavirus with the seven
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    other coronaviruses
    known to infect humans: SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2, which can cause severe disease; along with HKU1, NL63, OC43 and 229E, which typically cause just mild symptoms, the researchers wrote March 17 in the journal
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    Nature Medicine

    "Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus," they write in the journal article.

    Kristian Andersen, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research, and his colleagues looked at the genetic template for the spike proteins that protrude from the surface of the virus. The
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    coronavirus uses these spikes
    to grab the outer walls of its host's cells and then enter those cells. They specifically looked at the gene sequences responsible for two key features of these spike proteins: the grabber, called the receptor-binding domain, that hooks onto host cells; and the so-called cleavage site that allows the virus to open and enter those cells.

    That analysis showed that the "hook" part of the spike had evolved to target
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    a receptor on the outside of human cells called ACE2
    , which is involved in blood pressure regulation. It is so effective at attaching to human cells that the researchers said the spike proteins were the result of natural selection and not genetic engineering.

    Here's why: SARS-CoV-2 is very closely related to the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which fanned across the globe nearly 20 years ago. Scientists have studied how SARS-CoV differs from SARS-CoV-2 — with several key letter changes in the genetic code. Yet in computer simulations, the mutations in SARS-CoV-2 don't seem to work very well at helping the virus bind to human cells. If scientists had deliberately engineered this virus, they wouldn't have chosen mutations that computer models suggest won't work. But it turns out, nature is smarter than scientists, and the novel coronavirus found a way to mutate that was better — and completely different— from anything scientists could have created, the study found.
    Another nail in the "escaped from evil lab" theory? The overall molecular structure of this virus is distinct from the known coronaviruses and instead most closely resembles viruses found in bats and pangolins that had been little studied and never known to cause humans any harm.
    "If someone were seeking to engineer a new coronavirus as a pathogen, they would have constructed it from the backbone of a virus known to cause illness,"
    Where did the virus come from? The research group came up with two possible scenarios for the origin of SARS-CoV-2 in humans. One scenario follows the origin stories for a few other recent coronaviruses that have wreaked havoc in human populations. In that scenario, we contracted the virus directly from an animal — civets in the case of SARS and camels in the case of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). In the case of SARS-CoV-2, the researchers suggest that animal was a bat, which transmitted the virus to another intermediate animal (possibly a pangolin, some scientists have said) that brought the virus to humans.
    In that possible scenario, the genetic features that make the new coronavirus so effective at infecting human cells (its pathogenic powers) would have been in place before hopping to humans.
    In the other scenario, those pathogenic features would have evolved only after the virus jumped from its animal host to humans. Some coronaviruses that originated in pangolins have a "hook structure" (that receptor binding domain) similar to that of SARS-CoV-2. In that way, a pangolin either directly or indirectly passed its virus onto a human host. Then, once inside a human host, the virus could have evolved to have its other stealth feature — the cleavage site that lets it easily break into human cells. Once it developed that capacity, the researchers said, the coronavirus would be even more capable of spreading between people.
    All of this technical detail could help scientists forecast the future of this pandemic. If the virus did enter human cells in a pathogenic form, that raises the probability of future outbreaks. The virus could still be circulating in the animal population and might again jump to humans, ready to cause an outbreak. But the chances of such future outbreaks are lower if the virus must first enter the human population and then evolve the pathogenic properties, the researchers said.
    Last edited by TLG; 03-21-2020 at 07:41 PM.

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    I wasn't even aware of that conspiracy theory.The old rule MUST apply to this situation:believe none of what you hear & half of what you see.How do we distinguish between the facts & the BS ???

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    Here is what mankind has built...HouseofCards.jpg

    Sooner or later it will fall apart and come crashing down.

    Fact-It's here
    Fact-It maybe extremely small but it has turned the entire world upside down and in side out.
    Fact-You me and everyone else has to deal with it.
    Fact-In order to keep the health care system from completely collapsing we have to stop the spread.
    Fact-To stop the spread we have to distance our self's from one another for a period of time.
    Fact-To stop the spread will take some time.

    The problem will it finally become manageable only to return once again in the fall? Will the world economy's recover? If they do recover will they go back to where they once were? And how long will that take? And when will the real nasty virus come along and make this one look like a cake walk. Imo the yellow light has been flashing for a while and the red one is going to start flashing if not already. Time runs out on about everything and there comes a point of no return. This planet is 2/3 water and we are taxing and putting a huge strain the 1/3 that's left.

    One needs to educate their self and listen to the experts. Again bs conspiracy just will not help or cut it. Facts and the truth is what is always needed in such extreme tragic situations. If one doesn't care about their self's and whether they contract it fine but at least think about others and not spread it. Which means keeping ones distance. We only get one bite at the apple and the one that another spreads it to may not get a second chance. We are all stuck here on this little blue marble in space. We have nowhere else to go.

    One could bang on and on with something like this but what is the point. Idiots will be idiots and you can't fix stupid. Hey I know since the world economies are doing so good lets come up with some bs and then we can crash it all and watch it go to hell in a bucket without a bottom. Hey I know lets come up with some bs so we can create a lot more medical waste like we don't have enough now with nowhere to go with it. Hey I know lets come up with some bs so we will have to pump another 2 to 3 trillion into an already bloated debt. Hey I know lets come up with some bs so all the kids will be out of school so their parents like nurses and doctors can't go to work and take care of our sick @ss. Or not be able to care for some clown that shows up and clogs up the ER because they had to many booze and or are on a drug stupor. Hey I know lets come up with some bs so nurses and doctors can work in a dangerous environment without the proper equipment to take care of our sick @ss. That way the can get sick and end up in the hospital their self's. Hey I know lets come up with some bs so when someone has some other problem other than the virus they can't get treated because there is no equipment or no room at the inn. Sorry but we can't help you so we are going to roll your sick @ss into the parking lot.

    Reality...what a concept.
    Last edited by foresight; 03-22-2020 at 08:40 AM.

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