More doubts about wet market virus source

From BioRvix comes the new study:

In a side-by-side comparison of evolutionary dynamics between the 2019/2020 SARS-CoV-2 and the 2003 SARS-CoV, we were surprised to find that SARS-CoV-2 resembles SARS-CoV in the late phase of the 2003 epidemic after SARS-CoV had developed several advantageous adaptations for human transmission. Our observations suggest that by the time SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in late 2019, it was already pre-adapted to human transmission to an extent similar to late epidemic SARS-CoV. However, no precursors or branches of evolution stemming from a less human-adapted SARS-CoV-2-like virus have been detected. The sudden appearance of a highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 presents a major cause for concern that should motivate stronger international efforts to identify the source and prevent near future re-emergence. Any existing pools of SARS-CoV-2 progenitors would be particularly dangerous if similarly well adapted for human transmission. To look for clues regarding intermediate hosts, we analyze recent key findings relating to how SARS-CoV-2 could have evolved and adapted for human transmission, and examine the environmental samples from the Wuhan Huanan seafood market. Importantly, the market samples are genetically identical to human SARS-CoV-2 isolates and were therefore most likely from human sources. We conclude by describing and advocating for measured and effective approaches implemented in the 2002-2004 SARS outbreaks to identify lingering population(s) of progenitor virus.

In short, ’twas a human that took in there.

Investigation now!

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. Wise to keep in mind that this is from the ‘pre-print’ repository posted on the 2nd May:

    “BioRxiv is receiving many new papers on coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. A reminder: these are preliminary reports that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information.”

    It will require a fair amount of open and independent scientific discourse to get to the bottom of what went on – and that needs honest collaboration. That’s why it is disturbing when the glass jawed dragon responds to requests for an independent inquiry with trade threats – as it seems highly unlikely that science will be allowed to work as science requires politics and authoritarianism to get out the way. Western science opened the door to China, but that door has been slammed shut by the CCP. Not a good look, nor a good prospect for the future.

    As science cannot be done without transparency, the West needs to review all areas of scientific collaboration with China. When push comes to shove China is running a power game first and foremost. We will rue the day that its was decided that development would bring reform and democratisation. The CCP is an infant bully made fat by good intentions – no good will come from caving into its tantrums.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      +1 The US’s “endeavours” in more recent times (think Iraq and Afghanistan as examples) to bring democracy to the world have not ended well? Also, if Chin-ah is the virus source and it has not covered its tracks, then I’m going to win Lotto tonight?

    • …as it seems highly unlikely that science will be allowed to work as science requires politics and authoritarianism to get out the way.

      Slight correction.
      ….as it seems highly unlikely that science will be allowed to work as science requires politics, authoritarianism and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to get out the way.

  2. Maybe we can ask Bat Woman what was going on?

    Oh that’s right, she’s not been seen for months… I wonder what became of her in the People’s republic.

  3. https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/science/2020/jan/26/china-bans-long-distance-buses-from-entering-three-cities-to-contain-coronavirus-spread

    This never made sense at the time.
    If they only isolated the virus on 7 January, how could China announce just 13 days longer that it was getting stronger and more transmissible?
    At the time, this read as though China was trying to get in front of bad news the world was soon to discover anyway.

    • It’s impossible with western technology.

      But these guys have deployed advanced acupuncture, panda scrotum emulsion and warp-drive microscopy. They got their results in just nine parallax-seconds, as a consequence.

  4. “It’s always easier to blame scientists because that makes for a better story and a more juicy conspiracy. Most people don’t understand science. And they don’t read any of the published research that comes from the institute. So it is easy to convince them that these places are secretive and mysterious.”

    https://youtu.be/ab-r0capbzk

    The above video does not claim to know where the virus comes from. What it does do is show why the fever of speculation is based on rumors, hearsay, poor translations and bad journalism. It also shows why it is most likely to be an animal to to human transmission.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      The other reasons it’s easy to blame scientists are because a) they tend not to speak in terms of certainty and – similarly – b) they’re generally prepared to change their minds when something is proven wrong.

  5. Luca BiasonMEMBER

    If we ever get to the bottom of it, it’ll be from an internal leak by a local scientist or a group of scientists who feel compelled to say what they strongly believe must be said. A lot of them are actually under the universal banner of scientific integrity – and please let’s bear in mind that Li Wenliang is but one of them. I have met several human rights lawyers in China, and what always impressed me the most is that they do what they do in crystal clear knowledge of what may happen to them and their families, yet they feel it’s for the right cause. Some folks over here could learn a thing or two about their integrity of thought and ethical standards (yes ACRI and the lot, am looking at you). It’s interesting that the Chinese scientific community at large is conspicuously silent, which leads me to think that the friction with the central and local government lines runs deep – personal opinion.

    • While that is bad if true, do not assume out right to critisize government as individuals acheives anything as it does not. We need our media to critisize government without fear or favour. We have almost the same situation as China as ABC and SBS are under constant threat of Dutton’s minions if they report on certain subjects or do not follow the status quo. Universitiy professors have been banging on about climate change here for years and it has acheived nothing as the media spin the argument in favour of those who control our media.

      • Luca BiasonMEMBER

        Well, not really. That’s another one of those false equivalences so common today that just muddle the argument and send a more contextualised analysis out of the window. For all the mediatic manipulation of the discourse around climate change, chiefly the Murdoch media machine, the responsibility lies with people’s disengagement with their roles in a democratic society: i.e. making fully informed choices. However you have a lot of alternative narratives to refer to, if you wish to have a full understanding of a matter and make your choice accordingly. That leads to the main point that we have the ability to make that choice, we have freedom of expression, freedom of media, an independent judiciary, and the means to boot out people with our voting rights.
        None of the above applies to China and consent is obtained through one-sided propaganda and judicial coercion, where there is a full fusion between the state apparatus and the CCP, hence the law/legal institutions and the Party state, i.e. a political legal system (fully formalised by legal reforms in 2018).
        It’s a hell of a difference.

  6. bolstroodMEMBER

    If it is not a natural permutationof earlier virus, yet so similar, it is a fair bet it was man made.
    Which man ?
    Here the plot thickens, and untangling it may be nigh impossible.

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