Join In On The Action "Register Here" To View The Forums

Already a Member Login Here

Board index Forum Index
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: 17 May 2013, 3:32 pm

Post 17 Mar 2020, 11:45 am

Is it just a coincidence that China builds a biolab in Wuhan for the purpose of studying the world's most dangerous pathogens....and 3 years later we get the coronavirus out of Wuhan? That's dang unlucky. The article from Nature 3 years ago says that this lab--the only one of its kind in China at the time and still the only one unless they built another one--was going to study dangerous pathogens. And they were going to study SARS, a coronavirus like Covid-19. And Covid-19 shows similarities to SARS in how it infects people. And according to the National Review Chineses authorities issued a gag order to Chinese labs after they sequenced the virus and found it resembled SARS. And of course there were the initial attempts by China to suppress news about the outbreak.

https://www.nature.com/news/inside-the- ... ns-1.21487
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 114755.htm
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nation ... ction/amp/

China would of course tell us if that lab was also being used to develop bioweaponry, right? I mean, I'm not saying we have evidence that links the outbreak to this lab...but it is certainly something that should be looked into.
User avatar
Ambassador
 
Posts: 4946
Joined: 08 Jun 2000, 10:26 am

Post 18 Mar 2020, 8:48 am

Who knows, but there are alternative reasons why China would try to suppress news. There's national pride and there are local agents who have diverse agendas.
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: 17 May 2013, 3:32 pm

Post 18 Mar 2020, 9:30 am

True. Vox lays out the scientific case against the lab being responsible. But it is hard to know their level of certainty. Even now scientists do not really know where SARS came from, though it is suspected to come from bats. But I guess the benefit of the doubt should be given unless there is more concrete evidence. And even if the scientific community is not certain but if the consensus it is likely coming from Nature and not man-made, I don't have the expertise to second-guess them so I will go with that unless there is concrete evidence to the contrary.

Sorry, China!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.co ... -wuhan-lab
User avatar
Statesman
 
Posts: 11268
Joined: 15 Aug 2000, 8:59 am

Post 18 Mar 2020, 11:06 am

freeman3
But it is hard to know their level of certainty


Racaniello (professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia) discussed with two other researchers a fascinating preprint paper (that’s currently under peer review, according to the authors) about the virus origin. The key finding: that SARS-CoV-2 is “not a laboratory construct nor a purposefully manipulated virus.”

The paper, which was uploaded onto Virological.org in February, is written by several leading microbiologists who closely examined the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

Specifically, they found the unusual biochemical features of the virus could only have come about two ways after the virus jumped from animal to humans, or what’s called zoonotic transfer. The ways, they write, are: “1) natural selection in a non-human animal host prior to zoonotic transfer, and 2) natural selection in humans following zoonotic transfer.”

In other words, nature came up with these weird characteristics in the genome, either in an intermediary animal between bats and people or in humans after the virus infected one. As Racaniello put it on his podcast: “Humans could never have dreamed this up
."

This sounds like as close to certain as they'll get. And really there's no room for the Tom Cotton, Rush Limbaugh conspiracy theories to have any credence once you know what Racaniello says...

One thing we do know certainly is Limbaugh and Cotton are idiots.
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: 17 May 2013, 3:32 pm

Post 18 Mar 2020, 1:50 pm

Agreed on Limbaigh and Cotton being idiots. Like I said, I'll defer to the scientists Vox cited unless something compelling to the contrary arises. However, I would note that when scientists start giving opinions that humans could not come up with such weird alterations to the genome that doesnt sound very convincing to me. Why not? Anyway, obviously they have way more knowledge than I do in that area but it's important for scientists to clearly explain their findings and the support for them when their conclusions impact an issue of public concern.
User avatar
Statesman
 
Posts: 11268
Joined: 15 Aug 2000, 8:59 am

Post 20 Mar 2020, 7:37 am

Let’s re-examine the COVID-19 timeline:

December 26 2019: A cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown origin appears in Wuhan, the city now at the epicenter of this epidemic.
December 31, 2019: Alert issued by the local Wuhan Municipal Health Commission to the China CDC and a notification was sent to the World Health Organization about this outbreak.
January 7, 2020: The pathogen was identified as a new type of coronavirus, and given the name 2019-nCoV. It was now learned that this virus was closely related but distinct to the one that caused the SARS crisis in 2003.
January 11, 2020: The first death is reported (person died two days earlier). The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issues its first public report announcing this novel coronavirus[3] and starts issuing daily update reports.
January 14, first genome of a Covid19 published by Chinese scientists for international use.
January 20, 2020: 7 confirmed patients have now died, the virus has spread outside of Wuhan, and this becomes a national issue. China’s National Health Commission takes over primary responsibility.
January 23, 2020: China announces unprecedented quarantine operations in major cities ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

All of the evidence suggested that the virus originated in bats, and transmitted through a wet market in Wuhan. Why? Because the virus closely resembles that found in bats....
To believe that it started in a lab, you'd have to believe that the lab was working on such a virus specifically, and that they let it out into their populace by accident. (Or in the case of the real crazies ...[purposefully).
And somehow its just a coincidence that Wuhan has this large "wet market" where bats were on special in late November...

The Chinese have dealt with their out break really well, if their current infection rate reports are genuine. Having an authoritarian system of government has some benefits. But one has to remember that the government is made up of people, who have the best interests of their people at heart. So though there was some fumbled attempts to restrict information for a few days but once it became understood how the virus had to be fought - that ended.
What the Chinese government seems to have demonstrated is an inherent belief in science and expertise. And a willingness to share what they have learned with the rest of the world. (Because that's how science best advances.)
That's not to say they don't control their media and try to control public discourse. But in this case - the results - up to now - don't suggest they were hiding anything.
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: 17 May 2013, 3:32 pm

Post 20 Mar 2020, 12:22 pm

I am not arguing with you but I do have a question about the conclusion that the virus jumped from bats to humans. I thought (though I have not studied the issue in detail) that the SARs virus originated in bats. If they were studying a SARs virus...that originally came from bats...then saying that because the COV(D-19 virus is similar to a virus found in bats that it came from bats does not seem quite so convincing. I guess COVID-19 has 96% of the genome of a virus found in bats, but how does the SAR virus compare to viruses in bats? I have not heard the answer to that question, but presumably scientists had a good reason for thinking it did, which may be (I don't know) for the same reason that they think COVID-19 originated in bats--that it is close to virus(es) found in bats. As for the whole coincidence about bat meat being sold at a low price in November, one could make the same argument about it being a coincidence that the outbreak started in Wuhan, which has the only lab in China that studies dangerous pathogens. The Nature article indicated that they were studying the SARs virus, which is a corona virus, and is it really so hard to believe that Chinese scientists were tweaking that virus for unknown purposes and it got out?

As far as the Chinese are concerned I think a reasonable conclusions is that they were trying to hide it once it got too big then they realized that they had to make it public. And being a good totalitarian state that they are they were able to ignore any sense of individual human rights to clamp down on the outbreak once they made it public And they seem to have pretty been cooperate since they made it pubic..

Again, no evidence that the lab is responsible but I am not sure that the proof that this virus came from bats has been made. It's a reasonable conjecture I think. And we do not have any evidence that it came from the lab, so I'll leave it at that unless something new comes out.
User avatar
Statesman
 
Posts: 11268
Joined: 15 Aug 2000, 8:59 am

Post 21 Mar 2020, 9:29 am

freeman3
Chinese scientists were tweaking that virus for unknown purposes and it got out?


This is the same scientific community (smart people) that has been responsible for the effective response to Covid19? And they screwed up by somehow releasing a new corona virus despite being experts in how it could spread and knowing what it could do to their own town? Province? nation?
The alternative being that bats are a wonderful natural resevoir for many virus, especially corona, because they run exceptionally hot twice a day. (Their bodies get extremely warm when flying out to hunt and then again when flying in to sleep.) That semi literate hunters sell bats in filthy conditions in an open air market.in Wuhan. That bats, for some reason, seem to make good eating (at least in some peoples view).And that someone picked up the bug on market day, spreading it to his/her community even before symptoms set in..
Which is more likely? The smart people being stupid. Or the stupid people being themselves? (The simplest answer is almost always the correct one.)

This is from a guy named Bill Chen....
"The world knew about covid-19 in December 2019, because China told us.
The world knows China has the greatest number of victims, because China leads the world in the number of tests.
The world knows China implemented the most extreme Nationwide quarantine and containment program, including putting entire cities on lockdown.
The world owes the epidemiology of covid-19 to the Chinese, because they have the greatest volume of clinical experience.
The world knows the DNA sequence of covid-19, because chinese experts isolated and decoded the virus in record time.
The world knows even if only one or two in a thousand develop symptoms that require hospitalization, the local healthcare system will be overloaded, if not overwhelmed. Wuhan was the perfect warning.
The world knows the outbreak can be defeated the old fashioned way without a vaccine because the Chinese have shown the way. All it takes is political will to upset the public."

Bats gave us Covid19. And Mers
https://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci- ... story.html

And they've probably got more on offer...
Chinese scientists have acted ethically, even if all of their government hasn't. In fact they have sent many experts out to help other nations with what they've learned to date.
But China isn't immune from conspiracy theories. In China, apparently the conspiracy of theory of choice is that the US was responsible for secretly releasing the virus in Wuhan in order to give China a bad name.
Equally daft.
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: 17 May 2013, 3:32 pm

Post 06 Apr 2020, 5:37 pm

I saw CNN had an article on this and basically the experts are saying that they don't really know. But one expert said this:

"The possibility that the virus entered humans through a laboratory accident cannot and should not be dismissed," Dr. Richard Ebright told CNN in an email Sunday."

Some things have come to light:

(1) The contention that the virus originated in the live market in Wuhan has been contested by the fact that a significant number of the earliest patients had no known connection to the market.

(2) Two Chiness researchers submitted a paper (since withdrawn) that by process of elimination the virus came from a lab because the coronavirus in bats found to be 96% similar to COVID-19 came from bats whose habitat was 600 miles from Wunan, they got testimony from 28 witnesses that no such bats were sold in the market, and that these bats were only found in labs in Wuhan. Makes logical sense if all the propositions are true.

(3) Research by Australian researchers on horseshoe bats (same as ones describe by Chinese researchers) in which they found SARs like viruses came from bats they found 850 miles from Wuhan

So the question that needs to be answered with certainty: (1) Were horseshoe bats sold in the Wuhan live market?, (2) Are there any horseshoe bats local to Wuhan or do they originate at least 600 miles away ?, (3) Do Chinese labs in Wuhan use horseshoe labs in research?, (4) Did they ever find a bat at the Wuhan market that had any coronavirus similar to COVID-19?

Why would Chinese researchers get such basic facts wrong like whether horseshoe shoes were sold at the market, whether there are any that habitate locally, and whether they were being used in local Chinese labs? Because if those underlying facts are correct than their conclusion does not necessarily follow but it seems pretty reasonable. Horseshoe bats are the likely animal that the virus came from, they do not originate in Wuhan, they are not sold in the market but they are used in labs...hence, the virus came from a lab. Are these crazy, irresponsible Chinese researchers? Anyway, there should be a definitive answer to the question as to whether horseshoe bats are sold in the market or are local or are studied in local labs.

In any case, these should be ascertainable facts and more important to know then admitted guesses by researchers, no matter what their expertise. The fact that conservatives have latched on to this theory is not relevant. We of course should not rely on their nonsense. But it doesnt mean we should ignore evidence, if it's credible. It's also important to note that the Chinese researchers were not claiming it came from tinkering with the virus from a bioweapon but simply by a bat biting a researcher for example. In fact, they gave examples of lab workers being possibly contaminated.



https://img-prod.tgcom24.mediaset.it/im ... da0204.pdf

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nation ... china/amp/



https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/06/us/coron ... index.html
User avatar
Statesman
 
Posts: 11268
Joined: 15 Aug 2000, 8:59 am

Post 07 Apr 2020, 8:42 am

Ebright had no evidence to go on, This is idle conjecture.
The two Chinese researchers with drew the paper because it too was conjecture.

There is an institute of virology in Wuhan, and it does study bats. Shi Zhengli runs the lab:

Shi, known by her colleagues as the “bat woman” because of the 16 years she has spent hunting for viruses in bat caves, told Scientific American in March that she frantically searched for any evidence that her laboratory’s records were mishandled upon learning of the virus’s outbreak in Wuhan in late December.

“Could they have come from our lab?” Shi recalled thinking.
“I had never expected this kind of thing to happen in Wuhan, in central China,” she noted, saying that her studies had shown that southern China posed the greatest risk of coronaviruses jumping from animals to humans.
Shi said she breathed a sigh of relief when results came back showing that the sequences of the coronavirus did not match the viruses she and her team had sampled from bats.
The article in Scientific America below illustrates the openess of the processes at the lab.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... onavirus1/

Bats are incredibly good hosts for viruses. Its virtually certain the virus originated in bats. How it got into humans includes three pretty good and pretty easy to happen scenarios. And as such are a helluva lot more likely than that security broke down in a bio lab. (The people most at risk if this happened would be the scientists in the lab... and they also understand the risks best.)

1) Bat guano is collected for fertilizer by some Chinese farmers. Thats a strong possibility because it explains how people who never visited the wet markets may have been infected. Contact with people who had contact with the farmer...
2) Direct transfer from bats in the wet market. (Doesn't explain why some early infections were with people who never went to the markets, although contact tracing may not have been through eitehr.
3) Secondary transfer from pangolins, also in the wet market.

freeman3
Why would Chinese researchers get such basic facts wrong


They weren't very good at their jobs ... Which is why the had to with draw their paper.
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: 17 May 2013, 3:32 pm

Post 07 Apr 2020, 9:31 am

It's not idle conjecture by Ebright. He simply refused to rule out a possibility when there was no convincing evidence for any causal explanation.

And you did not provide any evidence showing there were any horseshoe bats sold in the Wuhan market or sold locally. Those are kind of the key questions, here.

There was more than one lab in Wuhan that studied bats. The fact that you submitted claims from one lab does not absolve the other lab. I'm not even sure it absolves that lab, given that the virus likely mutated after it jumped to humans but I dont know. Even it does, it's not the only lab.

We do not know that the Chinese researchers are bad at their jobs, that they got their facts wrongs. It might not have met scientific standards in some way (it kind of reads like more of a forensic investigation than a research paper maybe that was the issue), but you submitted no evidence that they are bad at their jobs or got their facts wrong. They might have gotten pressure from the Chinese government also, maybe?

Your assertion that it came from Chinese farmers only makes sense if horseshoe bats reside near Wuhan, which you did not present any evidence that they do.

Neither did you present any evidence that horseshoe bats were being sold in Wuhan market. If they had been sold at the market, one would think Chinese authorities would have confiscated them, tested them for what viruses they had and perhaps even traced where they came from, if possible. I have not read anything like that occurring.

There is no evidence that the virus went through from bats to pangolins to humans that I have seen. Where is the proof? And that doesnt solve the problem of how a pangolin came into contact with a bat if there are no bats in or around Wuhan.

Anyway the key questions to be answered are whether horseshoe bats were sold in the Wuhan market or whether they are local to Wuhan (or nearby). Because if not then the only likely candidate is one of the labs that studied bats in Wuhan. Do you really disagree with that argument? And if course you presented no evidence on this.

In all honesty, it's not like it's some great defense for China that it came from these disgusting live markets, anyway. You seem to be some great admirer of China; they are really not admirable of a country. Starting with a basic lack of respect for human rights.
User avatar
Statesman
 
Posts: 11268
Joined: 15 Aug 2000, 8:59 am

Post 08 Apr 2020, 12:46 pm

freeman3
It's not idle conjecture by Ebright. He simply refused to rule out a possibility when there was no convincing evidence for any causal explanation


Conjecture
noun
an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information:

He may have not been convinced by the evidence on offer, but offering up another option with absolutely no proof... that's conjecture.


As for horseshoe bats: In Professors Shi original study there were 4 species of bats carrying corona virus. Could have been any of those breeds sold in the market. Or it could have been a human infected by bats carrying the virus in areas near bat caves...
On top of that, she discovered evidence that the virus has been in humans before last November...
But Prof Shi found something unusual in the people living near the Yunnan cave: 3 per cent had developed immunity to the viruses, proving the strains can and have infected humans in the past.


source: https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/healt ... c4839b9777

The simplest answer, that someone carrying the virus traveled to Wuhan Or a bat sold in the market infected shoppers... is the likely answer.
User avatar
Adjutant
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: 17 May 2013, 3:32 pm

Post 08 Apr 2020, 5:23 pm

Yunnan is 1,886 miles from Wuhan. And it was horseshoe bats in which Dr. Shi found that was closest to the COVID-19 virus. It's pretty unreasonable to make the leap that someone traveled from that area to Wuhan and infected people--unless it was Dr. Shi's team and even that seems unlikely. If you think if a bat bit someone in the Yunnan area--even if they were from Dr. Shi's team--they would almost certainly have infected other people around Yunnan before they traveled to Wuhan. The most logical explanation is that those bats were taken to Wuhan and infected a human being there. The bars coming from a lab in Wuhan.

The fact that Dr. Shi found this virus very close to COVID-19 in that Yunan cave is strong evidence that the outbreak came from her team or some other science team that took these bats back to Wuhan . For one thing this is supposed to be a secret cave. Were locals even allowed to that cave after she started studying it? We do not know if there are bats outside of this cave that have that 96% similar virus ,(certainly there is no evidence for it) . Anyway, the idea that anyone got infected far from Wuhan in Yunnan with this COVID-19 virus without infecting people in the locale where they got infected seems just about impossible. Again it is almost certain that the bats were taken to Wuhan first before infecting people, otherwise they would have infected people in Yunnan first.

That leaves the theory these bats were sold at the Wuhan market. Yunnan is 1,100 miles from Wuhan. Really, people go 1,100 miles...to sell bats? And you provided no proof that bats were actually sold there. Seriously, our best scientific minds are saying no it couldnt from the lab because we know how careful scientists there are but instead somehow believe horseshoe bats caused the infection when there is no evidence, outside of the labs' bats, that there were actually any horseshoes bats in Wuhan. The Chinese must think the rest of the world is pretty stupid to buy this explanation. I mean, come on, it makes no sense whatsoever.

Give me a reasonable explanation of how these bats from that Yunnan cave got to Wuhan without coming from scientists from Wuhan labs. Or other horseshoe bats 600 or 800 miles away got there. And remember it is unlikely that the virus started in the market. And there is still no evidence that horseshoe bats were even sold in that market. Remember also that researchers are basing their contention the virus came from bats on that 96% similar COVID-19 virus in bats from that Yunnan cave. What, these bats have suitcases?
User avatar
Ambassador
 
Posts: 4946
Joined: 08 Jun 2000, 10:26 am

Post 09 Apr 2020, 6:53 am

That's all very interesting and I don't know enough to comment one way or another. Has this all been reported by mainstream news sources? It's certainly a big enough story and you provide compelling evidence.
User avatar
Statesman
 
Posts: 11268
Joined: 15 Aug 2000, 8:59 am

Post 09 Apr 2020, 2:06 pm

Freeman you seem to be obsessed with something that doesn't much matter.
For instance; We still don't know for certain where SARS came from And probably never will be certain. But we know how to deal with SARS
What does it really matter even if it was an unfortunate lab accident. The virus wasn't a malevolent act. If it was somehow China sure paid a cost, and will continue to do so.
No country depends more on a healthy world economy than China (its economy has a very large export component.)

We've learnt a lot about Covid 19 and will have better tests, and eventually a vaccine to allow the world to return to normal. Its a good bet that vaccine will be developed in China...