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This new pre-print pretty much summarizes my next article...
This is not ok... let me explain why
There’s a new pre-print that came out on the BioRxiv pre-print server on October 14, 2022 entitled: “Role of spike in the pathogenic and antigenic behavior of SARS-CoV-2 BA.1 Omicron”. A bunch of people at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories of the Boston University Level III lab did the lab work described in this article.
I have put my current article on hold to write this summary since it dove-tails so beautifully into my next article. Just to give y’all a hint, it is entitled “Phenotypic mixing, tropism enhancement and recombination”.
What they have done in this work, as described by their own methods and results, is akin to madness. It is akin to madness because as Byram Bridle correctly points out in his own summary of this pre-print article: they basically created and published a recipe for a deadly pathogen (80% mortality rate in the subjects of their experiments) of their own construction in their lab. By the way, this is precisely gain-of-function research. It couldn’t be more descriptive.
Gain-of-function research (GoF research or GoFR) is medical research that genetically alters an organism in a way that may enhance the biological functions of gene products such as transmissibility.
You know, they always try to justify this gain-of-function idea by saying things like: ‘we need to be able to make predictions about future pandemics’ and ‘we must pre-empt assaults on our nation’ bla bla bla. You know what? Leave it all alone! Leave the researchers alone to make beautiful discoveries that can actually benefit not only our own species, but all other species as well. I am so sick of this bastardization of everything wonderful. It’s always the same stupidity driven by dumb-assery and greed.
Here’s what you need to know about this paper; although you should read it - especially since I don’t think I am allowed to ‘reproduce’ any of the Figures in their article. Too bad. They are truly stunning. They made a new virus using the ‘backbone’ of the original Wuhan coronavirus (Wuhan-Hu-1) and the spike protein of Omicron. They called it Omi-S. Why not throw a greek ‘nu’ in there and call it ‘Omi-nuS’. They also played a little with mutations in the Omicron spike protein. They did this using recombination techniques (more precisely, a technique called Circular polymerase extension cloning) which means that any progeny of these new viruses that they made also carry the recombined genetic code.
The result of this madness is that they created a new virus that has an 80% mortality rate in the mice with the human ACE-2 receptor. This simply means that the mice used in the experiments got infected by SARS-nCoV-2 in the same way as humans do because of the introduction of a humanized ACE-2.
In in vitro infection assays, the Omicron spike-bearing ancestral SARS-CoV-2 (Omi-S) exhibits much higher replication efficiency compared with Omicron. Similarly, in K18-hACE2 mice, Omi-S contrasts with non-fatal Omicron and causes a severe disease leading to around 80% mortality.
What is perhaps even more frightening to me, is the specific damage done to epithelial cells and to the central nervous system.
Further, bronchiolar infection was associated with epithelial necrosis in Omi-S-infected mice, as determined through serial hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) section analysis, whereas no histological evidence of airway injury was observed in Omicron-infected mice.
While these mice develop lung pathology following SARS CoV-2 infection, mortality has been associated with central nervous system involvement due to viral neuroinvasion. The fact that infection with Omi-S, but not with Omicron, elicits neurologic signs, such as hunched posture and lack of responsiveness, in K18-hACE2 mice suggests that the neuroinvasion property is preserved in Omi-S, and the determinants of this property lie outside of the spike protein.
Do you guys understand how dangerous this potentially is to humans?
I can hear it now. Whoops, new mutant of SARS-nCoV-2 ‘discovered’. Maybe it came from a hick eating a road-kill raccoon this time, eh? Everyone run for your lives and stay locked up forever! Wait for our bloody new vaccine that will finish the job.
I have been very carefully crafting my next article to be sure that I don’t make too many assumptions, but man alive, the fact that they are absolutely using recombination techniques to make new dangerous chimeric viruses just confirms what I had thought was as yet, an assumption.
This is the research question driving the article:
Question #1: If recombination techniques were used in a lab context to create a hybrid HIV-1/SARS virus (for example: a coronavirus with HIV peptides embedded in spike surface glycoproteins) then would phenotype mixing in vivo (in HIV-infected humans, say) allow for tropism enhancement of this hybrid virus?
I just let some cats out of some bags there, but I want you guys to think about this. Maybe do some reading about what phenotypic mixing is. Although, I will indeed cover this.
This paper reveals more than the successful creation of a deadly new virus. It does more than give this recipe in the methods to anyone with a decent lab to recreate it. They don’t even mention what the hell they are planning to do with this new virus! They don’t say a bloody word about the fact that they created a virus that for all intents and purposes, is a Level IV pathogen, so why the hell are they playing with it in a Level III?
This is why they claim to be doing this gain-of-function research:
This opens up the possibility of targeting the conserved and structurally constrained regions of spike involved in ACE2 recognition for the design of broad-spectrum vaccines to control the current COVID-19 pandemic.
You know what authors? I don’t give a shit about which amino acids you mutated to find out more about the RBD’s ability to bind ACE-2. I couldn’t care less. SARS-nCoV-2 would fade beautifully into a memory if madmen looking for the next grant-fix would stop trying to play God. Human natural immunity does a fantastic job with controlling SARS-nCoV-2, and where it doesn’t - such as is the case in specific subsets of the human population like the elderly and frail - we have early treatment protocols.
This work needs to be banned and the products of this work destroyed immediately and further gain-of-function work of this nature should be permanently banned.
THIS IS NOT SCIENCE. THIS IS MADNESS.
Quan J, Tian J. Circular polymerase extension cloning. Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1116:103-17. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-764-8_8. PMID: 24395360.
Torii S, Ono C, Suzuki R, Morioka Y, Anzai I, Fauzyah Y, Maeda Y, Kamitani W, Fukuhara T, Matsuura Y. Establishment of a reverse genetics system for SARS-CoV-2 using circular polymerase extension reaction. Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 20;35(3):109014. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109014. Epub 2021 Apr 1. PMID: 33838744; PMCID: PMC8015404.