In the thousands of pages of Dr. Anthony S. Fauci’s email Recently released on BuzzFeed NewsA short note from Christian Andersen, a virologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, has received a lot of attention.
For the past year, Dr. Andersen has been one of the most outspoken supporters of the theory that the coronavirus originated from the natural spread of the coronavirus from animals to humans outside the laboratory. However, in an email to Dr. Fauci in January 2020, Dr. Andersen had not yet reached that conclusion. He told Dr. Forch, the government’s top infectious disease expert, that some features of the virus wondered if it was manipulated, and he and his colleagues by analyzing the viral genome. He said he plans to investigate further.
Researchers published their results in scientific journal treatises Nature medicine On March 17, 2020, we concluded that the origin of the laboratory was very unlikely. Dr. Andersen has reiterated this view in interviews and Twitter over the past year, and has been at the center of an ongoing debate over whether the virus may have leaked from a Chinese laboratory.
When his early email to Dr. Fauci was released, the media storm surrounding Dr. Andersen intensified and he invalidated his Twitter account. He answered emails from the New York Times and questions about fracas. The exchange was lightly edited for length.
Much was done in an email to Dr. Fauci in late January 2020, shortly after the coronavirus genome was first sequenced. “Because the anomalous features of the virus make up a very small part (<0.1%) of the genome, it seems that some features are (potentially) designed by examining all the sequences in great detail. You need to make sure that it looks like. "
Can you explain what you meant?
At that time, based on limited data and preliminary analysis, we observed features that may be unique to SARS-CoV-2. These features were not yet found in other related viruses from natural sources, so we were investigating whether they were incorporated into the virus.
These features include a structure known as the furin cleavage site that allows the SARS-CoV-2 peplomer to be cleaved by the enzyme furin found in human cells, and a cell surface protein whose virus is known as ACE2. It is fixed to the outside of human cells via.
He also said that the viral genome was found to be “contradictory to expectations from evolution.”
This was a reference to the function of SARS-CoV-2 identified based on early analysis and did not appear to have any obvious immediate evolutionary precursors. We have not yet performed a more detailed analysis to reach a conclusion and shared preliminary observations.
In the same email, he warned that the question needed to be scrutinized and that opinions could change within a few days based on new data and analysis.
In March, you and other scientists published a Nature Medicine treatise stating, “I don’t think laboratory-based scenarios are plausible.” Can you explain how research has changed your perspective?
The function of SARS-CoV-2, which first suggested engineering potential, was identified in the associated coronavirus. So the features that initially seemed unusual to us weren’t.
Many of these analyzes were completed in a few days while working 24 hours a day. This allowed us to reject the preliminary hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 might have been designed, but other “lab” -based scenarios are still tables.
Extensive analysis, important additional data, and a thorough investigation to more broadly compare genomic diversity across the coronavirus led to a peer-reviewed study published in Nature Medicine. For example, when we examined data on coronaviruses found in other species such as bats and pangolins, the first features unique to SARS-CoV-2 were actually found in other related viruses as well. I found out.
Overall, this is an example of a textbook of scientific methods, where more data becomes available and after the analysis is complete, the preliminary hypothesis is rejected in support of the competing hypothesis.
some people, Including virologist David Baltimore, The presence of furin cleavage sites may be a sign of human manipulation of the virus, but you and other virologists say it evolved naturally. Can you explain to the reader why you don’t think it’s evidence of a virus that has been manipulated?
Flynn cleavage sites are found throughout the coronavirus family, including the genus Betacoronavirus, to which SARS-CoV-2 belongs. There have been many speculations that the patterns found in viral RNA involved in specific parts of the furin cleavage site represent engineering evidence. Specifically, it points to two “CGG” sequences that encode the amino acid arginine at the furin cleavage site as strong evidence that the virus was made in the laboratory. Such a statement is virtually incorrect.
It is true that CGG is less common than other patterns encoding arginine, but CGG codons are located elsewhere in the SARS-CoV-2 genome and gene sequences.[s] Those containing the CGG codon found in SARS-CoV-2 are also found in other coronaviruses. These findings, along with many other technical features of the site, strongly suggest that it evolved naturally, and it is unlikely that anyone designed it.
Do you still believe that all laboratory scenarios are incredible? If it’s not a genetically engineered virus, what about accidental leaks from the Wuhan Institute?
As mentioned in an article last March, it is currently impossible to prove or disprove a particular hypothesis of SARS-CoV-2 origin. However, both lab and natural scenarios are possible, but not the same. Priorities, data, and other evidence strongly support the emergence of nature as a scientific theory with a high probability of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, but lab leaks remain speculative. Guessing-based hypothesis.
Based on the detailed analysis of the virus so far by researchers around the world, it is highly unlikely that the virus has been manipulated.A scenario in which a virus was found in nature, brought into the lab, and accidentally released[d] Based on current evidence, it is also unlikely.
In contrast, the scientific theory of SARS-CoV-2 spontaneous generation presents a much simpler scenario. The appearance of SARS-CoV-2 is very similar to that of SARS-CoV-1, with different seasonal timings, locations, and associations with the human food chain.
Some people point your email to Dr. Fauci and suggest it Ask a question Whether scientists and government officials have more confidence in Labreak theory than open to the public.And some recent reports are specific Government officials didn’t want to talk about Labo Leak theory That is because it draws attention to the government’s support for so-called function acquisition research.
What is your reaction to these suggestions? Were you worried that in the spring of 2020, the general public would stick to Labreak theory?
My main concern last spring, as it is today, is to do research to pinpoint how SARS-CoV-2 has emerged in the population.
I don’t talk about what government officials and other scientists did, what they said, or what they didn’t think about. My comments and conclusions are based on rigorous scientific research and I strongly believe that a carefully and well-supported public message on a complex topic is of utmost importance.
Many scientists now state that they are open to possible lab leaks. Looking back over the past year, have you ever regretted how you and the wider scientific community communicated with the general public about Labolik’s ideas?
First of all, it is important to say that the scientific community has made great strides in understanding Covid-19 in a very short time. Lively debate is essential to science, which we have seen regarding the origin of SARS-CoV-2.
Observing the debate and identifying the possibilities of different hypotheses can be difficult for the general public. This is especially true when science is politicized and current criticisms of scientists and subject matter experts set a dangerous precedent. We saw it in the climate change debate, and now we see it in the debate on various aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During this pandemic, I did my best to help explain what the scientific evidence is, and what it suggests, and I have no regrets about it.
Do you support Biden’s call For US intelligence to investigate these various possibilities further? Can they find something that will change your mind?
We have always supported further investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2, including President Biden’s recent call. It’s important to have a more complete understanding of how the virus originated.
As with any scientific process, there are some things that give Labrique’s hypothesis credibility, which changes my mind. For example, reliable evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was at the Wuhan Institute of Virginology prior to the pandemic was found very early in Covid-19 cases, whether in freezer, tissue culture, or animals. Related to epidemiological evidence. Laboratory.
Other evidence may further weight the naturally occurring hypothesis if it appears.It involves the identification of intermediates [animal] Host (if any). We also found that live animals are sold in the Wuhan market, so a better understanding of the animal flow and connected supply lines can give us more confidence in spontaneous generation.
It seems that the Twitter account has been closed. why? Will you be back?
I’ve always seen Twitter as a way to interact with other scientists and the general public to foster an open and transparent dialogue about science.
However, I have become more and more aware that the information and comments I have posted have been misrepresented, especially regarding the origin of SARS-CoV-2, in order to be out of context or to impose false explanations. Daily attacks on scientists and scientific methods have also become commonplace, and much of the conversation is far from science.
For these reasons, I now feel that I can no longer make a productive contribution to the platform and have decided that it would be more productive to spend more time researching infectious diseases, including Covid-19.
Labrique Theory: Kristian Andersen on the Origin of Fauci Email and Covid
Source link Labrique Theory: Kristian Andersen on the Origin of Fauci Email and Covid