Thursday, October 8, 2020

Wuhan Institute of Virology 2015 Paper: "We Created a Chimeric Virus... ...from Chinese horseshoe bats... primary human airway cells and in vivo."

Click here to read the original Cautious Optimism Facebook post with comments 

1. Chimeric (adj): relating to or denoting a DNA molecule with sequences derived from two or more different organisms, formed by laboratory manipulation.

2. "…we built a chimeric virus encoding a novel, zoonotic CoV spike protein—from the RsSHC014-CoV sequence that was isolated from Chinese horseshoe bats... ...Using this approach, we characterized CoV infection mediated by the SHC014 spike protein in primary human airway cells and in vivo."

-Dr. Shi Zhengli, et al. (2015 research paper on Wuhan Institute of Virology bat coronavirus research)

Wuhan Institute of Virology bat coronavirus expert Shi Zhengli

4 MIN READ - The Cautious Optimism Correspondent for Left Coast Affairs and Other Inexplicable Phenomena thanks CO Nation regulars Don Deere, Ticiba Upe, and others for sending him down the investigatory road that led to the discovery of this 2015 scientific paper detailing bat coronavirus re-engineering experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The Correspondent has extracted key passages from this open 2015 scientific paper (link and excerpts at end of column). The text reads somewhat technically, but with a little persistence one can clearly see what the joint Chinese-western team was trying to accomplish, including “batwoman” Shi Zhengli, China's top authority on bat coronaviruses.

In layman terms, they were concerned that one day a bat coronavirus might jump naturally to humans and create another 2003 SARS-like outbreak.

So to head off such an eventuality they decided to genetically alter a natural coronavirus from the horseshoe bat to enhance its ability to infect mammals via the ACE2 receptor and then test various antibody therapies on it to stockpile effective treatments in case such a future outbreak might occur.

They also tested the genetically altered coronaviruses on human lung tissue and were pleased with the results. The artificial coronavirus proved quite adept at penetrating lung tissue and replicating.

However some western scientists expressed concern that the risks of such experiments far outweighed any potential benefits should the chimeric virus “escape.” In other words, their risky research to head off a future outbreak might create the outbreak itself.

The Left Coast Correspondent is no fan of paranoid conspiracy theories that instantly circulate at the first onset of every crisis, but over time more and more circumstantial evidence has emerged providing a growing list of implausible coincidences.

Each single coincidence was already somewhat dubious on its own, but as more and more are added to the long chain of coincidences the shrinking probabilities relentlessly build a circumstantial case that Covid-19 was artificially conceived at the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a superefficient human infector for benign albeit unwise reasons.

In other words, once in a while a conspiracy theory turns out to have merit.

The unlikely chain of coincidences includes:

-The outbreak started in Wuhan, the same city where the experiments were conducted.

-The original Covid-19 coronavirus originates in a species of bat that lives 500 miles away from Wuhan.

-All cell phone voice and data traffic dropped to zero at the Wuhan Institute of Virology from October 7-24 of 2019, consistent with a shutdown if Chinese authorities suspected a leak.

-The Covid virus is superefficient at infecting humans, something unusual for viruses that have just made their first natural jump. Natural viruses typically need years/decades of mutations to perfect the process, but Covid-19 hit the ground blazing through the planet's human population effortlessly. By contrast the SARS and MERS coronaviruses quickly burned out because they couldn’t infect more humans easily enough.

-A Chinese virologist has defected to the United States claiming the Covid-19 coronavirus is chimeric and was engineered at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

-Scientific papers still exist online confirming the reengineering of bat coronaviruses was taking place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology for the expressed purpose of making them highly infectious to mammals and human lung tissue.

-China’s “batwoman” Shi Zhengli has made public statements denying the Covid-19 virus is related to the viruses her team was working on at the WIV, her words and mouth movements obviously connected to puppet strings tugged by her ventriloquist: the Chinese Communist Party. Communist precedent exists with Soviet scientists we now know were ordered to lie to the world about the 1979 Sverdlovsk laboratory anthrax outbreak. 

-The Chinese government prohibited any WIV access to outside experts until finally providing NBC News a sanitized tour and controlled interview in August of 2020, more than eight months after the initial outbreak at Wuhan's Huanan Seafood Market.

-The Chinese government has hidden away WIV scientists and technicians, putting them out of reach from international experts and journalists. Only a few prepared statements and controlled interviews with state run Chinese media have been allowed, and what few western scientific inquiries are answered have been funneled through WIV Director General Wang Yanyi, an immunologist who has ascended to the Director General post through a combination of her scientific credentials, loyalty to the Communist Party, and political shrewdness adhering to official CCP narratives.

Yet the Chinese Communist government insists these are all coincidences and that the Covid outbreak is completely natural in origin.

Links to the paper and article about scientific dissent are included below as well as the key passages including multiple instances of the words “chimeric virus.”


“The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV underscores the threat of cross-species transmission events leading to outbreaks in humans. Here we examine the disease potential of a SARS-like virus, SHC014-CoV, which is currently circulating in Chinese horseshoe bat populations1. Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system2, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone. The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV.”

“Evaluation of available SARS-based immune-therapeutic and prophylactic modalities revealed poor efficacy; both monoclonal antibody and vaccine approaches failed to neutralize and protect from infection with CoVs using the novel spike protein.”

"However, sequence data alone provides minimal insights to identify and prepare for future prepandemic viruses. Therefore, to examine the emergence potential (that is, the potential to infect humans) of circulating bat CoVs, we built a chimeric virus encoding a novel, zoonotic CoV spike protein—from the RsSHC014-CoV sequence that was isolated from Chinese horseshoe bats1—in the context of the SARS-CoV mouse-adapted backbone. The hybrid virus allowed us to evaluate the ability of the novel spike protein to cause disease independently of other necessary adaptive mutations in its natural backbone. Using this approach, we characterized CoV infection mediated by the SHC014 spike protein in primary human airway cells and in vivo, and tested the efficacy of available immune therapeutics against SHC014-CoV."

"...bat Ace2 sequence was based on that from Rhinolophus leschenaulti, and DBT cells expressing bat Ace2 were established as described previously8. Pseudotyping experiments were similar to those using an HIV-based pseudovirus, prepared as previously described10, and examined on HeLa cells (Wuhan Institute of Virology) that expressed ACE2 orthologs. HeLa cells were grown in minimal essential medium (MEM) (Gibco, CA) supplemented with 10% FCS (Gibco, CA) as previously described24. Growth curves in Vero E6, DBT, Calu-3 2B4 and primary human airway epithelial cells were performed as previously described."

"other virologists question whether the information gleaned from the experiment justifies the potential risk. Although the extent of any risk is difficult to assess, Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, points out that the researchers have created a novel virus that “grows remarkably well” in human cells. “If the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory,” he says."

""The only impact of this work is the creation, in a lab, of a new, non-natural risk,” agrees Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist and biodefence expert at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. Both Ebright and Wain-Hobson are long-standing critics of gain-of-function research."

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