Project News and Views
Phylogeographic Mapping of Newly Discovered Coronaviruses Pinpoints the Direct Progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 as Originating from Mojiang, China
Published on Monday 2nd August 2021 in Independent Science News: “Phylogeographic Mapping of Newly Discovered Coronaviruses Pinpoints the Direct Progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 as Originating from Mojiang, China“, by Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD.
Synopsis: Many scientists are now openly considering whether a lab leak best explains the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Yet it is frequently also suggested in the media that the data ‘hasn’t changed’, only people’s opinions. This is far from the truth. One data set that has grown substantively since the pandemic broke out is the number of wild virus relatives of SARS-CoV-2 that have been identified and sequenced. In all, twelve isolates have now been described, ten obtained from bats and two from pangolins. All 12 isolates were found in Asia. These viruses constitute what we know of the SARS-CoV-2 reservoir population in its bat hosts. For most of these viruses, both their sampling location and their genetic similarity to SARS-CoV-2 are known. We therefore conducted a phylogeographic analysis of these viruses. It revealed that the SARS-CoV-2-related viruses form a coherent group, with a geographically ordered genetic structure. Because of this geographic ordering, the location from which human SARS-CoV-2 originated, i.e. the locality where its direct ancestor jumped from the bat reservoir, could be identified with high confidence. Using two different approaches, which gave the same result, this location was determined to be a comparatively small region of south-central Yunnan, China.
Positively locating the jump from bats represents an advance with major implications for understanding the origin of SARS-CoV-2. While a south-central Yunnan source does not rule out either a lab or a zoonotic origin in principle, the result compels all candidate hypotheses to incorporate a plausible link with that locality. Indeed, some well-known origin theories are clearly not compatible with this finding. They therefore appear to be non-viable. Perhaps even more importantly, a south-central Yunnan origin is a highly suggestive finding because at the centre of that region is the Mojiang mine. This mine has been the focus of most lab origin theories, in particular, the Mojiang Miners Passage theory, which posits that SARS-CoV-2 derives from tissue samples taken from miners who were infected in a novel coronavirus outbreak in 2012. This theory specifically predicts that Mojiang in south-central Yunnan was the site where the jump from bats occurred. For these reasons, this new analysis should transform the origins debate about COVID-19.
Read the full article at: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/phylogeographic-mapping-of-newly-discovered-coronaviruses-pinpoints-direct-progenitor-of-sars-cov-2-as-originating-from-mojiang/
Published on Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 by Independent Science News: “A Chinese PhD Thesis Sheds Important New Light On The Origin of the COVID-19 Coronavirus,” written by Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD
An Interview with Richard Ebright: The WHO Investigation Members Were “participants in disinformation”
Published Wednesday, March 24th, 2021 by Independent Science News, “An Interview with Richard Ebright: The WHO Investigation Members Were “participants in disinformation.” Interviewed by Jorge Casesmeiro Roger.
Synopsis: In this exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Prof. Richard Ebright, the long-time critic of risky pathogen research is asked about the merits of the WHO investigation, its personnel, and its forthcoming report. The interview also asks about Gain-of-Function (GoF) research and the surprising silence of the Cambridge Working Group. In the interview Dr. Ebright describes how US scientific leaders deliberately circumvented the GoF research pause placed on them. The directors of NIAID and NIH even stymied risk-benefit assessment of such research.
Jonathan Latham, PhD Gives Three Video Talks: Natural Origin or Lab Escape? The Emergence of SARS-CoV-2
Series title: Natural Origin or Lab Escape? The Emergence of SARS-CoV-2
Video 1: Why Wuhan?Could SARS-CoV-2 have come from a lab? This online talk is the first in a series of three by Dr Jonathan Latham. The three talks were presented to the EAT online community on Jan 8th, Jan 25th and Jan22nd, 2021. The three talks describe aspects of our current thinking on the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the political/economic forces attempting to influence public perception of its origins. In short, the evidence for a zoonotic origin is virtually non-existent, whereas several lines of evidence point strongly to a lab escape. However, powerful economic and political forces are preventing a frank discussion of the origins of the virus both in the media and in the scientific literature. View talk at:
Video 2: The Mojiang Miners Passage TheoryJonathan Latham, PhD, introduces the various lab origin theories for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the cause of the COVID19 pandemic. In order of appearance: 1) Sirotkin and Sirotkin, 2) Segreto and Deigin, and 3) the DRASTIC theory. Dr Latham then discusses the latest thinking on the Mojiang Miners Passage Theory in more detail. This theory starts with the fact that RaTG13 (the closest related viral sequence to SARS-CoV-2) was sampled from a mine that had previously been the site of a disease outbreak in 2012. In that outbreak, six miners were hospitalized and three died of COVID-19-like symptoms. The ill miners had been shovelling bat guano and were diagnosed at the time as likely suffering from an unknown coronavirus. Samples of serum, and possibly tissue samples, from four of the hospitalized miners were transported at the time to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) for testing. The Mojiang Miners Passage theory proposes that, by the time these patient samples arrived at the WIV, the original mine virus had evolved and adapted to their human hosts. It was this virus which subsequently escaped and caused the COVID19 pandemic. View talk at:
Video 3: The Pandemic Virus Industrial ComplexThe military has its academic industrial complex and so does virus research. The Pandemic Virus Industrial Complex (PVIC) is busy on many fronts, one of which is actively trying to obscure the likely lab origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.In this video, Dr Jonathan Latham, PhD, shares insights into the functioning and organization of the various elements that constitute the PVIC. How do its academic, military, and commercial aspects interact? Who, if anyone, pulls the strings? View talk at:
The Case Is Building That COVID-19 Had a Lab Origin https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/the-case-is-building-that-covid-19-had-a-lab-origin/
A Proposed Origin for SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 Pandemic https://www.independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/a-proposed-origin-for-sars-cov-2-and-the-covid-19-pandemic/
Why China and the WHO Will Never Find a Zoonotic Origin For the COVID-19 Pandemic Virus https://www.independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/why-china-and-the-who-will-never-find-a-zoonotic-origin-for-the-covid19-pandemic-virus/
See also independent journalist Sam Husseini’s important articles:
Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance Has Hidden Almost $40 Million In Pentagon Funding And Militarized Pandemic Science https://www.independentsciencenews.org/news/peter-daszaks-ecohealth-alliance-has-hidden-almost-40-million-in-pentagon-funding?/
The Long History of Accidental Laboratory Releases of Potential Pandemic Pathogens Is Being Ignored In the COVID-19 Media Coverage https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/the-long-history-of-accidental-laboratory-releases-of-potential-pandemic-pathogens/
And this key article fromof U.S. Right to Know
EcoHealth Alliance Orchestrated Key Scientists’ Statement on “natural origin” of SARS-CoV-2 https://www.independentsciencenews.org/news/ecohealth-alliance-orchestrated-key-scientists-statement-on-natural-origin-of-sars-cov-2/
Published on Tuesday, February 16th by Independent Science News, “Why China and the WHO Will Never Find a Zoonotic Origin For the COVID-19 Pandemic Virus“, written by Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD.
Synopsis: Wuhan, China, is a place that no one predicted a natural coronavirus pandemic would begin. Nevertheless, the numerical improbability of a natural coronavirus pandemic originating within commuting distance of a major coronavirus laboratory has, until now, never been properly calculated. But there is also another coincidence that defenders of a zoonotic origin for the COVID-19 pandemic need to account for. There are numerous coronavirus species. Any one of these might theoretically have caused a pandemic. Yet the actual pandemic virus belongs to the same species that was also the near exclusive focus of coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The magnitude of these two coincidences, we propose, explains why a natural zoonotic origin has not been found. Indeed, it implies that some variant of a laboratory escape is the only realistic possibility.
The Bioscience Resource Project provides scientific and intellectual resources for a healthy future. It publishes Independent Science News, a media service devoted to food and agriculture, and their impacts on health and the environment. It also offers resources for scientists and educators and internships and training for students. Through its innovative scientific journalism and original biosafety review articles, the project provides unique and revealing perspectives on issues that are fundamental to the survival of people and the planet. The project does not accept advertising or corporate funding and is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. It is completely dependent on individual donations.
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