A theory I saw about how COVID may have escaped from the Wuhan lab

A few months later they were suggesting that, not at the initial newsworthy outbreak.

The timing of when they suggested that is concurrent with when they destroyed all the evidence they could, iirc.

yes it was.

I don’t understand your point. What does that have to do with the Wuhan Lab?

There are two possibilities if the virus was released from that lab. One is that one is the wild viruses they were studying got out. The other is that they modified a virus and the modified virus got out.

The former seems pretty likely, especially since there seem to be reports of people exploring the caves from which they collected some of their samples getting sick.

The latter is extremely unlikely, because if they modified it, that process would have left signs withing the viral genome that any of those other scientists who later sequenced it would have seen.

I suppose there’s also a small chance that the virus naturally mutated after it was collected and before it escaped the lab. But that would require it to have been grown in a lot of animals in the lab. Or gotten incredibly lucky.

Aren’t viruses grown in bacterial cells?

Virus or phage cultures require host cells in which to multiply. For bacteriophages, cultures are grown by infecting bacterial cells. The phage can then be isolated from the resulting plaques in a lawn of bacteria on a plate.

It depends on the virus. Bacteriophages are viruses adapted to live in bacteria. This is a virus that enters human cells via the ACE2 receptor. I don’t think it lives in bacteria at all.

For reference, people who are allergic to eggs have trouble getting the flu vaccine because most of it is made by growing flu viruses in chicken eggs. I’m sure they would use a vat of bacteria instead if that were practical.

I’m pretty sure they’d have needed an appropriate animal host, like a cat or a bat or a pangolin or a dog or a mink to grow out this virus. Or, more likely, a human cell culture. But you wouldn’t get a ton of reproductions that way.

maybe you can translate this better. It sounds like petri dish technology.

We isolated virus from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens from this patient and characterized the viral sequence, replication properties, and cell culture tropism. We found that the virus replicates to high titer in Vero-CCL81 cells and Vero E6 cells in the absence of trypsin.

quickly googling,

The Vero cells are monkey kidney cells. They are also fairly pricey. So, not

but a monkey cell culture.

I’m still not following your point. So they could have grown out some of these viruses. Do you think they grew them in the sort of massive quantities that would likely lead to a lot of mutations? What sort of quantities of cell cultures are you envisioning? I bet you get more viral replication and more changes of mutation growing in a single person or animal than in those petri dishes.

I think you two are just flirting now… Gain-of-function research exists. The Wuhan lab might have been running experiments on GOF with coronaviruses. Covid-19 may have escaped from a lab. It might have jumped species. The point is that we should probably try to find out. That might help.

It would appear that if you’re in the business of locating viruses to modify them for study to learn how to defeat them then there is the potential for one of them to escape the lab.

Also, is the WIKI page on the Wuhan Lab in error when it says they engage in gain of function work?

It may have escaped the lab but it probably didn’t escape the destruction of lab samples.

Read the thread I linked for you. It is an explanation that differentiates a rescue of function vs gain of function. There was no gain of function.

And the reason they use mice is?

Just because something can infect cells in tissue culture doesn’t mean they can infect a host. Obviously, they didn’t want to infect humans. However, laboratory mice are poor hosts for SARS. In order to study their viruses in vivo, they had to alter they can infect mice.

By the way, please note that this was a study with a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV construct, not a SARS-CoV-2 construct. SARS-CoV-2 causes Covid-19. Oh, and that mouse-adapted construct was made by Americans.

Doesn’t mean it can’t infect a host either.

So? what does that have to do with the work being done in Wuhan?

Look, if you don’t understand what’s in the paper and what was discussed extensively in the other thread, you can ask honest questions. It’s not my field, but I understand enough of what they’re doing so that I can explain it to you. Otherwise, I’m no longer engaging with you.

What sort of investigation do you favor? What evidence would persuade you that it didn’t come from a lab? Do you have any education or professional qualifications to assess that kind of evidence?

What entity would you trust to say “it didn’t come from a lab?”

What would persuade you that enough evidence has been destroyed that we’re unlikely to ever know how it got from bats to people?

And are you ever going to be explicit in distinguishing “wild virus accidentally released from lab” and “virus was modified in lab”?