[ExI] virus scenario
robot at ultimax.com
robot at ultimax.com
Tue Apr 14 18:19:03 UTC 2020
Not that I think anybody will respond, because there never is, but:
Spike's scenario doesn't explain the crossover event.
SARS-CoV-2 is not 100% bat content. Mostly it is -- 80%?? The balance,
20%??, came from some other mammal. Pangolin (an Asian anteater, looks
a lot like an armadillo) is the thinking, but, whatever.
So a crossover event was necessary to create this hybrid. We know for a
fact that virions, disrobed of their outer protective sheaths, submerged
in a living liquid environment exchange chunks of genetic material, swap
genetic material like crazy, with each other and with their hosts. You
and I have a ton of junk DNA in our genome that originated in virions.
Hell, I just interviewed someone who discovered a "lateral gene transfer
event" between **fungi** and an animal (a tiny fly called a midge).
Yes, the fungus among us. Not only that, but the recipient organism
(the midge) *expressed* the new gene (!), in a functional non-lethal way
(!! self-synthesizing the essential nutrient beta carotene, one of a
very rare few animals on Earth that can do that), and furthermore,
*transmitted* the new genetic capability to her progeny. This
gene-swapping phenomenon is *especially* common for RNA viruses since
they lack the redundancy / error correction of DNA viruses. (The whole
point of a double helix is to catch the weird sh*t and nip it in the
bud.) This phenomenon is common enough with two different animals
(think, pigs and ducks wrt H1N1); highly unlikely with three different
animals at the same time. So we'll go with two.
So where did that crossover happen? /in vivo/ or /in vitro/? I have no
intuition about the answer to that, haven't read enough yet. But one
plausible scenario is that one single human being, Patient Zero, some
schmo swabbing out some messy place, was simultaneously infected with
*both* virions at the same time, either due to bad luck/carelessness,
bad management/carelessness, or design. Then P.Z. walked around for
awhile, a living laboratory, shedding a gift that keeps on giving.
Robert G Kennedy III, PE
1994 AAAS/ASME Congressional Fellow
U.S. House Subcommittee on Space
On 2020-04-14 12:56, extropy-chat-request at lists.extropy.org wrote:
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2020 09:46:23 -0700
> From: <spike at rainier66.com>
> To: "'ExI chat list'" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Cc: <spike at rainier66.com>
> Subject: [ExI] virus scenario
> This scenario doesn't require a conspiracy.
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