[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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