[ExI] virus scenario

Kunvar Thaman f20170964 at pilani.bits-pilani.ac.in
Wed Apr 15 09:15:05 UTC 2020

> I can state from such personal knowledge that making this virus in a lab
> is beyond the state of the art

Please elaborate?

On Wed, Apr 15, 2020 at 7:06 AM Keith Henson via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> robot at ultimax.com wrote:
> > Not that I think anybody will respond, because there never is, but:
> Not getting a reply to a post is usual for me.  There are two main
> reasons, the readers didn't understand it or it was so clear that
> people didn't find anything to respond to.
> < Spike's scenario doesn't explain the crossover event.
> Agree.  But I have followed gene engineering for decades.  I can state
> from such personal knowledge that making this virus in a lab is beyond
> the state of the art.  Not really far beyond the state of the art but
> it is at least 5 years out and more likely ten years.  The showstopper
> would be designing the entry protein.
> > 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.
> The path that seems most likely is that the virus made the jump from
> bats to pangolins some time ago.  I don't remember where I saw it, but
> COVID-19 was found to be 99% similar to a coronavirus from pangolins.
>  snip influenza data
> > So where did that crossover happen? /in vivo/ or /in vitro/?
> Flu is very different from coronavirus.  It does not swap pieces of
> its genome with other viruses like flu does.  The first human who got
> it was just unlucky that it was able to infect him.  The second human
> was unlucky that the virus was able to infect from the first.
> It certainly could be worse.  The related MERS virus kills about 70%
> of the people it infects.  That's the pandemic that could cut the
> world population by half.
> As it is, too many people being sick at the same time is starting to
> have effects on the food supply.
> Keith
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