[ExI] Design of viruses

Re Rose rocket at earthlight.com
Thu Apr 16 23:34:43 UTC 2020

Haloo all,

I must disagree with the assertion that gene engineering is "nowhere near"
the level of designing viruses. Alas, that is not true, the technology is
already there.

For example, Dr. Shi Zhengli's lab has published many papers on multiple
aspects of viral design, including for coronavirus specifically -
facilitating zoonotic transfer, reusing viral capsid "shells" to create
active virus, and design of SARS entry proteins.

There are many papers from Zhengli's lab specifically, as well as other
labs, on the design of an entry protein (I assume you mean the spike
protein in the case of covid19), including identification of mutational
hotspots, and which amino acids to mutate the hotspots to.

Zhengli's academic papers and many others on covid19 can be perused in this
pretty darn amazing repository:

But don't only look there, there are many papers on viral engineeering. The
technology is here.


Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2020 18:28:31 -0700
From: Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] virus scenario
        <CAPiwVB4-fWr-k_0Yf67ZFe2xtCY38c+Mp4Us3R7CaaOvBqjn_w at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"

robot at ultimax.com wrote:

>> 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.


>As it is, too many people being sick at the same time is starting to
> have effects on the food supply.

Or too many people not working at the same time....

back to lurking,
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