The pre-pandemic strategy for scientists in the United States and Wuhan, China, to create new coronaviruses
According to released papers, a team of scientists from Wuhan and the United States discussed plans to develop new coronaviruses little over 18 months before the first Covid-19 epidemic was detected in China.
In March 2018, the researchers filed a grant proposal to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) outlining a $14.2 million study targeted at “defusing the danger of bat-borne coronaviruses.” The project was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
“Generating full-length, infectious bat coronaviruses in a lab and adding genetic characteristics that may make coronaviruses more suited to infect human cells,” according to The Atlantic, was among the proposals contained in the proposal.
In the case of the grant application, it was filed on behalf of a consortium by British biologist Peter Daszak, however it was rejected. Darpa stated in its letter of denial that the proposal “barely” addressed or explored the “ethical, legal, and societal concerns” connected with the experiment, and that the plan “lacked rigor.”
Nonetheless, according to The Atlantic, the leaked application appears “almost tailor-made to buttress one specific theory of a laboratory origin”: that Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, “wasn’t simply brought into a lab by scientists and then released by accident, but rather pieced together in a deliberate fashion.”
Drastic, a group of internet activists researching the origins of pandemics, received the grant papers from an unidentified whistle-blower and sent them to “guerrilla lab-leak snoops” Drastic.
Wuhan University experts have consistently denied allegations that Covid-19 was developed in a facility in the Chinese city that served as the epicenter of the initial epidemic of the disease.
According to a genetics specialist working for the World Health Organization (WHO), if the virus had been created by scientists, it would explain why a near match has never been seen in nature.
“We would take a variety of sequences from comparable coronaviruses and construct a new sequence that is basically the average of them,” said the WHO collaborator, who requested not to be identified. A novel viral sequence would be created, not a sequence that was a perfect match to anything.”
To now, the viral strain Banal-52, which was identified among bats living in limestone caves in northern Laos last month and with which Covid-19 shares 96.88 percent of its genome, has been determined to be the closest match to Covid-19’s genetic make-up.
Several years ago, the scientific magazine Nature stated that “researchers believe that portions of their genetic coding support assertions that the virus driving Covid-19 has a natural origin.” According to The Telegraph, scientists “expect a direct ancestor to be about a 99.98 percent match – yet none has been discovered so far.”
According to The Intercept, the leaked plan “does not offer convincing proof that the virus that triggered the epidemic originated from a laboratory.” Several experts, however, told a US news website that the discovery of its existence had “changed the landscape of the argument”.
According to Martin Wikelski, director of Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour, whose work was cited in the funding application, “the material in the proposal definitely alters my views.” “In fact,” he said, “a potential transmission chain is now logically coherent – which it was not before I read the proposal.”
Other specialists, on the other hand, are continuing to dispute the lab-origins claims, pointing out that the majority of the genetic engineering work suggested in the application was to be carried out in North Carolina rather than China.
As Stephen Goldstein, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Utah, told The Intercept, “Given that the study wasn’t financed and wasn’t intended to take place in Wuhan anyhow, it’s difficult to evaluate any impact on the origins of Sars-CoV-2.”
According to The Atlantic, a natural genesis is still “the most probable explanation.” However, according to the site, the latest release shows the “toxic veil of secrecy” that has surrounded such studies, which has fueled conspiracy theories.
As the struggle to control Covid-19 continues, this “steady trickle of disclosures” has “maintained an environment of deep uneasiness.”
According to a new research, ‘COVID toes’ may be a side effect of the body’s virus-fighting efforts.
According to a recent research, a skin disease known as COVID toes – which causes inflammation and redness on the hands and feet – may be a secondary consequence of the immune system’s reaction to the virus.
Swollen fingers and toes, as well as changes in color, are common symptoms of an infection that occurs between one to four weeks after being infected.
While some people have symptoms for just a few days, others experience them for many months at a time. The disease was initially connected to the virus in December of last year, and it has since been related to several other viruses.
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The research, which was published in the British Journal of Dermatology, examined 50 individuals who had COVID toes and 13 persons who had identical chilblains lesions that had developed before to the pandemic.
During their research, they identified two elements of the immune system that may be responsible for why symptoms occur when your body is fighting against the infection.
One is an anti-viral protein known as type 1 interferon, while the other is an antibody that erroneously targets and interacts with a person’s own cells and tissues, as well as the invading virus. Type 1 interferon is an anti-viral protein, and type 2 interferon is an antibody.
It seems that the cells lining the blood arteries that feed the afflicted region play an important part in the development of COVID toes and chilblains, as well as other skin diseases.
‘This research has given a better knowledge of the disease,’ Dr Charles Cassius, the study’s principal author, stated.
According to him, “while the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of chilblain-like lesions have been widely researched and published, little is known about the pathophysiology that is involved.”
“There are some fresh findings in our research.”