Will humans never learn?

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Merry
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Will humans never learn?

Post by Merry »

There has been much talk about Gain of Function research being the underlying cause of the Covid pandemic.

For those of us who don’t know what GOF research is, here’s a brief explanation -
biological research aimed at increasing the virulence and lethality of pathogens and viruses. GoF research is government funded; its focus is on enhancing the pathogens’ ability to infect different species and to increase their deadly impact as airborne pathogens and viruses. Ostensibly, GoF research is conducted for biodefense purposes. These experiments, however, are extremely dangerous. Those deadly science-enhanced pathogens can, and do escape into the community where they infect and kill people. What’s more, this line of research can be used for biological warfare.
Government officials and the recipients of government grants and contracts for “gain-of-function” research argue that these experiments are critical for understanding the subtle changes that can make a bird virus a pandemic threat.
https://ahrp.org/what-is-gain-of-functi ... high-risk/

In 2014, following a few lab mishaps, the U.S. temporarily suspended it’s GOF research, and advised other countries to do the same
Critics of such work argue that it is unnecessarily dangerous and risks accidentally releasing viruses with pandemic potential
https://www.nature.com/news/us-suspends ... ch-1.16192

However, some of the proponents of such research who disagreed with the Government move, simply arranged for funding for such research to be transferred to the Wuhan Lab in China.
the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.
https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backe ... ch-1500741

In 2019 GOF research was resumed in the U.S. but there are still many scientists who oppose it, because they think it’s too risky
"We have serious doubts about whether these experiments should be conducted at all," wrote Tom Inglesby of Johns Hopkins University and Marc Lipsitch of Harvard
Basically it’s an “end justifies the means” argument, whereby proponents argue that the benefit of developing vaccines before a new virus passes from animals to humans, outweigh the risks of precipitating such an event. But opponents think the reverse is true, and that by finding and isolating such viruses, and then working on them to increase their lethality and contagiousness, we may end up causing the very type of pandemic we’re aiming to prevent.

There are some who claim that is what caused this Pandemic, but we may never know for sure.

All that said, I was surprised to see that GOF research is currently taking place in Canada, under the usual explanation of searching for new vaccines. But do we all approve of our tax dollars being used for such research?

Here’s what they are doing
Cataloguing animal coronaviruses, trying to predict what characteristics make them likely to infect humans, trying to predict what they'll look like when they jump to humans, and creating a "bank" of many vaccines for that possibility.
finding animal coronaviruses is step 1. Bats are a good place to begin, as they're thought to be the origin of both SARS viruses. However, they live in caves that aren't very accessible and their nighttime flying makes them difficult to catch.

Burton Lim, who is working with Western University researchers to create a bank of bat coronavirus vaccines, should know. The assistant curator of mammalogy at the Royal Ontario Museum, Lim has collected bats in Mexico, the Caribbean and Vietnam.
For every bat collected since 1989, tissue samples were taken and frozen — nearly 15,000 from 400 species in 30 countries.

It's in those tissue samples that Ryan Troyer, an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Western University and his team will be fishing for minuscule droplets of coronavirus RNA hiding in a huge pool of genetic material from the bats. (The viruses themselves are killed by preservative chemicals).

They'll be doing the same kind of hunt in bat feces shared by Lim's former master's supervisor, Brock Fenton, a Western University biology professor.

Each coronavirus has a unique "spike" protein that it uses to enter and infect cells.

To test which ones pose the greatest risk of infecting humans, researchers will use the genetic instructions for making each spike protein to create "pseudoviruses" and see which ones can get into animal and human cells.
Such research is supposed to help us develop new vaccines against viruses that MAY one day jump from animals to humans. But what if it’s actually the cause of such species crossovers?

Human beings are not fallible, and accidents DO happen. So, despite the claims of GOF proponents that it’s “safe”, it’s worth considering the warnings of those who say the opposite.
Such research raises ethical concerns because of the risk that accidental release from a laboratory could lead to extensive or even global spread of a virulent pathogen. Biomedical research ethics has focused largely on human subjects research, while biosafety concerns about accidental infections, seen largely as a problem of occupational health, have been ignored. GOF/PPP research is an example of a small but important class of research where biosafety risks threaten public health, well beyond the small number of persons conducting the research.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26320212/
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Queen K
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Re: Will humans never learn?

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Great post Merry!

Just note, Facebook has forbidden any mention of saying that Covid19 is lab created. The story line is: Covid is natural from bats.

Also, GOF is likely now to be labelled a "conspiracy."

So no conspiracy stuff about creating viruses to wipe out people via biological warfare. <This may be regulated to conspiracy by now.

No "GOF", no "Wuhan Lab" no, "viruses were stolen from Canada and taken to Wuhan."

Do not question.
Do not challenge.
Do not post this on Fb.

Thought police is real. Read or Reread Orwell's "1984" to get the scope of it. And it will make much more sense now than it ever did in high school or English 102.
If Putin stopped, he'd be saving Russian lives as well. Never thought the right would have a field day but June 24/2022 it is.
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oldtrucker
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Re: Will humans never learn?

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^^^ And because of that, it's everyone's duty to do everything the exact opposite of what the 'expectation' is, or what we are 'supposed ' to do. Mass disobedience.
Some may view my politically incorrect opinions as harsh and may be offended by them. Some think political correctness will be our undoing.
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Merry
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Re: Will humans never learn?

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Queen K wrote:Great post Merry!

Just note, Facebook has forbidden any mention of saying that Covid19 is lab created. The story line is: Covid is natural from bats.
The virus IS of natural origin, and probably DID come from bats. But it may not have made the jump from bats to humans without help.

GOF research finds bats in places most humans would never go, extracts the virus, then works on it to make it more deadly and able to infect humans. The logic being that it will probably make the jump to humans anyway one day, so we may as well precipitate the process in a “safe” environment, and allow ourselves time to develop a vaccine before the jump happens naturally.

The problem with that argument is that these viruses may never have made the jump from bats to humans, without that human intervention.

As the article I posted a link to points out, most of these bats live in hard to reach places, where few humans ever venture. And it is the GOF research, not nature, that is making the virus contagious to humans. It is also the GOF research that is making these viruses more lethal.

GOF proponents claim that all of this would probably happen anyway, which is why they need to develop vaccines in advance. But as most of these viruses have probably been circulating in bats for hundreds, if not thousands of years, without crossing over into humans, where is the evidence to support those GOF proponents arguments?

Many scientists argue GOF research is both unethical and dangerous, because it has the potential to cause a pandemic just like the ones it purports to be preventing. And some think that is exactly what caused this current pandemic. But, whether it did or not, it certainly has the potential to cause future ones.
Queen K wrote:GOF is likely now to be labelled a "conspiracy."
Which is unfortunate, because GOF research is real, and has been going on for decades. It is of questionable value, and has the potential to kill more people than a third world war. Yet most people have never heard of it.

We need more, not less, public debate about this kind of scientific research.
Last edited by Merry on Feb 16th, 2021, 9:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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lifegives
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Re: Will humans never learn?

Post by lifegives »

I haven't seen proof of an accident causing this pandemic, glad to get behind things that have proof. And no, saying that no mention of it is proof of the conspiracy doesn't fly with rational people.
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Re: Will humans never learn?

Post by cyruslosco66 »

im not worried about it . nuclear bombs are more of a threat than virus research in canada .
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Merry
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Re: Will humans never learn?

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lifegives wrote:I haven't seen proof of an accident causing this pandemic, glad to get behind things that have proof. And no, saying that no mention of it is proof of the conspiracy doesn't fly with rational people.
There is no “proof” for either the “accidental escape from a lab” theory” or “the natural jump from bats to humans” theory. Both theories are perfectly plausible.

But this thread isn’t intended to be about the origins of this particular pandemic in particular, but more about the appropriateness of Gain of Function research in general.
the United States has long held a fierce debate about the ethics and risks of gain-of-function (GOF) research. Critics, such as Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch, have argued that such work “entails a unique risk that a laboratory accident could spark a pandemic, killing millions.” These objections motivated the Obama administration to halt all domestic GOF research in 2011, a restriction that was later lifted in 2017, following the implementation of new safety protocols. Although we do not know exactly what went into the decision to fund the WIV [Wuhan Lab] during this moratorium, it is likely that domestic restrictions may have played a role, forcing the proponents of such work to seek opportunities abroad. These proponents are of the opinion that GOF research is worth the risk, being the best way to understand, prevent, and treat pandemics, an argument that is not without merit.

Unfortunately, from the public’s perspective, reports about the connection between the NIH and WIV are at risk of feeding conspiracy theory fires. With some Chinese officials already blaming the United States for the pandemic and the Trump administration appearing intent on blaming China in return without divulging any decisive evidence, it is quite difficult, even for experts, to develop a fully-informed opinion about what exactly happened. And therein lies a dangerous problem: unanswered questions can only deepen peoples’ suspicions about science.
https://thediplomat.com/2020/05/why-wou ... wuhan-lab/

If people are to have confidence in GOF research, questions surrounding the origin of Covid-19 need to be answered, not buried (my bold)
Although one pronouncement from the joint Chinese-WHO team mirrored the generally accepted scientific view that the coronavirus most likely jumped from bats to an intermediary species before infecting humans, the team on Tuesday echoed China’s official position on several contested theories without offering meaningful new evidence.
revived skepticism among the international agency’s critics, as well as President Biden’s administration, about the value of the politically fraught trip co-ordinated by Chinese officials, and cast a cloud over a WHO team
At the State Department, a spokesman said the United States would continue to collect its own information “rather than rush to conclusions that may be motivated by anything other than science,”
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/as- ... aganda-win
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Merry
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Re: Will humans never learn?

Post by Merry »

indianlarry66 wrote:im not worried about it . nuclear bombs are more of a threat than virus research in canada .
We were never told exactly what happened at that breach of Lab protocols in Winnipeg. We know that some dangerous pathogens were illegally sent to China, and we also know that some scientists were removed from that lab, but were told the removal was for a different, undisclosed, reason.
Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, her husband Keding Cheng and her students from China were removed from Canada's only level-4 lab on over what's described as a possible "policy breach."
the shipment and the Qiu's eviction from the lab are not connected.
"It is suspicious. It is alarming. It is potentially life-threatening," said Amir Attaran, a law professor and epidemiologist at the University of Ottawa.

"We have a researcher who was removed by the RCMP from the highest security laboratory that Canada has for reasons that government is unwilling to disclose. The intelligence remains secret. But what we know is that before she was removed, she sent one of the deadliest viruses on Earth, and multiple varieties of it to maximize the genetic diversity and maximize what experimenters in China could do with it, to a laboratory in China that does dangerous gain of function experiments. And that has links to the Chinese military."

Gain of function experiments are when a natural pathogen is taken into the lab, made to mutate, and then assessed to see if it has become more deadly or infectious.
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/c ... r-BB15sidO

At the time the above article was written, it was thought that GOF research wasn’t happening in Canada. But what is described in that article I posted a link to in my opening post, sure sounds like GOF research to me.

Remember it was breach of lab protocols that caused the U.S. to temporarily halt it’s GOF research back in 2014
federal moratorium on gain-of-function (GOF) research – altering natural pathogens to make them more deadly and infectious – as a result of rising fears about a possible pandemic caused by an accidental or deliberate release of these genetically engineered monster germs.

This was in part due to lab accidents at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in July 2014 that raised questions about biosafety at US high-containment labs.

At that time, the CDC had closed two labs and halted some biological shipments in the wake of several incidents in which highly pathogenic microbes were mishandled by US government laboratories: an accidental shipment of live anthrax, the discovery of forgotten live smallpox samples and a newly revealed incident in which a dangerous influenza strain was accidentally shipped from the CDC to another lab.

A CDC internal report described how scientists failed to follow proper procedures to ensure samples were inactivated before they left the lab, and also found “multiple other problems” with operating procedures in the anthrax lab.
https://asiatimes.com/2020/04/why-us-ou ... -to-wuhan/

And, even though they claim to have put additional protocols in place prior to restarting the research, there are many scientists who believe the new process is not transparent enough for us all to be sufficiently reassured.
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Glacier
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Re: Will humans never learn?

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I can't remember if I've posted any videos or podcast links from the husband and wife biologists of Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying on Castanet, but they have been talking about this since at least June.

They produce the "Dark Horse Podcast" that you can find on YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. The censorship over this topic is extremely frustrating because it impedes progress and the honest search for truth. And I'm not talking only about blatant banning of content discussing the possibility of a lab leak, but the wider cultural censorship by shaming people with phrases like "you must be a conspiracy theorist or on the far right if you want to talk about 'gain of function'."

Bret and Heather come from the Bernie Sanders left, and they are scientists who are not conspiracy theorists, and still that's not enough to quell the establishment types who only accept truth as defined by the center left intelligentsia.

Here is their latest podcast for anyone interested...

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Merry
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Re: Will humans never learn?

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The following is taken from a paper that discusses the pros and cons of GOF research designed to create vaccines to avoid future pandemics
Today the complexity and interconnectivity of our society create vulnerabilities, such that pandemics with even low mortality have the potential to cause widespread suffering and economic disruption. Epidemics can have catastrophic effects on the social order and result in the disruption of benefits that we associate with current society, such as law and order and reliable food distribution
epidemics pose existential threats to civil society even when morbidity and mortality occur in a fraction of those infected
in recent years, some members of the scientific community have been involved in a vigorous debate over so-called “gain-of-function” (GOF) experiments involving pathogens with pandemic potential (PPP)
Proponents and opponents of GOF work engaged in extensive discussion about the value, safety, ethics, and validity of this type of research.
Proponents of continued GOF experiments emphasize the benefit and downplay or even deny the risk, while opponents do the converse. Since both risk and benefit involve quantitative assessments, in this case with limited information, the debate is fueled by the reality that weighing risks and benefits involves judgment calls. The risks fall into two general categories that are separate but related: namely, biosecurity and biosafety. Biosecurity risk is the likelihood that someone would use products or information gained from GOF experiments that led to a more pathogenic virus to carry out intentional damage in the form of bioterrorism. Biosafety risk is the likelihood of accidental escape that could trigger an outbreak and epidemic.
Biosecurity estimates are difficult, because they involve a calculation of the risk of deliberate nefarious action, and such information is simply not always available.
On the other hand, biosafety estimates can rely on historical data. Prior experience with lab accidents was used by Lipsitch and Bloom to suggest that there is a significant likelihood that a major lab accident could occur
https://mbio.asm.org/content/5/4/e01730-14

So the question is, do the benefits of creating vaccines against viruses that haven’t yet, and may never, make the jump from animals to humans, outweigh the risks outlined above?

I think that question needs to be debated in the Public forum far more than it has been up till now. If, like me, you hadn’t even heard of GOF research until recently, I think it’s time we all started educating ourselves on the subject, before the decision about risk/benefits is made for us rather than with us.
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Re: Will humans never learn?

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Here’s more debate about the pros and cons of GOF research
“The United States government weighed the risks and benefits … and developed new oversight mechanisms. We know that it does carry risks. We also believe it is important work to protect human health,” Yoshihiro Kawaoka, an investigator whose gain-of-function research was approved, told Science magazine.

According to this logic, if we’d known for years that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus — the virus now keeping us all indoors — was a particularly dangerous one, maybe we could have had disease surveillance systems out to alert us if it made the jump to humans.

Others are skeptical. Thomas Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins, told me last year that he doesn’t think the benefits for vaccine development hold up in most cases. “I haven’t seen any of the vaccine companies say that they need to do this work in order to make vaccines,” he pointed out. “I have not seen evidence that the information people are pursuing could be put into widespread use in the field.”

Furthermore, there are unimaginably many possible variants on a virus, of which researchers can identify only a few. Even if we stumble across one way a virus could mutate to become deadly, we might miss thousands of others. “It’s an open question whether laboratory studies are going to come up with the same solution that nature would,” MIT biologist Kevin Esvelt told me last year. “How predictive are these studies really?” As of right now, that’s still an open question.
https://www.vox.com/2020/5/1/21243148/w ... hould-stop

I agree with the point that no matter how many rare viruses GOF research identifies and artificially mutates, there are likely thousands more in the wild that will be overlooked. So, knowing that, are the risks of accidentally releasing incredibly dangerous pathogens, to which the human race has absolutely no immunity, worth it?
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Re: Will humans never learn?

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indianlarry66 wrote:im not worried about it . nuclear bombs are more of a threat than virus research in canada .
Canada doesn't have any nuclear bombs.
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Queen K
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Re: Will humans never learn?

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Gone_Fishin wrote:
indianlarry66 wrote:im not worried about it . nuclear bombs are more of a threat than virus research in canada .
Canada doesn't have any nuclear bombs.
IL didn't say or imply that Canada has nuclear bombs, he just said N. Bombs are more of a threat. I happen to disagree, the virus is doing what no nuclear bomb as done since the USA dropped two on Japan. The virus is much more of a threat.
If Putin stopped, he'd be saving Russian lives as well. Never thought the right would have a field day but June 24/2022 it is.
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Re: Will humans never learn?

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Gone_Fishin wrote:
indianlarry66 wrote:im not worried about it . nuclear bombs are more of a threat than virus research in canada .
Canada doesn't have any nuclear bombs.
Not so fast with that one....
NATO....
Not deployed and not live weapons- some assembly required. ( The Bomarc and Genie were the last deployed nuclear weapons Canada had)
Go have a look at CFD Dundurn on google earth. Kinda looks the same as the facilities surrounding the Trident base in Bangor Wash....doesn't it?...Yup. Or....also called NATO weapons storage Dundurn. Possibly the largest facility of its kind in all of NATO .Heavy blast deflectors around the buildings- which are spaced perfectly at 175 m apart to protect from nuclear surface detonations. The buildings and connected underground facilities will require multiple warheads to take them out. What do people think is stored there other than bullets 'n tank rounds that would justify such heavy fortifications?
That bleeping place could really bleep up my post nuclear war survival plans as it could be hit multiple times with heavy fallout downwind. How dare they place a target like that upwind from my place... :-X :200: [icon_lol2.gif]
edit added... Canadian f-18's can carry the variants of B-61 tactical nuclear bomb if req.- Comox/Cold Lake and Bagotville.
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