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Proximal Origins - the movie - Pt 1 (General)

by dulan drift, Saturday, June 13, 2020, 18:22 (103 days ago)

Disclaimer:
This is not my 'theory' - it's just a movie idea.

Set inside the closed society of mostly male virologists. Within that group there are factions - they co-operate on experiments, papers, getting grants. A small group of 5 like-minded idealists come together - all of them are brilliant. A subset of 3 are genomic surveillance enthusiasts. They believe millions of lives each year could be saved through DNA and GPS surveillance - but can't get it past Western governments due to ethics concerns. An overlapping subset are environmental warriors, blaming the consumer greed of modern life for destroying the planet.

As scientists they collaborate internationally - including with China. In the wake of 911 - particularly after the anthrax incident - there was unlimited money for biodefense research in the US - several new institutes and research bodies were started - while research grants were handed out to University scientists studying viruses like confetti. Ironically, the anthrax incident, which was itself the result of an escaped pathogen from a biodefense lab, contributed to a surge in labs engineering deadly pathogens. Lindstrom headed one of these labs, one of his cohorts worked under him there, another at Harvard University, another headed Spitz, the final one ran a private lab and handled drug production which was outsourced to a company in China.

Among these, Lindstrom is the celebrity scientist. He’d been portrayed in a popular movie as a brilliant maverick. Amongst the media he is known as the 'Virus Hunter' and spends a lot of time selling his message - more funding for research to protect us from a potential outbreak. He is passionate about viruses - fascinated, drawn to them - predicting the big one to anyone who’ll listen - same way some people are drawn to other dangerous phenomena - like a typhoon chaser - or a volcanologist. Apart from the movie, his claim to fame is that he invented a new way to determine RNA (DNA for viruses) and DNA that dramatically reduces the amount of time required to decode the sequences. He is working on ways with his colleagues at making this even faster.

At the same time he’s an idealist. As a scientist he knows that humans are destroying the planet - may even be beyond redemption already. He attributes an increase in viruses to the same human impact that is causing climate change - he discusses the idea with his friends, in jest, that it might be a good thing if humanity had a wake up call in the form of a virus unleashed.


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