MERS (General)

by dulan drift, Thursday, July 15, 2021, 08:42 (446 days ago) @ dulan drift

There were other MERS studies claiming a bat-camel-human provenance - but they're also mired in controversy.

Science: The Saudi scientists said they had .. sequenced the virus directly from samples taken from the patient and the camel—and those two were also 100% identical. But the two sets of sequences differed in two positions.

That's impossible to explain, (Christian) Drosten says; a virus can change slightly when put into cell culture, but why would the camel and the human virus show exactly the same two changes when cultured, changes never seen before?

Good question.

Science: Drosten suspected that contamination had happened, and that what the researchers called the camel virus was actually the human virus as well.

Thomas Briese, virologist at Columbia University, Lipkin colleague (One Health editorial board, said although the duplication seemed unlikely he "can not exclude the possibility". In other words, offering partial support to the Saudi scientists.

Science: Frustrated, Drosten stopped working with Madani’s group in mid-December.

Michael Osterholm, University of Minnesota: It really is a sign of the overall scientific investigation dysfunction that has occurred to date in Saudi Arabia.

The kindest thing you could say is that the Saudi MERS studies have been bungling affairs.

An alternative conclusion is that it was scientific deceit.

What we can say with certainty is that there are zero grounds for Dwyer's "always been the pattern" argument regarding zoonotic transmission of Covid.

So why have Lipkin, Daszak, and Saudi scientists been fudging data to try and pin the MERS origin on the bat-camel-human transmission chain? I don't know. But there will be a good reason.

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