Off Topic Coronavirus

Discussion in 'Queens Park Rangers' started by Sooperhoop, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. kiwiqpr

    kiwiqpr Barnsie Mod

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    coming to a pub near you
     
    #17841
  2. qprbeth

    qprbeth Wicked Witch of West12
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    God I hope not.

    HClO liquid.

    Hypochlorous acid (HOCl or HClO) is a weak acid that forms when chlorine dissolves in water, and itself partially dissociates, forming hypochlorite, ClO−. HClO and ClO− are oxidizers, and the primary disinfection agents of chlorine solutions.[2] HClO cannot be isolated from these solutions due to rapid equilibration with its precursor. Sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) and calcium hypochlorite (Ca(ClO)2), are bleaches, deodorants, and disinfectants.


    Don't want this near my lungs or clothes thank you
     
    #17842
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  3. QPR New York

    QPR New York Active Member

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    Is this where all the chlorine I need for my swimming pool has gone?
     
    #17843
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  4. rangercol

    rangercol Well-Known Member

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    I'd have an opnion on this.....


    If I had any idea what any of it means!!
     
    #17844
  5. Stroller

    Stroller Well-Known Member

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    Stand easy everybody (and Brentford fans). The new local lockdown guidance that no one was told about (including the PM, supposedly) has been dropped.

    Phew.
     
    #17845
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
  6. kiwiqpr

    kiwiqpr Barnsie Mod

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    The theory that COVID-19 escaped from a lab may not be so far-fetched
    By Nicholas Wade


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    May 9, 2021 | 11:36pm | Updated May 9, 2021 | 11:36pm


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    A controversial theory that the COVID-19 virus came from a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology may be possible. Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

    Nicholas Wade is an author and former science writer for The New York Times.

    The SARS-CoV-2 virus has disrupted people’s lives around the world for more than a year. But there’s no clear answer on one of the most important things about it: where it came from.

    In fact, if you brush away all the politics about the issue — Donald Trump said it came from a lab, therefore it can’t have — and look just at the scientific facts, a reasonably likely answer is buried there. I’ll try to explain what it is and sort out some of the consequences.

    There are two theories about the origin of SARS2, as the virus can be called for short. One is that it jumped naturally from bats to people, as the SARS1 epidemic did in 2002. The other is that it escaped from an experiment in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China’s leading center of research on bat-type viruses.

    The natural-emergence theory has long held the upper hand, in part because of strong statements made by virology experts from early on.

    “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” a group of virologists and others wrote in The Lancet on Feb. 19, 2020, when it was really far too soon for anyone to be sure what had happened.

    Scientists “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife,” they said, calling for readers to stand with Chinese colleagues on the front line of fighting the disease.

    It later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the New York City-based EcoHealth Alliance. Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the SARS2 virus had indeed escaped from research he funded, Daszak would be potentially culpable. This acute conflict of interest was not declared to The Lancet’s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, “We declare no competing interests.”

    Peter Daszak, president of the New York City-based EcoHealth Alliance.
    AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
    Virologists have a significant stake in the origin issue because they have for years enhanced the danger of natural viruses in their laboratories.

    Their rationale is that they could get ahead of nature by discovering the few tweaks that will let an animal virus infect humans. This knowledge, they argued, would help predict and prevent pandemics.

    So if in fact one of these souped-up viruses is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, virologists everywhere, not just in China, will have a lot of explaining to do. “It would shatter the scientific edifice top to bottom,” MIT Technology Review editor Antonio Regalado said in March 2020.

    Bat Lady and the Wuhan Institute of Virology
    As it happens, virologists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China were doing exactly these kinds of experiments. The program was headed by Dr. Zheng-li Shi, known as Bat Lady in China because of her intense interest in bat viruses. Dr. Shi had gathered many coronaviruses, the type to which SARS2 belongs, from caves in Yunnan in southern China. Her research focused on the spike proteins which stud the surface of the virus and latch on to its target cells.

    The exact nature of the spike proteins determines which kind of animal species the virus can infect. Shi was taking spike protein genes from different viruses, inserting them into a series of virus backbones, and trying to find the combination that would best attack humans.

    She tested her viruses out not on real people but on cultures of human cells and on humanized mice — mice that have been genetically engineered to carry in the cells of their airways the human protein that’s the target of SARS-type viruses.

    Dr. Zheng-li Shi, a scientist known as “Bad Lady” in China, working in the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2017.
    Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
    Unfortunately, Shi was on track to create viruses far more infectious than she realized, very possibly including SARS2.

    “It is clear that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was systematically constructing novel chimeric coronaviruses and was assessing their ability to infect human cells and human-ACE2-expressing mice,” says Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University and leading expert on biosafety.

    “It is also clear,” Dr. Ebright said, “that, depending on the constant genomic contexts chosen for analysis, this work could have produced SARS-CoV-2 or a proximal progenitor of SARS-CoV-2.”

    “Genomic context” refers to the viral backbone being used.

    How do we know for sure that this is what Shi was doing? Because, by a strange twist in the story, she was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health — channeled through Daszak. And these grant proposals, a matter of public record, spell out exactly what experiments she planned to do.

    Not only was she generating dangerous viruses, she was doing so in arguably unsafe conditions. There are many Internet photos of Shi working in a bubble suit in the highest-level safety lab, known as a BSL4. But these labs are a pain to work in, and all her coronavirus work, she has said, was done at lower safety levels, including one known as BSL2.

    But despite the fancy acronym, BSL2 doesn’t require very much. You have to wear a lab coat and gloves, put up a biohazard warning, and that’s about it.

    “It is clear that some or all of this work was being performed using a biosafety standard — biosafety level 2, the biosafety level of a standard US dentist’s office — that would pose an unacceptably high risk of infection of laboratory staff upon contact with a virus having the transmission properties of SARS-CoV-2,” says Ebright.

    So the lab-escape scenario is not the conjecture of some conspiracy theorists. It’s not based on someone pointing to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and saying, “Yeah, I think the virus could have come from there.” It rests on the specific program of research that Shi was known to be pursuing, and on the fact that she was working in minimal, probably inadequate, safety conditions.

    Dr. Zheng-li Shi has admitted that she wasn’t always in the highest level of safety gear while researching.
    AFP via Getty Images
    Meanwhile, the rival scenario, that of natural emergence, has been looking less likely by the month. Viruses that jump from an animal host to humans usually leave a trail of signatures in the natural environment. When SARS1 jumped from bats to civets to people in 2002, researchers could track in fine detail how the virus improved its infectivity for human cells by gaining one helpful mutation after another. In the case of SARS2, no one has yet found any trace of its existence in the natural environment.

    Chinese authorities had every incentive to present any such evidence to the World Health Organization when it visited Beijing in February of this year. But despite a presumably intensive search, they had nothing to offer. They had discovered no bat colony infected by the source virus, no intermediate host animal, and no human population exposed to the virus as it gathered strength.

    Testing the Two Scenarios
    So matters stand at an impasse. There is no direct evidence for either the natural-emergence or lab-escape scenario. And until Chinese authorities unlock the records of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, there is no proof that the virus escaped from Dr. Shi’s lab, however plausible that might seem.

    In the absence of direct evidence, the best approach is to take various important facts about the pandemic and ask which of the two scenario provides the better explanation. Here are three tests of the two scenarios:

    1. Origin
    The bats that harbor the closest known relatives of SARS2 live in caves in Yunnan in southern China. If the pandemic had started by infecting people living around the caves, that would strongly favor natural emergence. But the pandemic broke out nearly 1,000 miles away in Wuhan, at a time of year when bats go into hibernation. Under the natural-emergence scenario, it’s hard to see how the virus broke out naturally somewhere outside Wuhan, and then popped up in the city without leaving any trace of its origin elsewhere. With lab escape, it’s a no-brainer: Researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were cooking up hyper-dangerous viruses in inadequate safety conditions, and one escaped.

    2. Natural history
    For viruses jumping to new hosts, it usually takes a lot of time and many mutations to perfect their adjustment to the new target species. This process has been mapped in detail for the SARS1 virus. But researchers looking for the same adaptation in SARS2 made a strange discovery. From the moment it first appeared, the SARS2 virus was almost perfectly adapted to human cells and has changed hardly at all since.

    This is hard to explain under the natural-emergence scenario. But from the lab-escape scenario it’s pretty obvious: The virus was being grown in humanized mice so of course was well adapted to people from the start.

    3. The furin cleavage site
    Without getting too deeply into the details of the SARS2 virus’ anatomy, there is a small region of its spike protein called the furin cleavage site, just 12 units of its 30,000-unit genome.

    A virus usually acquires inserts like this by accidentally exchanging genomic units with another virus when both invade the same cell. But no other known virus in SARS2’s group has this 12-unit insert.

    Proponents of natural emergence argue that the virus could have acquired the insert from human cells after it had jumped to people. Maybe, but no one has yet found the human population in which the virus might have evolved this way. The insert also contains entities known as arginine codons, which are common in humans but not in coronaviruses like SARS2.

    Under the lab-escape scenario, the insert is easy to explain. “Since 1992 the virology community has known that the one sure way to make a virus deadlier is to give it a furin cleavage site,” writes Dr. Steven Quay, a biotech entrepreneur interested in the origins of SARS2. At least 11 such experiments have been published, including one by Dr. Shi.

    “When I first saw the furin cleavage site in the viral sequence, with its arginine codons, I said to my wife it was the smoking gun for the origin of the virus,” said David Baltimore, an eminent virologist and former president of the California Institute of Technology.

    “These features make a powerful challenge to the idea of a natural origin for SARS2,” he said.

    Who was at fault?
    The lab-escape scenario explains the facts above far more easily than does natural emergence. So let’s ask who is to blame, provisionally, if the virus did indeed escape from a lab.

    The first in line are Dr. Shi and her colleagues. They were generating dangerous viruses in unsafe conditions. True, they were following the same international rules as are used by virologists everywhere. But they should have made their own assessments of the risks they were running.

    Second in line for rebuke are the Chinese authorities, who have done their utmost to conceal the nature of the tragedy and their responsibility for it.

    Third are virologists around the world who knew better than anyone the dangers of enhancing natural viruses but couldn’t resist the temptation. Their assurance that the benefits were real and the risks containable were not correct. The benefits have been zero and the risk, it would seem, catastrophic.

    Fourth may be the US National Institutes of Health, which funded Shi’s research via Daszak, despite a moratorium from 2014 to 2017. The reporting system that replaced the moratorium required funding agencies to mention hazardous research but the NIH did not do so. If the SARS2 virus did indeed escape from Shi’s lab, the NIH will be in the unenviable position of having funded research that has killed 3 million people worldwide, including 500,000 US citizens.

    What should happen now? Perhaps Western governments should tell China they will now assume the virus originated from the Wuhan lab, absent evidence to the contrary, and ask China to open up all its records or forever forfeit the West’s trust.

    China has an interesting fall-back position: OK, we let the virus escape, but you funded this dangerous research on our territory. Might this be the face-saving formula under which both sides could then focus on ensuring no such pandemic is ever unleashed again?
     

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  7. sb_73

    sb_73 Well-Known Member

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    Matt Hancock lied to the House of Commons again yesterday, claiming that tens of thousands of people are being vaccinated in Bolton every single day. The local director of public health says it’s between two and three thousand.

    Of course, sycophants, apologists and the mentally enslaved (willingly!) will claim that this is just ‘exaggeration’ or a ‘mistake’ and not important. This pattern of behaviour, constantly and consistently lying to parliament, where for some reason you aren’t allowed to call a lie a lie, is now just a habit and ‘factored in’. Apparently.

    Anyway, it’s almost brilliant to insert at least one huge lie into a session where your main task is to deny that you are a serial liar.

    Great idea on the wireless. Instead of focussing on a date for raising COVID restrictions, link it to the number of people who have been fully vaccinated. The experts reckon that 70-75% coverage makes it very difficult for new variants to get a foothold and for existing variants to spread. This approach also has the advantage of encouraging the ‘reluctant’ to get jabbed if they want their freedom. We are currently at 45% (of adults, which really does confuse me), and at the rate that second jabs are being given we might even get there by 21 June.
     
    #17847
    Last edited: May 28, 2021
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  8. qprbeth

    qprbeth Wicked Witch of West12
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    Cummings is a vindictive manipulator but, Cummings was certainly right about Hancock manipulating the test figures so that he could hit targets.

    Cummings stated that Hancock told the testing sites to hold back tests so they all coincided on 31st May. Hancock also allowed Serco to double count them as well. I personally was told that by a Tory voting member of Sercos IT team. They were counted when sent out...and so were included in the 31st May figures...but they were again counted when the results were sent out.


    I have to say I can see how this is progressing.


    Matt Hancock will be made a scapegoat for this, and he should take a hell of a lot of the blame....and Boris will go smoothly on...

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    #17848
  9. bobmid

    bobmid Well-Known Member

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    Im actually not sure if Hancock will be made the scapegoat as that would insinuate the Cummings was indeed telling the truth and will reflect on Johnson. Not that the silly lying bastard can do any wrong in some peoples eyes.
     
    #17849
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  10. bobmid

    bobmid Well-Known Member

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    Had my 2nd jab on weds, no side effects at all this time. Happy days.
     
    #17850
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  11. ELLERS

    ELLERS Well-Known Member

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    Wrong thread
     
    #17851
  12. kiwiqpr

    kiwiqpr Barnsie Mod

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    #17852
  13. kiwiqpr

    kiwiqpr Barnsie Mod

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    And yet no journalists were even prepared to entertain that idea for fear of being called a conspiracy theorist. As Orwell said, the problem with British journalism isn’t censorship from the state, but journalists choosing to self-censor.


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    #17853
  14. kiwiqpr

    kiwiqpr Barnsie Mod

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  15. Steelmonkey

    Steelmonkey Well-Known Member

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    Covid-19: UK in early stages of third wave - scientist
    By Katie Wright

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    There are signs the UK is in the early stages of a third wave of coronavirus infections, a scientist advising the government has said.

    Prof Ravi Gupta, from the University of Cambridge, said although new cases were "relatively low" the Indian variant had fuelled "exponential growth".

    He said ending Covid restrictions in England on 21 June should be postponed.

    Environment Secretary George Eustice said the government could not rule out a delay to the planned lockdown easing.

    On Sunday, the UK reported more than 3,000 new Covid infections for a fifth day in a row.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57304515

    It was only a matter of time - mass vaccination may be our only way out of this mess
     
    #17855
  16. sb_73

    sb_73 Well-Known Member

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    Still need authoritative evidence about the current ratios infections to hospitalisations to ICU admissions to deaths. Agree we should be cautious until this is clear, but if infections are high but they don’t lead to increased hospitalisations etc, then proceed as planned. Would still prefer raising of restrictions linked to numbers fully vaccinated rather than a date. Read in the paper this morning about a big effort to double jab all over 50s by 21 June. To be honest, given that my 57 year old wife got jabbed a second time eight days ago, I thought we were well in track to have done this.

    The Vietnamese claim to have found a new variant, a highly infectious Kent/Indian hybrid.
     
    #17856
  17. kiwiqpr

    kiwiqpr Barnsie Mod

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  18. kiwiqpr

    kiwiqpr Barnsie Mod

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    #17858
  19. Rangers Til I Die

    Rangers Til I Die Well-Known Member

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    Just for the sake of argument, let's assume the idea that it came from a lab and was intended as a weapon is actuallythe case.

    Would it be better for the world if the whole world knew that and the likely chaos that would ensue or better for POTUS and a few others to know and deal with quietly?!
     
    #17859
  20. surreyhoop

    surreyhoop Well-Known Member

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    I see the WHO will now use letters of the greek alphabet to name new variants...so no more 'indian' or 'Chinese' strain etc....Apparently to avoid stigmatising communities or causing potential xenophobia. Seems even Covid now jumping on the PC bandwagon.
     
    #17860

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