Tag Archives: Genetics

Can Foreign DNA In mRNA Vaccines Change Our DNA?!

Can foreign DNA enter our cells through mRNA vaccines, and change our DNA and humanity forever?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Foreign DNA In mRNA Vaccines Can Change Our DNA!

People are sharing a video clip of Tucker Carlson interviewing Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, which claims or suggestions that foreign DNA can enter our cells through the mRNA vaccines and change our DNA and humanity forever!

Tucker Carlson : Could foreign DNA enter your cells through the mRNA COVID vax and change your DNA — and humanity itself — forever? Sounds nutty. It’s not. “Absolutely that could happen,” says Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the surgeon general of Florida. A shocking conversation.

Recommended : Can Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Change Our DNA?!

 

Truth : Foreign DNA In mRNA Vaccines Cannot Change Our DNA!

Let’s take a closer look at these claims about foreign DNA fragments in mRNA vaccines changing our DNA, and find out what the facts really are!

Fact #1 : Ladapo Claims Were Refuted By FDA Earlier

First, I should point out that Joseph Ladapo’s claims about foreign DNA fragments changing our DNA have already been refuted by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on 14 December 2023 (PDF).

Here’s a quick summary of what Dr. Peter Marks, Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research replied to Ladapo’s claims:

  1. After a “thorough assessment of the entire manufacturing process, FDA is confident in the quality, safety, and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines“.
  2. No safety concerns regarding “residual DNA” were identified after over a billion doses of mRNA vaccines being administered.
  3. Animal studies using the mRNA vaccine with residual DNA demonstrated “no evidence for genotoxicity from the vaccine“.
  4. Pharmacovigilance data from hundreds of millions of vaccinated people also showed “no evidence” of genotoxicity from the mRNA vaccines.
  5. Reproductive toxicology studies to test the possible integration of residual DNA fragments in reproductive cells found “no concerns” with the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

As you can see, the FDA had already addressed Ladapo’s claims about testing the mRNA vaccines for DNA integration.

The FDA reply (PDF) was also succinct – just two pages long, and did not divert to irrelevant topics like “what time the sun sets in China” or “their third cousin’s Bar Mitzvah” as Ladapo claims in the Tucker Carlson interview.

So the question you should be asking is – why is Joseph Ladapo still flogging these claims, when the FDA has clearly stated that tests were conducted on mRNA vaccines, and have shown them to be safe and effective, and that they do not pose any DNA integration (genotoxicity) risks?

Recommended : Are mRNA Vaccines Contaminated With SV40 DNA?!

Fact #2 : FDA Guidelines Were For DNA Vaccines

In the Tucker Carlson interview, Ladapo claimed or suggested that the FDA did not mention its own guidance on DNA contamination. That’s not true.

The FDA letter to Ladapo (PDF) actually addressed his claims, pointing out that the guidance (PDF) only applied to DNA vaccines, not mRNA vaccines. Even the name clearly states that the guidance was meant for DNA vaccines.

In your letter, you raise questions, citing to the 2007 Guidance for Industry: Considerations for Plasmid DNA Vaccines for Infectious Disease Indications. This guidance was developed for DNA vaccines themselves, not for DNA as a contaminant in other vaccines, and is not applicable to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

DNA vaccines work by introducing a DNA sequence into the cell nucleus, so DNA contamination would be a real concern. In contrast, mRNA vaccines do not enter the cell nucleus, so DNA contamination isn’t a real concern.

It is unknown if Ladapo understands the difference between DNA and mRNA vaccines. But it’s clear that the FDA already informed him that the guidance he quoted was not relevant.

It’s like a bit like quoting the manual for a motorcycle as “evidence” that his diesel truck only needs two wheels, instead of four. So why does he still persist in mentioning the FDA guidance?

Recommended : Are Residual DNA In mRNA Vaccines Dangerous?!

Fact #3 : Smaller Fragments Are Harder To Filter

Ladapo claims that there are billions to hundreds of billions of foreign DNA fragments in each dose of the mRNA vaccine. That sounds scary, doesn’t it? The truth is – it’s really a red herring.

The DNA fragments in mRNA vaccines are produced as a result of its manufacturing process using a DNA template. After the DNA template creates the mRNA vaccine, DNAse is used to break down the residual DNA into tiny fragments.

Focusing on the number of these DNA fragments is also wrong, as you want the DNAse enzyme to really do a good job and cut up the residual DNA into tiny pieces. Naturally, the more you cut DNA up into smaller fragments, you get more (but smaller) fragments. It is consequently harder to filter these smaller fragments out, but the smaller they are, the less likely they are biologically active.

Think of residual DNA as parts of the mRNA factory that was dismantled once the vaccine was manufactured. If you chop it up real good, you get nothing more than small pieces of scrap metal. Sure, the disposal team may have left a couple of bolts and screws lying on the floor, but can they be used to recreate the factory? No.

Fact #4 : mRNA Vaccines Meet DNA Fragment Limit

Instead of focusing on the “number” of DNA fragments, it makes much more sense to focus on the “total weight” of residual DNA, and the “size” of those fragments.

Currently, the WHO and US FDA guidelines recommend that residual DNA in vaccines and other biological products should not exceed 10 nanograms (ng) per purified dose, and the DNA fragments should be no greater than 200 bp in length.

Even that limit appears to be out of an abundance of caution, as studies have not shown any actual danger from residual DNA, as they are tiny fragments.

In its December 2023 reply (PDF), the FDA actually pointed out to Ladapo that the amount of residual DNA fragments was less than 1/1000 the amount of mRNA in each vaccine dose.

The specification for the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for residual DNA following DNAse treatment results in the presence of DNA fragments at a quantity that is less than three orders of magnitude lower than the quantity of the RNA dose by weight.

This has been determined (and continues to be determined during production of lots) with a validated quantitative PCR assay.

Recommended : New Study Proves Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Causes Turbo Cancer?!

Fact #5 : DNA Fragments Can’t Integrate With Our Genome

The presence of residual DNA fragments does not mean that they will integrate into our genome. For one thing – these are DNA fragments that have been broken down by the DNase enzyme.

These DNA fragments can only enter the cell nucleus if there is an enzyme called integrase, is not present in any COVID-19 vaccine. So they simply cannot enter the cell nucleus, never mind integrate with DNA.

On top of that, the mRNA vaccines are injected into the muscle, whose cells are “post-mitotic”, which means they are no longer able to change.

Fact #6 : Viruses Integrate With Cell DNA

Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1 (diagram below) integrate their genes with the host cell DNA, to hijack the cell and use it to produce copies of itself.

You can see how a typical RNA virus would infect a host cell, convert its RNA into DNA which is moved into the cell nucleus using the integrase enzyme.

Recommended : Did New Study Show Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Causes Autism?!

HIV-1 virus cell infection, credit : Günther Witzany

Once inside, the viral DNA integrates with the host cell DNA, which gets transcribed into instructions for the cell to produce copies of the virus.

This is the same way how the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects our cells, to produce copies of itself to infect even more cells.

If you are truly worried about anything modifying your cell’s DNA, you should try to avoid viral infections like COVID-19. Better still – vaccinate yourself, and get protected against COVID-19!

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Fact Check | HealthTech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Can Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Change Our DNA?!

Did Swedish scientists just prove that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine changes our DNA?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Changes Our DNA!

Anti-vaccination and ivermectin proponents have gone bananas over the new study from the Lund University in Sweden.

They are sharing it as evidence (finally!) of the Pfizer COVIDS-19 vaccine actually integrating with our DNA, and changing our genome, as they had always claimed.

Let that shock and horror sink in for a minute… and then let me explain to you what the facts really are in the next section…

Recommended : Are Residual DNA In mRNA Vaccines Dangerous?!

 

Truth : Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Did NOT Change DNA At All!

This is yet another example of vaccine fake news based on accidental / intentional misinterpretation of a single scientific study.

Here is what you really need to know about the Lund University study that went viral…

Fact #1 : Study Did NOT Say Pfizer Vaccine Alters Our DNA

First things first – the Lund University study is called Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line, and you can read it in its entirety here.

In the study’s Discussion section, the authors actually pointed out that their study does NOT show that the Pfizer vaccine integrates with the liver cell DNA, or alters it in any way.

At this stage, we do not know if DNA reverse transcribed from BNT162b2 is integrated into the cell genome.

To be clear, the study does NOT show that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine changes our DNA in any way or form.

Fact #2 : It Was A Laboratory Study

I should also point out the salient fact that it was an in-vitro study – a laboratory study, not a clinical study.

In-vitro studies are important, but they cannot be extrapolated to make any conclusion about what actually happens in a human body.

For example, laboratory studies do show that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin have an inhibitory effect on the SARS-CoV-2 virus; but once tested in actual human beings – they are shown to have no clinical benefit.

In other words – what works in a laboratory, may not work in an actual human being.

Read more : Study Shows 10X Ivermectin Can’t Prevent Severe COVID-19!

Fact #3 : Study Was Based On Liver Cancer Cells

The casual reader of the Lund University study will not realise that Huh7 (or Huh-7) cells are not ordinary liver cells that you or I have.

Huh7 cells were derived from the liver tumour of a 57 year-old Japanese man, and are special because :

  • they are immortal liver cancer cells that can keep multiplying
  • they are highly-susceptible to Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection
  • they are genetically different, with an abnormal number of chromosomes (between 55 and 63, normal human cells have 46)

The Huh7 cell line is useful for the study of liver cancer and Hepatitis C, as well as drugs that may combat HCV; but it is important to understand that Huh7 cells are not representative of normal human cells.

Fact #4 : Huh7 Liver Cells Were Cultured In Plates

For a “more physiologically relevant study of viruses“, these Huh7 cells have to be cultured in a NASA-designed 3D Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) bioreactor.

These RWV bioreactors create 3D aggregates of Huh7 cells that are more “similar in structure and function” to their in vivo counterparts, with “completely altered gene expression and differentiation patterns“.

In other words, these RWV-grown Huh7 cells look and behave differently, more like regular human cells compared to plate-cultured Huh7 cells.

For the record, the Lund University study used plate-cultured Huh7 cells, and not RWV-grown Huh7 cells.

There is nothing wrong with that, but we should keep in mind that these cells are not an ideal representation of human cells.

Recommended : Are mRNA Vaccines Contaminated With SV40 DNA?!

This is what a 24-cell culture plate looks like

Fact #5 : Normal Human Cells Don’t Produce LINE-1 Enzyme

The scientists chose to use these Huh7 cells because like many cancerous cells, they express (produce) the LINE-1 enzyme.

LINE-1 is a reverse transcriptase that converts mRNA into DNA, so it is not surprising that the study would show it converting mRNA from the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into DNA. That is literally what it is meant to do.

Normal human cells have the LINE-1 gene, but it is not expressed. Normal human cells do not produce the LINE-1 enzyme, which is why they could not use regular human cells in this study.

That is also why it is inappropriate to use the Huh7 cell culture to evaluate how mRNA vaccines would actually work or behave in humans.

Fact #6 : Transcribed DNA Did Not Enter Nucleus

The study only looked at whether mRNA from the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be transcribed into DNA by the LINE-1 enzyme.

As the study showed – yes, it can… because that’s what the LINE-1 enzyme does. But the study does not show that the transcribed DNA entered the cell nucleus and changed human DNA.

While that is plausible, it would require another enzyme called integrase, that viruses produce, to move that DNA into the cell nucleus itself.

Without the integrase enzyme, the DNA transcribed by the LINE-1 enzyme will only float outside, and will never integrate with the DNA inside the cell nucleus.

Recommended : New Study Proves Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Causes Turbo Cancer?!

Did Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Combine With DNA In Liver Cells?!

Fact #7 : mRNA Vaccines Do Not Modify Our Genes

An mRNA vaccine only contains a limited number of lipid nanoparticles containing those delicate mRNA instructions. So only a limited number of cells are involved in the vaccination process.

Even if it is somehow possible for the mRNA instructions from the vaccine to enter the cell nucleus and integrate with the DNA inside, it will only affect those cells.

Our cells die and are replaced by new cells all the time, so even if hypothetically the vaccine “infects” and modifies the DNA of a few hundred thousand cells, those cells will eventually die and be replaced by new cells without the modified DNA.

It is simply not possible for mRNA vaccines to modify our genes.

Fact #8 : Viruses Integrate With Cell DNA

Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1 (diagram below) integrate their genes with the host cell DNA, to hijack the cell and use it to produce copies of itself.

You can see how a typical RNA virus would infect a host cell, convert its RNA into DNA which is moved into the cell nucleus using the integrase enzyme.

Recommended : Did New Study Show Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Causes Autism?!

HIV-1 virus cell infection, credit : Günther Witzany

Once inside, the viral DNA integrates with the host cell DNA, which gets transcribed into instructions for the cell to produce copies of the virus.

This is the same way how the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects our cells, to produce copies of itself to infect even more cells.

If you are truly worried about anything modifying your cell’s DNA, you should try to avoid viral infections like COVID-19. Better still – vaccinate yourself, and get protected against COVID-19!

Now that you know the truth, please help us fight fake news by SHARING this article out!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Health | Fact Check | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Did US Supreme Court Overturn Universal Vaccination?

Did the US Supreme Court overturn universal vaccination because the COVID-19 vaccine is not really a vaccine?

Find out what’s going on, and what the FACTS really are!

 

US Supreme Court Overturned Universal Vaccination?

A long essay about a recent US Supreme Court decision is being shared on WhatsApp and websites, claiming that the US Supreme Court overturned universal vaccination because the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t really a vaccine at all.

Allegedly, Senator Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and a group of scientists filed a lawsuit against Bill Gates, Dr. Fauci and Big Pharma, and they won!

It is a long essay, so if you just want the facts, please skip right to the next section.

A BIG VICTORY FOR FREEDOM IN THE UNITED STATES.

* The Supreme Court overturned universal vaccination. *

* – US infectious disease specialist Bill Gates, Dr. Fauci, and Big Pharma * lost a US Supreme Court case, failing to prove all of their vaccines over the past 32 years were safe for the health of citizens!

The lawsuit was filed by a group of scientists led by * Senator Kennedy *.

– Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: * “The new COVID vaccine must be avoided at all costs. I urgently draw your attention to important issues related to the next vaccination against Covid-19.

For the first time in the history of vaccination, the so-called latest-generation mRNA vaccines directly interfere with the genetic material of the patient and therefore alter the individual genetic material, which is genetic manipulation, which was already prohibited and was previously considered to be a crime.*

 

No, US Supreme Court Did Not Overturn Universal Vaccination!

The entire essay is a rambling pile of nonsensical lies about vaccination, and the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.

Let’s break down the individual claims, and tell you what the FACTS really are :

Claim : US Supreme Court overturned universal vaccination
Verdict : False

This claim is completely false, because the United States has never mandated universal vaccination in the first place! Therefore, there is nothing for the Supreme Court to overturn.

The government continues to have broad authority to make a vaccine mandatory during a public health crisis, as decided by the Supreme Court in their 1905 decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts.

In 1922, the Supreme Court “settled that it is within the police power of a state to provide for compulsory vaccination” in their unanimous Zucht v. King decision.

However, compulsory vaccination is quite different from universal vaccination.

Claim : Bill Gates Is An Infectious Disease Expert
Verdict : False

Bill Gates is not an infectious disease expert. The writer may have confused Bill Gates with Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Not sure how that’s possible since they don’t even look alike! Other than they are both white men, and wear glasses?

In fact, Dr. Francis Collins actually looks like a mix of Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci in this picture!

Bill Gates, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, May 2016, Photo Credit : Bill Branson

Claim : Bill Gates, Dr. Fauci + Big Pharma Lost A Supreme Court Case
Verdict : False

Bill Gates, Dr. Fauci and Big Pharma were never part of any US Supreme Court case.

The new, ultra-conservative US Supreme Court did deal public health advocates a blow in 2020, when they ruled against the State of New York in Roman Catholic Diocese Of Brooklyn, New York v. Andrew M. Cuomo.

But that Supreme Court case had nothing to do with pharmaceutical companies, Bill Gates or even Dr. Fauci.

In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that the State of New York cannot bar people from gathering in churches and synagogues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was a ruling against New York’s lockdown measures, not vaccines.

Claim : Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Is A Senator
Verdict : False

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is not, and has never been, a US Senator.

The writer probably confused him with his illustrious father, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968.

Claim : Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Filed Supreme Court Lawsuit 
Verdict : False

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. never filed any lawsuit that was brought before the US Supreme Court.

In July 2019, he filed a lawsuit against the state of New York, to overturn a new state law that bars parents from refusing to vaccinate their children on religious grounds.

His family actually spoke out AGAINST him, calling him “an outlier in the Kennedy family“, and pointing out that his uncle President John F. Kennedy and his father, Robert F. Kennedy, both promoted vaccinations to stamp out preventable diseases.

He lost that lawsuit on 9 December 2019, after the New York state law was ruled constitutional.

That lawsuit was over the measles outbreak, and happened before the world first became aware of COVID-19 on 31 December 2019.

So it had NOTHING to do with COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccines.

Claim : mRNA Vaccine Changes Our Genes
Verdict : False

It is physically impossible for vaccine mRNA to penetrate the cell nucleus, so it cannot possibly change the cell’s DNA.

The mRNA is also automatically destroyed by the cell, after use. Therefore, it can only exist for a short period of time.

Vaccines based on the viral vector technology are the ones that enter the cell nucleus, but even that only affects a small number of cells, and does not become part of our DNA.

Vaccines do NOT integrate with our DNA. Vaccines will NOT turn us into GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).

Claim : mRNA Vaccine Is Not A Vaccine
Verdict : False

A vaccine is simply any biological preparation that gives your body an active, acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease.

The mRNA vaccine is a vaccine, even though it does not use the dead or attenuated virus to provide the protection.

It works quite similarly to a viral vector vaccine, in that they both use our cells to create the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to trigger our body’s immune system.

Read more : Pfizer + Moderna mRNA Vaccines : How Do They Work?

Claim : Vaccinated People Cannot Use Other Treatments
Verdict : False

First of all, COVID-19 has no treatment or cure, as of 24 July 2021.

That’s why the vaccines are so important – they prevent COVID-19, so you wouldn’t need any treatment!

But even if you are infected with COVID-19 after vaccination, you can still receive treatment for it. Vaccines do not prevent other treatments from working.

More importantly, COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to prevent death and hospitalisation.

That is likely why all nine justices on the US Supreme Court were fully vaccinated by 5 May 2021, as confirmed by Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg.

Read more : Ivermectin + Supplements : Better Than COVID-19 Vaccines?

Claim : COVID-19 Can Be Cured By Removing Toxins
Verdict : False

COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is a novel coronavirus – a new virus that has never been encountered before.

COVID-19 is NOT caused by accumulation of toxins in your body, because it would have existed long before 2020 if toxins were the cause.

More importantly, removing toxins from your body (which your liver and kidneys do every single day!) will NOT cure or prevent COVID-19.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Health | Fact Check | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

China : Was COVID-19 Created In Fort Detrick Bio Lab?

China keeps suggesting that COVID-19 was created as a bioweapon by the US Army bio lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Find out what why China wants the world to believe this, and what the FACTS really are!

 

China : Was COVID-19 Created In Fort Detrick Bio Lab?

For more than a year now, Chinese spokespersons and media have aggressively promoted the claim that the SARS-CoV-2 virus did not originate in Wuhan.

Instead, the virus was created as a bioweapon by the US Army at their bio lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Their evidence? The fact that the CDC shut down the Fort Detrick lab on 2 August 2019 after finding “biosafety lapses” there.

But how did the SARS-CoV-2 virus get from Maryland in the United States to Wuhan, China?

They claimed that the US Army sent their soldiers to spread COVID-19 in Wuhan during the 2019 Military World Games held there from 18 to 27 October 2019.

They even spread a fake video, claiming to show an American soldier spreading the COVID-19 virus in a subway in Wuhan.

The theory heavily promoted by Chinese media and even Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, who asked, “When did patient zero begin in the US? It might be the US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan!

They also spread the fake story that Japanese Nobel laureate Professor Dr. Tasuku Honjo confirmed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was created at the Fort Detrick lab.

Recommended : Nobel laureate Tasuku Honjo confident US created COVID-19?

 

Fort Detrick COVID-19 Origin : Just Chinese Propaganda

The Fort Detrick origin story of COVID-19 is really nothing more than Chinese propaganda.

And here are the FACTS…

Fact #1 : SARS-CoV-2 Is Natural, And Related To Bat Coronaviruses

Genomic analysis have proven that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is natural, for these reasons :

  • an artificial virus would have to be created from existing viruses
  • the SARS-CoV-2 virus has components that have never been seen before
  • it is very similar to existing bat coronaviruses.

Therefore, it is unlikely to be created in a biological lab like the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases lab at Fort Detrick; or the Wuhan Institute of Virology, for the matter.

Fact #2 : Multiple Strains Denote A Later Time Line

Viruses mutate and create new strains over time. A novel virus like SARS-CoV-2 would start with a single strain and evolve into multiple strains as it spreads globally and mutate over time.

Hence, the very fact that there are five strains in the United States would actually refute it as the source of SARS-CoV-2 – the COVID-19 coronavirus.

In fact, by analysing the genomic changes of these strains, scientists have pretty much concluded that SARS-CoV-2 did indeed originate in China.

Fact #3 : Fort Detrick Sterilisation Plant Failed

The CDC temporarily shut down the US Army lab at Fort Detrick on 2 August 2019, after finding “biosafety lapses” there.

However, that was not because viruses actually leaked from the facility, but rather :

  • the lab was no longer able to decontaminate wastewater from its highest security labs.
  • their steam sterilisation plant was damaged in a flood in May 2018, and they had been using a chemical decontamination method instead.
  • no disease-causing materials were found outside authorised areas

USAMRIID Steam Sterilisation Plant at Fort Detrick, when it first became operational in May 2012 | Photo Credit : US Army Corps of Engineers

Fact #4 : Wuhan Was Epicentre Of COVID-19 Outbreak

China’s continuous suggestions that there may have been a leak at the Fort Detrick laboratory is illogical.

If SARS-CoV-2 leaked from Fort Detrick, Maryland would have been the epicentre of the initial COVID-19 outbreak, not Wuhan.

Now, this does not mean that the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. It merely means the Chinese claim about Fort Detrick is nonsensical.

 

Why Would China Push Fake Fort Detrick Claim?

With China’s aggressive foreign policy moves in recent years, it is not uncommon to see fake pro-China, anti-America stories being created and shared.

Many believe it’s part of a concerted attempt to burnish China’s image overseas, and drown out negative coverage of China’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative, and their aggressive moves in the South China Sea..

China has also been blamed for not handling the initial epidemic better, and unfairly – for being the origin of this new virus.

Hence, they have been trying their best to deflect blame by casting aspersions unto others, using aggressive Wolf Warrior diplomacy tactics, propaganda outlets like GlobalTimes and CTGN, and their 50 Cent Army.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Health | Fact CheckTech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Pfizer + Moderna mRNA Vaccines : How Do They Work?

The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines are likely to be the first approved for use against COVID-19, but do you know how they work?

Here is a quick primer on the new mRNA vaccine technology, and how it teaches our body to fight against COVID-19!

 

Pfizer + Moderna mRNA Vaccines : How Do They Work?

Both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are based on new mRNA (messenger RNA) technology.

Unlike more traditional methods of using dead particles, or attenuated viruses; an mRNA vaccine does not come with the parts necessary to trigger the immune response.

Instead, the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines contain mRNA strands – literally coding instructions for our cells.

They are used by our cells to create a protein antigen. Think of it as a flag that tells our body how to identify a particular enemy.

It is this antigen (flag) that triggers the immune response that teaches our body how to fight the real disease.

 

Pfizer + Moderna mRNA Vaccines : How Do They Prevent COVID-19?

Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna have mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines that have cleared Stage 3 trials with 95% efficacy rates.

Both rely on mRNA instructions that code for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This spike protein serves as the antigen – a flag that lets our body identify the actual SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The mRNA strands in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are used by ribosomes in our cells to create the spike proteins, and then discarded.

The spike protein – flag – is presented on the surface of the cell, triggering the body’s immune response. Think of it as using your cells to create and wave the enemy’s flag.

Our body then learns to create antibodies that target the spike protein. If we actually get infected by SARS-CoV-2, those antibodies will immediately attach to the virus particles :

  • preventing them from infecting our cells
  • cause the virus particles to stick together (agglutinate), making them easier targets
  • identifying the virus particles as targets for phagocytic cells to destroy

The immune response to the spike proteins will also train memory cells, so that they can respond to a future COVID-19 infection weeks or months after vaccination.

 

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines : Some Common Myths

We would like to take this opportunity to debunk certain myths about mRNA vaccines, specifically those being developed for use against COVID-19.

False Claim #1 : mRNA Vaccines Can Cause COVID-19

Unlike vaccines using attenuated viruses, mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus. Therefore, they can never cause COVID-19.

They only contain mRNA instructions to build the identifying features of the SARS-CoV-2 virus – its spike protein.

The immune response to this spike protein may cause COVID-19-like effects (fever, headache, chills, etc.) but that is only your body learning to fight against it.

False Claim #2 : mRNA Vaccines Can Change Our DNA

mRNA strands are read and used only by ribosomes in the cytoplasm of our cells.

They do NOT enter the cell nucleus, which is where our chromosomes (containing our DNA) reside. Therefore, it is not possible for mRNA to change our DNA.

It is also expensive to create these mRNA sequences, so there is just enough in the vaccine to trigger the immune response. There is not enough to saturate our body and change our DNA, even if it’s possible to do it.

False Claim #3 : mRNA Vaccines Stay In Our Cells Forever

mRNA sequences are basically instructions by our DNA to the ribosomes, instructing them to create proteins for the cell to use.

Because the cell’s requirements can change rapidly according to conditions, mRNA are, by nature, short-lived and degrade over time.

That’s why the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna have a short shelf life, and require very low storage temperatures.

They also discarded after use, just like how you discard your shopping list after you are done buying your groceries.

Once they are used by our ribosomes to create the spike proteins, they are discarded by the cell. There is simply no way for mRNA strands to survive long in our body, or our cells.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Science | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

COVID-19 Coronavirus : Why Snakes Are Not Hosts!

Many people believe that snakes are the hosts and source of the COVID-19 coronavirus (SAR-CoV-2), but that’s based on a flawed understanding of early research by Chinese scientists.

We will explain what those Chinese scientists discovered, and why snakes are NOT the source or origin of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

 

COVID-19 | SARS-CoV-2 : A Quick Explainer

First of all, we should clarify that SARS-CoV-2 is the official name of 2019-nCoV, in recognition of how closely it resembles the SARS virus, genetically.

The disease it causes is called COVID-19, which is short for Coronavirus Disease 2019.

COVID-19 should be used when you refer to the disease, and SARS-CoV-2 when referring to the virus. But for ease of understanding, we may use COVID-19 coronavirus to replace SARS-CoV-2.

Recommended : COVID-19 Coronavirus Symptoms Revealed In JAMA Study!

 

COVID-19 Coronavirus Originated From Snakes?

Every news outlet and pundit who claimed that the COVID-19 coronavirus originated from snakes based their reports and opinions on a single paper by Wei Ji et. al. published in the Journal of Medical Virology on 22 January 2020.

Before we look into their findings, you will need a quick primer on how viruses adapt to their host.

Unlike bacteria, viruses cannot multiply by themselves. Instead, they hijack the host’s cells to manufacture copies of themselves.

To replicate more efficiently in what’s really an alien organism, they can evolve over time to use the codons (RNA / DNA instructions for amino acids) preferred by their host.

When Wei Ji’s team analysed the COVID-19 coronavirus, they discovered that it favoured codons that are most similar to those used by two snakes :

  • Bungarus multicinctus (the many-banded krait), and
  • Naja antra (the Chinese cobra)

They therefore concluded that “snakes could be the most likely wildlife animal reservoir for the 2019-nCoV“.

Everyone assumed that because it was published in a journal, it was therefore conclusive. However, scientists publish papers like this all the time, so that their findings can be debated, criticised, or verified by other scientists.

The fact of the matter is – their paper is merely suggestive. It is not conclusive. And it was wrong for any publication or person to state unequivocally that the COVID-19 coronavirus originated or evolved in snakes.

And here’s why…

 

Why Snakes Are Unlikely To Be Source For COVID-19 Coronavirus

SARS-CoV-2 Is A Betacoronavirus

The COVID-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been confirmed to be a Betacoronavirus, a genera of coronaviruses that mainly infects bats, and to a lesser extent – humans, camels and rabbits.

Incidentally, MERS and SARS are also Betacoronaviruses. SARS has been conclusively traced to bats, and scientists believe MERS also originated from bats.

SARS-CoV-2 Is Most Closely Related To SARS

Analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 genome showed that it was most closely related to two SARS-like coronaviruses of bat origin.

And guess who was the culprit for the human SARS virus? Horseshoe bats living in a remote Yunnan cave.

Hence, bats are likely to be the origin of the COVID-19 coronavirus, not snakes.

Coronaviruses Infect Only Mammals + Birds

Coronaviruses are a very large family of viruses, but they have so far been able to only infect mammals and birds. Basically, they are “warm-blooded” viruses.

It would be very unlikely for SARS-CoV-2 to evolve to infect snakes, which are cold-blooded reptiles.

Intermediate Hosts Have So Far Been Mammals

Let’s look at the last two novel coronavirus outbreaks – SARS and MERS, both from the same Betacoronavirus genera as SARS-CoV-2.

They spread to humans through intermediate hosts – civet cats for SARS, and camels for MERS. Not from the act of eating them, but from close contact.

This is further evidence that the intermediate host for SARS-CoV-2 is much more likely to be a mammal, rather than a reptile.

Codon Adaptation Does Not Always Happen

While scientists use codon adaptation as a way to identify hosts and trace the evolutionary history of a virus, it does not always happen.

Codon adaptation happen by genetic mutation – by happenstance – and multiple codons code for the same amino acids.

So viruses can evolve codon preferences that are different from the host, and yet efficiently replicate in its cells.

Some viruses also “choose” not to adopt the host cell codon preferences, favouring a slower replication rate.

This phenomenon, known as survival-of-the-flattest, is an adaptation strategy that presumably helps to avoid triggering the immune system or killing the host too quickly.

So it is possible that SARS-CoV-2 did not evolve to favour the codon preferences of its intermediate host.

Codon Adaptation Takes Time

Even if codon adaption did happen, it takes a long time for viruses to evolve to adapt to the host’s codon preferences.

It’s very unlikely for SARS-CoV-2 to adapt so quickly to a snake’s codon preferences in the Wuhan market, because an infected snake would most likely be sold and killed before that happened.

Yet the COVID-19 coronavirus has not been found outside of the Wuhan Huanan seafood market, which is currently the known origin of the virus.

For codon adaptation to occur, the COVID-19 coronavirus should exist (and therefore be detectable) in the wild snake population for quite some time.

How long does codon adaptation take? We have no idea, but we can reasonably assume that codon adaptation in snakes would take as long as it would in humans.

Consider the fact that viral samples taken recently are genetically similar to samples taken from patients in December 2019.

That means there has been no codon adaptation to the new human host, even after the virus has infected thousands of people.

Two Antigenic Shifts Are Very Unlikely

Viruses mutate rapidly in order to escape detection by the host’s immune system though relatively minor changes called antigenic drift.

But they can also “mate” with other viruses to create a completely new virus that can infect a new host, or become highly virulent – a process called antigenic shift.

For example, an exclusively avian influenza virus can “mate” with a human influenza virus to create a highly virulent new virus that also infects humans.

Fortunately, antigenic shift doesn’t happen very often, because it requires different viruses to co-exist within the same host.

For SARS-CoV-2 to evolve enough to “jump” from bats (or some other mammal) to a snake, and then evolve again to “jump” to a human host – it would be like getting struck by lightning… twice.

 

What Do Experts Say About Snakes As COVID-19 Coronavirus Source?

Paulo Eduardo Brandão, virologist at the University of São Paulo, said,

They have no evidence snakes can be infected by this new coronavirus and serve as a host for it. There’s no consistent evidence of coronaviruses in hosts other than mammals and Aves (birds).

Professor Guizhen Wu, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said,

These data are consistent with a bat reservoir for coronaviruses in general and 2019-nCoV in particular.

Dr. Peter Daszak, President of EcoHealth Alliance, said,

When you look at the genetic sequence of the virus, and you match it up with every known coronavirus, the closest relatives are from bats

Cui Jie, virologist at the Pasteur Institute of Shanghai, said,

Clearly this 2019-nCov is a mammalian virus.

We should note that Cui Jie was part of the team that traced the origin of the human SARS virus to the horseshoe bats in a remote Yunnan cave in 2017.

 

But Could Snakes Still Be Responsible For The COVID-19 Coronavirus?

Now this is important – no one should rule out snakes as an intermediary host for SARS-CoV-2 just yet.

Yes, there is no known coronavirus that infects a snake or any other reptile, but that doesn’t mean it will never or could not happen.

The key thing is to understand that science isn’t straightforward. It takes many studies – blood, sweat and tears – to investigate, verify and replicate – before we can reasonably draw a conclusion.

So everyone should stop jumping on every study as if it is conclusive evidence that snakes or civet cats or the animal of the week is responsible for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Rome wasn’t built in a single day, and evidence that conclusively identifies the culprit for SARS-CoV-2 won’t be found in a single study.

 

COVID-19 Coronavirus : How To Keep Safe!

The COVID-19 coronavirus is new and scary, but we are more likely to be infected and killed by the influenza virus.

We just need to practice a few simple steps to stay safe :

  • Avoid suspected cases or disease hotpots, like hospitals, if possible!
  • Keep our hands clean with soap or hand sanitiser
  • Keep our home, office, vehicles, etc. clean
  • If you need to wear a surgical mask, make sure you put it on and remove it properly!
  • Thoroughly cook your food, and boil water before drinking

Recommended : Hand Sanitiser or Soap : Which Should YOU Use?

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Science | Home

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!