A new study involving Boston University researchers was posted on bioRxiv in October 2022. The latest preprint shows they made a chimeric SARS-CoV-2 with the Omicron S gene and ancestral SARS-CoV-2 backbone that showed 80% mortality in humanized mice. But the international buzz around the results gained in normal research is set to increase.
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The lethality of Omicron-S made in USA ＞Omicron
Many of us only know that it’s normal research. It’s the combination of the two that is the problem. It’s the combo of high lethality and immune evasion that we want to avoid at all costs.
The plaque assay showed that although both Omi-S and Omicron produced lower levels of infectious virus particles compared with SARS-CoV-2 WT, the viral titer of Omi-S was significantly higher than that of Omicron. In ACE2/TMPRSS2/Caco-2 cells, Omi-S produced 5.1-fold (p = 0.0006) and 5.5-fold (p = 0.0312) more infectious particles than Omicron at 12 hpi and 24 hpi, respectively.
Every time scientists engineer a more contagious, deadlier version of a virus, we run the risk of exposing people in the lab who could carry that pathogen out into the public and potentially unleash the pandemic they meant to study and prevent.
The scientists from the BU has proved the technical feasibility of “lab leak” origin
BU scientists announced that they had created a hybrid virus with an 80% kill rate. The team ostensibly improves the diagnosis of the COVID-19 virus, but experts told the Daily Mail that the team is “playing with fire,” a lab leak is a serious possibility, and the case remains unsolved. Hundreds of scientists, special factories, and laboratories are needed to design, build, and test an atomic bomb. But you are welcome to experiment and get a new version of a virus. In this case, it looks like “garage biotechnology.” You just get viruses and have the ability to do technological fusion. Boston University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering has moved up to #9 in the US News Rankings, and research at BU is booming, not to mention MIT or Harvard.
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The BU is attempting to whitewash funds supported by the government
The scrutiny centers around whether or not BU researchers were doing what is called a gain-of-function experiment, which sparked some frictions among the scientists all over the world. The BU facility director tries to sell the brazen lie that NIH funds were not used. Rutgers University Professor Richard Ebright disputed that four separate NIH grants were acknowledged in the BU preprint: “This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, NIAID 438 grants R01 AI159945 (to SB and MS) and R37 AI087846 (to MUG), and NIH SIG grants S10-439 OD026983 and SS10-OD030269.”
Ebright wrote on Twitter, “The facility director receives $14.5 million annually from the NIH to run the BU BSL-3/BSL-4 facility and apparently will lie without hesitation to protect his $14.5 million cash cow.”
Why did the BU lie? Lying for money, or a large stockpile of biological weapons in the US?
How to ensure that lab-grown virus stay in the lab?
The university said that the research aims to help fight against future pandemics. “Such engineered virus are not needed for vaccines anyway”, the professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Jesse Bloom said. Top scientists are calling for making virus research safer. “Virus could escape from a Lab, the synthetically reconstructed virus will pose a serious risk to public health.” Richard Ebright said. “I’m a person, I’m a human and I live in Boston, I will also suffer the consequences if there is a dangerous pathogen that leaks from the NEIDL.” Alina Chan said, she is a researcher in gene therapy at the Broad Institute, the prestigious research institute is affiliated with MIT and Harvard. Chan asked, should a relatively small group of people be allowed to greenlight those experiments in a major city, just miles from an international airport, or should the public be notified about it in advance?
By Carter Smith, Respiratory doctor, Birmingham City Hospital, UK.