Chinese authorities have released the full genome
of the 2019-nCoV virus that has prompted extreme containment measures in China. The DNA sequence has two features identifying it as almost certainly man-made.
(1) A short sequence called pshuttle
that was subject of a Chinese patent for genetic modification of viruses back in the era of SARS.
(2) A larger chunk of the genome is unrelated to any known Coronavirus, and is far too large to be a recent mutation. It is most closely related to the AIDS virus.
Following the conclusion that the Wuhan virus is not natural, there are two possibilities: It could be escaped from a vaccine research program, where viral genomes are routinely modifidied and tested, or it could be escaped (or released) from a bioweapons laboratory. Either way, we don't know if the laboratory that produced it is Chinese or Canadian or US.
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Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at http://JoshMitteldorf.ScienceBlog.com. Read how to stay young at http://AgingAdvice.org.
Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical (more...)