What don't we know about the virus?
What are world governments really frightened about?
This latest coronavirus report answers those questions to try and break down what’s really going on…
The Origin of the Virus
At this point in the brief history of the coronavirus, the only thing scientists seem to agree on is that it originated in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, based on where the first recognized infections were diagnosed.
Researchers haven't been able to definitively determine the origin of the new virus.
Or have they?
The virus that causes COVID-19 appears, for the most part, as a zoonotic coronavirus, which is a virus that's transmuted from infecting animals to infecting humans.
The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) betacoronavirus, which emerged in Guangdong province, China, in 2002, is a zoonotic coronavirus that originated in bats, then likely infected civet cats and transmuted to infect humans.
Based on its genomic structure, COVID-19, also a betacoronavirus, is a single-stranded RNA virus of zoonotic origin htat comes from bats.
However, scientists discovered disturbing anomalies in the long strand of the new virus's RNA.
Dr. Yuhong Dong, who holds a doctorate in infectious diseases from Beijing University, wrote in The Epoch Times, "Based on recently published scientific papers, this new coronavirus has unprecedented virologic features that suggest genetic engineering may have been involved in its creation." He added, "The virus presents with severe clinical features; thus, it poses a huge threat to humans."
Studying the virus's phylogenetic tree, its full genome sequence, Dr. James Lyons-Weiler, founder and CEO of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge (IPAK), identified a long unique sequence of 1,378 nucleotide base pairs not found in other coronaviruses. According to Dr. Lyons-Weiler, the "novel sequence" lacks homology (similarity due to shared ancestry between a pair of structures, or genes) between similar bat coronaviruses. He says the inserted sequences should not be there.
Dr. Lyons-Weiler points to the presence of a SARS-binding protein sequence in the new coronavirus that allows it to easily infect human cells.
He explains, "Despite considerable genetics distance between the Wuhan CoV and the human-infecting SARS-CoV, and the overall low homology of the Wuhan CoV S-protein to that of SARS-CoV, the Wuhan CoV S-protein had several patches of sequences in the receptor binding (RBD) domain with a high homology to that of SARS-CoV. The residues at positions 442, 472, 479, 487, and 491 in SARS-CoV S-protein were reported to be at receptor complex interface and considered critical for cross-species and human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV.
So, to our surprise, despite replacing four out of five important interface amino acid residues, the Wuhan CoV S-protein was found to have a significant binding affinity to human ACE2. The Wuhan CoV S-protein and SARS-CoV S-protein shared an almost identical 3-D structure in the RBD domain, thus maintaining similar van der Waals and electrostatic properties in the interaction interface. Thus, the Wuhan CoV is still able to pose a significant public health risk for human transmission via the S protein-ACE2 binding pathway."
Dr. Yuhong Dong of Beijing University asks, "How could this novel virus be so intelligent as to mutate precisely at selected sites while preserving its binding affinity to the human ACE2 receptor? How did the virus change just four amino acids of the S-protein? Did the virus know how to use Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) to make sure this would happen?"
A study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin also found the novel coronavirus and SARS share the same functional host-cell receptor, called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). They warn, "The deadly new coronavirus is up to 20 times more likely to bind to human cell receptors and cause infection than severe acute respiratory syndrome."
The report, published on the website bioRxiv.org (pronounced "bio-archive"), a free online archive and distribution service for unpublished preprints in the life sciences, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a not-for-profit research and educational institution, said the new coronavirus "had around 10- to 20-fold higher affinity – the degree to which a substance tends to combine with another – for human ACE2 compared with SARS." The researchers added that further studies were needed to explore the human host-cell receptor's role in helping the new virus to spread from person to person.
One theory surrounding the novel coronavirus's extraordinary ability to bind to host receptors is that it was engineered to do just that.
Chinese scientists have been working on a SARS vaccine. It's possible they engineered the RNA of their vaccine to make it more receptive to humans.
The engineered "binding" sequence is similar to the pShuttle-Sn recombination vector abs INS1378 patented by the Chinese, using it to develop an immunogenic vaccine against SARS.
According to the patent filing (translated from Chinese), "The present invention belongs to the field of genetic engineering, particularly relates to adenoviral vector SARS vaccines, their preparation and coronavirus S genes in SARS (SARS) on vaccines for the prophylaxis. By means of biological engineering, the coronavirus S gene in combination with deficient recombinant adenovirus, the protective immunogen protein or polypeptide expressed therein, through expansion culture, purification, and formulation to prepare a mucosal immunogenicity can cause the gene vaccine, respiratory mucosal immune response induced by the body, to produce antibodies against the virus infection. Specific conditions of the present invention, compared with conventional inactivated virus particle vaccine, safe, easy to use, without limitation intramuscular, have broad clinical applications."
If the new coronavirus is an experimental SARS vaccine that escaped a research lab, the Chinese should tell the world.
But that's not the whole story.
An HIV Connection?
About the Author
Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.
The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.
Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.
Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.
Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.
Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.