Research by DRASTIC, a group of researchers working together to investigate the origins of SARS-CoV-2, starting from facts and not bending to any pressure. DRASTIC members were the first ones to discover the Mojiang ‘miners’ story.

Introduction

In 2003–04, in the wake of the SARS epidemics, there were multiple cases of laboratory acquired infection (LAI) with SARS in just a few months: first in a P3 in Singapore, then in a military P4 in Taipei and last a protracted case in a P3 in Beijing. The ‘WHO SARS Risk Assessment and Preparedness Framework’ has a good summary of these lab accidents:

Since July 2003, there have been four occasions when SARS has reappeared. Three of these incidents [note: Singapore, Taipei and Beijing] were attributed to breaches in laboratory biosafety and resulted in one or more cases of SARS. The most recent laboratory incident [note: in Beijing] resulted in 9 cases, 7 of which were associated with one chain of transmission and with hospital spread. Two additional cases at the same laboratory with a history of illness compatible with SARS in February 2004 were detected as part of a survey of contacts at the facility.


Random musings about isoglosses and pains-au-chocolat — a linguistic flâneur’s journey

Isoglosses are separation lines between distinct linguistic features of a main language. On one side on the line on a map a feature is prominent, on the other side an alternative is dominant. The word says it all: ἴσος (isos), for ’equal‘ and γλῶσσα (glōssa), for ’language‘.

German Isoglosses:

German has some very interesting isoglosses, behind the illusory uniformity of the Hochdeutsch which is taught as a foreign language and common on national (but certainly not local) TV programs. Here are some of my favourites:

  • The ‘Ich / Ik’ isogloss, also called the Uerdingen isogloss. It separates the southern (Hochdeutsch) Ich from the northern Ik. That Ik is similar to the neighbouring Dutch Ek, and related to our English I. …

Research by DRASTIC, a group of researchers working together to investigate the origins of SARS-CoV-2, starting from facts and not bending to any pressure. DRASTIC members were the first to discover the Mojiang ‘miners’ story.

1. The Request for Data Collection

a. Summary:

On Wednesday the 19th Feb 2020, on behalf of the CCP’s national Investigation Team, the “Wuhan Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Epidemic Prevention and Control Headquarters” sent a “Working Letter”, presumably to the Wuhan Authorities, to ask it to organize some Data Collection from some medical institutions (thereafter “the Data Collection”).

Through that letter, the Investigation Team is seeking to collect information:

  • For what: on (1) fever cases, (2) imaging of Covid19-like cases, (3) death cases from pneumonia of unknown…

Note: this is a short adaptation of a section of ‘Outlines of a probabilistic evaluation of possible SARS-CoV-2 origins’ by G. Demaneuf and R. De Maistre, https://zenodo.org/record/4067919.

In this article we show that there are at least 112 individual BSL-3 labs in China across 62 lab complexes, and we further show how this number has evolved over the last 15 years.

Ways of counting labs

Counting BSL-3 labs in China is rather difficult as there is no official count and the few numbers published can be rather contradictory. Note also that there may be two ways of counting the labs:

  • One can count individual labs. For instance the P3 of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory at the Zhengdian site (NBL-3) has 5 BSL-3 individual labs [11]. …


Note: this is a short adaptation of a section of ‘Outlines of a probabilistic evaluation of possible SARS-CoV-2 origins’ by G. Demaneuf and R. De Maistre, https://zenodo.org/record/4067919.

A review of Chinese scientific papers and government-aligned publications shows that the relevant Chinese supervising authorities and the Chinese government itself have consistently evaluated the Lab Escape risk as all too real. Their declarations and writings are therefore consistent with the scale of the Lab Escape risk highlighted in this paper. Here is a quick review of such evaluations:

Yang Zhanqiu’s evaluation of the risk in Chinese BSL labs (16th Feb 2020):

Yang Zhanqiu, a deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, was recently quoted by the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper considered as strongly aligned with the government [52]. …


Note: this is a short adaptation of a section of ‘Outlines of a probabilistic evaluation of possible SARS-CoV-2 origins’ by G. Demaneuf and R. De Maistre, https://zenodo.org/record/4067919.

Misunderstanding #1:

‘BSL-4 labs are very safe. It makes no sense at all to point to a potential leak out of the the Wuhan BSL-4.’

The Wuhan BSL-4 is actually largely irrelevant to the discussion about a possible lab-leak being the origin of Covid-19 outbreak. Indeed most of the work on SARS-Like BatCovs was done at the required level BSL-3 (for cell culture), not at all at BSL-4. …


Research by DRASTIC, a group of researchers working together to investigate the origins of SARS-COV-2, starting from facts and not bending to any pressure. DRASTIC members were the first ones to discover the Mojiang ‘miners’ story.

Introduction:

What exactly happened at the Mojiang mine in April 2012 is important. It is in that mine that RaTG13 (aka. BatCov/4991) — the closest known relative to SARS-CoV-2 — was sampled in 2013 by the WIV virus hunters.

The story around RaTG13 is itself rather confusing, but we will not delve into this here (see instead [1, 2] for some analysis). …

About

Gilles Demaneuf

Engineer, Data Scientist, Flâneur

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