Research Note on current nCoV2019 Pandemic

Kalyan Guha

Here is a small research on Corona Virus wherein I have tried to remain objective, apolitical without wearing any ideological lenses or conspiracy theory lenses. All sources are referred and are in public domain.

My sole motivation has been to understand it with it’s  full implications.

Some Background on Bio weapons Researches
1.All over the world there are various BSL 4 (Bio Safety Level 4 ) category Life Sciences laboratories which have been carrying on GOF (Gain of Function) researches involving tinkering and Bio engineering of various Virus Genomes since last few decades inspite of various concerns raised by various eminent epidemiologists and organisations from time to time.

There were series of published experiments with potential implications for making biological weapons. Few are as follows:

(a) Genetic engineering of a super strain of the mousepox virus in 2001(1)
(b) The artificial synthesis of a live polio virus from chemical components in 2002(1)
(c) The reconstruction of the 1918 Spanish flu virus in 2005(1)
(d) The creation of highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus strain that were airborne  
transmissible between ferrets. (1)

2. Simon Wain Hobson from Pasteur Institute of Paris, France, has been one of the eminent epidemiologists raising huge concerns on these researches and has been appealing to recognize our inability to predict the unpredictable.

His following 4 papers in which he raised concerns are accessible:

a) An Avian H7N1 Gain of Function experiment of great concern (Oct 2014) (2).
b) The irrationally of GOF Avian influenza virus research (July 2014) (2).
c) Pandemic influenza viruses: Time to recognize our inability to predict the unpredictable and stop dangerous GOF experiments (Nov 2013) (2).
d) H5N1 viral engineering dangers won't go away (March 2013) (2).

Role of Wuhan Institute of Virology
3. Wuhan Institute of Virology (3A) , a BSL4 (Bio Safety Level 4) laboratory in Wuhan, China has been doing extensive researches with SARS and Corona viruses. At the time of it’s inception as BSL4 laboratory , Richard H. Ebright ,a molecular Biologist at Rutgers University, Piscataway,New Jersey had raised concerns as earlier SARS virus had escaped from high level facilities in Beijing several times.(3B)

It's Disease Engineering Technical Research Center is led by  Zhengli Shi (4).

Zhengli Shi and her another colleague Xing- Yi Ge worked in University of North Carolina (UNC) with Dr Ralph Baric and had successfully bio engineered an incredibly contagious 
" chimera ,SARS like super virus" by altering Chinese Bat Coronavirus's spike protein genes in 2015.It was published in Nature 9th November 2015.(5)

Nature recently has brought out Editor's note claiming innocence (6)

Zhengli Shi and Xing-Yi Ge had also previously successfully isolated a SARS like coronavirus from Bats which targets ACE2 receptors (a protein that sits on the lining cells within alveoli of the lung). (7)

Role of Fort Detrick Lab, USA
4. Fort Detrick has been centre of the US biological weapons program(8) .

CDC (Centres for Disease Control),US sent a cease and desist order in July 2019 to USAMRID (United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease),located on Fort Detrick, Maryland asking it to immediately shutdown it's facilities finding  several areas of concerns in standard operating procedures.(9)

This news was subsequently covered by New York Times (10)

Apparently from July - Aug 2019 there has been a sort of sudden epidemic breakout of severe lung ailments, having similar features of severe Pneumonia, causing ultimately approximately 34 official case and 5 deaths affecting 38 US districts as CDC reported officially. (11)

CDC blamed it on Vaping using spurious liquid tobacco products, Vitamin E acetate and Cannabis. (11)

Wuhan breakout and Genomic Data Analysis
5. The first case reported to hospital was on 1st December 2019.(12)

Since then researchers have collected and analysed the genome samples from large no of patients . This data is available in GISAID & NCBI Genbank platforms.(13)

This 176 genome data analysis shows that there is limited genetic variations indicative of a relatively recent common ancestor for all these viruses.

Though the genome have big similarities with similar viruses found in Bats  for the present outbreak no genetic  parentage among Bats' viruses have been found.(14)

Every research on nCoV2019 virus found following characteristics of the same:

A) It targets ACE 2 receptors of alveoli of human lung with its protein spike genome.
B) It seems to use anti-body dependent enhancement (ADE) to much more efficiently enter into cells. (15)
C) Another peculiar characteristic is it's similarities to HIV - like segments in the genome.(16)
D) It is found to have particular type of Furin cleavage sites making it thus more pathogenic and neurotoxic. (17)

Remarks and Conclusion
Given above facts and with an open mind , we can  tend to think :

That the virus may be an engineered one or may be due to various factors normal Coronavirus in bats have become suddenly pathogenic and undergone rapid mutations/re combinations and made a Zoonotic jump.  But no evidence along this line found so far except speculations. Search for Patient zero at Wuhan, Itlay, Japan, South Korea, US is still on.

So, in a larger paradigm here are my final takeaways :

It may be a Zoonotic jump of normal Bat Corona Viruses from Bats to Humans directly or through an intermediary like Civets etc. due to large scale marketing, consumption of bats and other wild life as was happening in the Wuhan wet market.”


It may be a Bio engineered one that got leaked from Wuhan Institute of Virology or other BSL 4 laboratories in the world, handling and storing these Viruses.

Probably we will never find this out and there is no way to prove or disprove this.

We have been mastering Bio engineering and tinkering with various Virus Genomes since the days after Dr Francis and Creek and will continue doing so given our arrogance, Science worshipping mixed with huge disrespect and disregard for Nature.

We have been living dangerously on this edge of the cliff between Human species and Nature since early forties/fifties of 20th century when we first learnt to carry out Fission reactions and made atom bombs and then learnt to tinker with DNAs/RNAs since  seventies/eighties. As there is no going back we probably have to just learn to  live on these edges to survive or perish.

On this background what can we do to mitigate these risks:

A) Stop or at least reduce eco system destructions as then the survival and mutation pressure on various Virus Genomes living amongst various animals will be less and various Viruses taking Zoonotic jumps to humans will be less.

B) There should be comprehensive ban on all wild animals killings.

C) Major countries must urgently agree and sign a Strategic Bio weapons Limitations Treaty banning all future researches involving tinkering various Virus Genomes.

Today enormous un-directed anguish and outrage are building-up around the damage to society due to this current pandemic. We can hope that with good information this outrage can get directed to build up consensus and pressure toward these practical, preventive and beneficial understandings and ends.


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Apr 5, 2020

Kalyan Guha

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