Does the Mismatch and Recovered Genetic Code Give Any Evidence of the Use of Synthetic Biology in SARS-CoV-2? Does the Code Reveal Synthetic Venom on the Spike Protein?
By SYNBIO WARFARE
“Synthetic biology is a field of science that involves redesigning organisms for useful purposes by engineering them to have new abilities. Synthetic biology researchers and companies around the world are harnessing the power of nature to solve problems in medicine, manufacturing and agriculture.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2021).
Scientists who work in synthetic biology can stitch together long stretches of DNA and insert them into an organism’s genome. These synthesized pieces of DNA could be genes that exist in other living organisms or are entirely novel and do not exist in nature.
“Although the contributions synthetic biology can make in these and other areas hold great promise, it is also possible to imagine malicious uses that could threaten U.S. citizens and military personnel. Making informed decisions about how to address such concerns requires a realistic assessment of the capabilities that could be misused.”
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018).
Jesse Bloom (Ph.D.) studies evolution using viruses and viral proteins as models. By focusing on the fast-evolving influenza virus, Professor Bloom aims to understand how mutations in viral genes shape the pathogen’s ability to infect and spread. He uses computational biology and real-world data to build evolutionary models and examine different scales of viral evolution, from evolution within a single host to change on a global scale.
When searching for genomic data from the early stages of the pandemic, Professor Bloom discovered that sequences were mysteriously missing from the database.
In June of 2021, Bloom reported in an academic preprint paper that partial SARS-CoV-2 sequences from the early outbreak in Wuhan were removed from a U.S. government database by the scientists who deposited them. In August, the Journal of Molecular Biology published his findings. It is not clear why researchers at Wuhan University asked for the sequences to be removed from the Sequence Read Archive (SRA), a repository for raw sequencing data maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Professor Bloom worked diligently and was able to find most of the genomic code saved on other servers. Bloom reported that the data he recovered was sufficient to determine the viral sequences of SARS-CoV-2 from Wuhan early on in the pandemic did not match expected genetic sequences to the most similar bat coronavirus relatives.
Does the mismatch and recovered genetic code give any evidence of the use of synthetic biology in SARS-CoV-2? Does the code reveal synthetic venom on the Spike Protein?