Gain of Function Research

Gain of function (GoF) research involves genetic modification of an organism or automata (whether a virus is alive is still debated) through such methods as serial passage or creation of a chimera to alter its attributes. For instance, the DNA or RNA of a virus might be changed to allow the virus to infect people or animals more quickly. Many researchers worry about GoF research in the context of biowarfare and bioterrorism.

Government Funding of GoF Research

A Proposed Origin for SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Independent Science News - July 15, 2020 by Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD

We do not propose a specifically genetically engineered or biowarfare origin for the virus but the theory does propose an essential causative role in the pandemic for scientific research carried out by the laboratory of Zheng-li Shi at the WIV; thus also explaining Wuhan as the location of the epicentre.

1)

A Candid Conversation with Richard Ebright on Science Writers & Researchers Who Created a Conspiracy Arguing Against the COVID19 Pandemic Starting from a Lab Leak

by Paul D. Thacker - Aug 10, 2021

Dr. Ebright is a member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee of Rutgers University and the Antimicrobial Resistance Committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He is also been a member of the Working Group on Pathogen Security of the state of New Jersey, and the Controlling Dangerous Pathogens Project of the Center for International Security Studies. He was a founding member of the Cambridge Working Group, which advocated for biosafety, biosecurity, and risk-benefit reviews for gain-of-function research on potential pandemic pathogens.

EBRIGHT: This is one of several methods to do gain-of-function. One can do it by serial passage. One can do gain-of-function by making chimeric viruses; one can do gain-of-function by starting with a virus and engineering mutations into the virus.

DICHRON: So, gain-of-function means you simply change the virus, regardless of which process you use?

EBRIGHT: It refers to starting with a pathogen and making that pathogen more transmissible, or more lethal, or more able to overcome countermeasures.

DICHRON: Can you explain to people why scientists are doing this research?

EBRIGHT: It is not being done for practical purposes. It has produced no actionable results — no results that would, for example, be useful for preventing or responding to a pandemic. It is being done for career advancement. The experiments are simple to perform. They are highly publishable and highly fundable.

Developing an antiviral drug typically has a timeline of 20 years and a probability of success of one in 20. In contrast, gain-of-function experiments can take just six months, and the probability of success would be nearly 100%.

With gain-of-function, one can move very quickly to results, to publication, and then to a next grant. 2)

Leaked Department of Defense Documents Show Anthony Fauci and EcoHealth Alliance’s Peter Daszak Cannot Be Trusted on Dangerous Virus Research

by Paul D. Thacker - Sep 28, 2021 Why do science writers keep aligning with sources caught lying to them and the American public about the COVID19 pandemic?

Newly leaked Defense Department documents made public by the research group DRASTIC further erode the vanishing credibility of the National Institute of Health’s [:[Anthony Fauci]] and pandemic researcher Peter Daszak regarding their claims about gain-of-function studies at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Released last week, the documents show that Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance nonprofit submitted a research proposal in 2018 to the U.S. military research agency DARPA to collect bat viruses and then create and study chimeric versions—making the viruses more transmissible or virulent.

Describing the viruses he was collecting from bat caves, Daszak wrote in the proposal, “These viruses are a clear and present danger to our military and to global health security because of their circulation and evolution in bats and periodic spillover into humans.”

But a DARPA official rejected the proposal and added that the EcoHealth Alliance would need a gain-of-function “risk mitigation plan” if DARPA later funded part of the research that involved making chimeric viruses. Despite this protest from DARPA, Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance was already creating gain-of-function chimeric viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, without a risk mitigation plan, through a grant funded by Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Details of the EcoHealth Alliance’s NIH grant were made public earlier this month, following a freedom of information lawsuit filed by The Intercept. 3)

peter daszak: supervillain origin story

by el gato malo - Oct 6, 2021

taking a look at one of the more important and lesser studied players in the covid drama and his outright terrifying areas of research interest

our story starts in 2014 when US bans were put in place on so called “gain of function” (GoF) research on viruses. such research seeks to deliberately modify viruses to make them more dangerous, either more deadly, more contagious, or both. contrary to what many seem to believe, this is not the same as a weapons program. 4)

Scientists struggles to recreate the SARS-CoV-2 furin cleavage site through infection

July 20, 2022

The origin of the furin cleavage site (FCS) in the SARS-CoV-2 S protein have long been a mystery. Now it seems to have became even more mysterious.

Recently, a group of french Scientists attempted to passage one of the closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2 that can be cultured, BANAL-236, in models that are relative to human transmission and respiratory infection, what that was thought to be enabled by the furin cleavage site in the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, in the hope of trying to recreate the original emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 furin cleavage site that was thought to have triggered the current pandemic.

This observation of the inability of SARS-like coronaviruses (Sarbecoviruses) to develop a functional furin cleavage site through the process of infection in-vivo or in-vitro, also raises a significant possibility that this site may have been the result of genetic engineering within the laboratory. In deed, even the group of french scientists themselves commented that “Alternatively, human infection might have occurred in the course of experimental virus isolation in the laboratory”.

A restriction analysis of SARS-CoV-2 revealed that unlike it’s closest relatives, RaTG13 and the 5 BANAL-CoVs (BANAL-52, BANAL-103, BANAL-116, BANAL-236 and BANAL-247), two BsaI sites have been removed from the ORF1a, which were incidentally also located within, and therefore will interfere with, the F3 fragment of both of the two reverse genetic systems (RGS) of SARS-CoV-2 available in year 2020.

During preliminary inoculation of cynomolgus macaques with BANAL-236, it was found that, unlike SARS-CoV-2, BANAL-236 infects primarily the intestines, and that shedding through the respiratory pathway was minimal, despite intranasal and intratraecheal inoculation being used in this inoculation test. It was therefore decided that a maximal of 6 serial passages in the CaCo-2 cell line and K18-hACE2 mice would be used to model the potential transmission route of BANAL-236 in humans, in order to simulate a worse-case scenario of human-to-human transmission through the intestinal and respiratory route, respectively. 5)

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